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Megan - accountable for the employee experience - Sailing with the team

I had a great time debating with my colleague Megan (Employee Experience Manager – an HR professional) about what engagement means at RedBalloon – she has developed and documented all the things we do – and Matt in our corporate team is getting ready to share that with the world.

Here are some points from a webinar that my colleague Emma sent me on the same topic I have added the RedBalloon view of the world in italics:

  • Engagement is a daily exercise that must be owned by every single person in the organisation, every day.
    I completely agree – we don’t have an engagement manager – every leader and colleague is accountable for engagement – and I have often been quoted as saying – engagement is a journey not an activity.
  • Culture is like the tide, and people like boats on the water – when the tide rises so does engagement.
    I have learned that not only is happiness infectious – so is engagement – People like being productive and hanging out with other people who are productive too.

  • Engagement requires all of the following: Clarity, Communication, Trust, Priorities, Direction, Action, Alignment, Progression, Relationships –
    Yes agreed. I believe it also takes Passion, Commitment and Persistence.
  • “The Engaged stay for what they give, The disengaged stay for what they get”.
    Remember by definition the disengaged are people who are being paid – and they ‘hate’ their employer
  • Be aware that if a company undertakes an engagement survey but does nothing to follow up to improve the engagement culture this will actually result in further disengagement!
    Being real with people, authentic and transparent is essential for an engaged team – if you cannot tackle all the outcomes of the survey – let people know what you are going to do and by when (and absolutely make sure that you do do it – cynicism is very distructive)
  • “Know your People, Know your Manager!”
    And I would add to that – we are all just people – and business is a people game – so I hope you like them.

If I was to add the RedBalloon ‘secret sauce’ to this list it would be; from the day dot – I founded this business believing in people, whilst I personally had struggles along the journey (I had the commitment but not the technical skills) as soon as practicable RedBalloon employed professionals to deliver on the detail of the commitment. All the ideas in the world do not make success – it is the execution of the plan that delivers the outcome.

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  1. Brilliant blog! I wish more people would get ‘engagement’ like you have outlined!

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  • In the 90s I left my cushy job at Apple.

I’d be a squillionaire if I still had my stock options.

I don’t regret it. Here's why:

After 10 years of corporate, I wanted to ‘do my own thing’. I started with freelance marketing.

My strategy? Hard work and build strong brands.

It seemed to work - new clients came from referrals.

But after 18 months, I came to a realisation:

All my clients wanted was “more customers”, not complex branding plans.

SO I thought I’d build a brand of my own. Something to get them “more customers”. RedBalloon was born. The purpose? Give people amazing experiences.

16 years on, RB has delivered 3.8 million customers to 2000 small businesses.

Now, when I give talks, I always get the same question: “How did you build such a strong brand?” Funny how it comes full circle.

I can’t answer that with a time limit.

Though I think I found a way - an online course. “How to Build your Business Brand” - years of experience in one place (link in bio if interested). But, that’s not the point of this post.

If I stayed with Apple I’d be unbelievably wealthy.

Quitting was still the best thing I’ve ever done.

So if you want to take a leap of faith, do it.

All I ask you is this:

Trust yourself and never underestimate the power of brand.

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