By RedBalloon for Business

The reasons this client believes that experiences are better than things – Case Study.

As Covid-19 continues to impact upon communities and business, human connection and engagement in experiences has never been more important. Cognisant of the need to boost spirits during this time, many organisations are revitalising their employee and customer recognition programs.

Seeking to increase engagement, lift morale and build cohesion amongst remote teams, organisations are doing away with material gifts and are instead investing in high impact experiential gifts. MetLife Australia is one of those organisations who recognise the positive impact experiences can have on employee wellbeing, recently using RedBalloon vouchers to surprise and delight team members.

“We chose RedBalloon as we know there is a multiplier effect on the economy” explains Sarah Kelly,

Director of Communications at MetLife Australia. “Equally, we are able to recognise and reward our people who have worked tirelessly for our customers during the pandemic. It’s a way of injecting money back into the economy and supporting regional communities while providing a sense of hope for our people to have an experience to look forward to. We know this is especially important for mental wellbeing.”

Research further supports this, consistently showing that the joy felt participating in experiences far outweighs happiness felt when receiving material things. While there is a temporary burst of excitement in accumulating material items, it is short lived. Experiences, however, build over time through memory, storytelling and ultimately form part of our identity. “We are the sum total of our experiences” says psychology professor Dr. Thomas Gilovich, who has led research in this field for over 20 years.

So, for organisations wanting to reward employees and customers with gifts that will resonate for years to come, look no further. Here are 7 indisputable reasons why experiences are better than things:

1. Experiences enhance wellbeing and enrich lives

With resilience being tested daily during the pandemic, experiences provide a much needed outlet, bringing joy, balance and perspective. Experiences improve wellbeing through a ‘before, during and after’ effect. Firstly, providing something positive to look forward to, then triggering ‘feel good’ endorphins whilst participating, and finally, contentment upon reflection.

2. Experiences leave a lasting impression

Millennials have long recognised the value of experiences, with over 70% choosing experiences over material things. Their desire to accrue goods continues to decrease as they instead seek to create lasting memories. But it’s not just millennials. As a result of lockdowns, people of all ages are wanting to take on new adventures once restrictions ease.

3. Experiences unite teams

Leading organisations know there’s no better way to build a high performance team than through shared experiences. Whether it be working in sync to steer a yacht to victory, collaborating to escape imprisonment, being tethered together to achieve a great feat, or sharing extraordinary wines at a vineyard. These shared experiences build trust, strengthen bonds and fortify teams.

4. Experiences are better for the environment

Last year, Australia sent 21 million tonnes of waste to landfill, while waterways and marine life continue to be choked by rubbish. As people become more environmentally astute, they are seeking out gifts which have minimal environmental impact, thus choosing experiences over things.

5. Experiences fuel personal growth

For many, the pandemic has been a catalyst for in-depth reflection and change. There’s been a paradigm shift in how people work, with new remote working environments creating opportunities and expectations for greater work life balance. With reduced commuting, there is more available time for experiences.

6. Experiences invoke all the senses

Whether it be listening to Mozart, watching whales breach as the sun descends over the ocean, tasting an oyster for the first time, taking in the scents of Floriade or patting a newborn alpaca, experiences heighten senses and add to the very tapestry of life. 

7. And finally, but most importantly, a life full of experiences eliminates the need for a bucket list

In life and death situations, people often gain great clarity in what truly matters. “Enjoy the little things in life because one day you’ll look back and realise they were the big things” said famed American writer Kurt Vonnegut, who gained perspective from being held captive during World War II.

As we all try to adapt to a new normal, we must remember that from every negative can come a positive. Covid-19 might just have given us a pause, enabling us to reset values and learn to appreciate how experiences will always outlast things. Make every moment count.

 


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