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I was at speaking at the Talent and Leadership Conference at the Marriott this morning and I was asked

“What do you know about rewarding people who work in the public sector, we don’t operate in a world about profit, and we need to be sensitive to the allocation of public funds?

I started answering the question based on metrics other than profit….but the question was not really about profit.

I paraphrase the question to mean “We cannot be seen to be going off and having a good time at the expense of the tax payer – when people get paid salaries for doing their job.”

Good question! I have come back to the office and checked with the RedBalloon Corporate team. We have many clients who work in various areas of the public sector. So do they fly under the radar or are they formal programs?

We established that it could be a mixture of both and it totally depends on the type of work and the culture of the organisation.

It is a competitive environment to attract talented people, and to compete with the private sector to get great people obviously is going to have the same talent management programs as them.

Some of our government clients purchase vouchers on our web site (and given that they can get lots of great experiences for under $100 ? that probably flies under the radar).

I?d like to understand where this ?guilt? comes from. Imagine a truly happy public sector, that is truly recognised for the contribution they make. That when they get noticed for exceptional performance they also get rewarded – the way they want to be, by doing something with their family and friends.

The reality is that putting formal reward programs together for the public sector does take our team a much longer time. From concept to implementation has in some instances taken more than a year.

But I am passionate about all employee engagement ? not limiting it to only those in the private sector.

What difference could we make if we can just move employee engagement by 1%…for the whole economy. What it does take is people who will make a stand for what they know will work for their teams.

Success breeds success, and the word does travel. Successful public sector programs will spread and create more.

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@naomisimson

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