3 simple secrets to tapping the power of your people

You may as well flush your money down the toilet. Why? Because that’s exactly what you’re doing if you let great people walk out the door. Some say the replacement cost is up to 200 per cent of the annual salary, which is silly really … when you could have avoided it by engaging, recognising and rewarding them. Sounds too simple really, doesn’t it?

“It can’t be that easy, can it?” I hear you say. Yep, it is. But how and more to the point why, does it work? Well we’re simple creatures, really. We’re motivated by being part of a greater whole (a tribe), we cherish being valued (thanked), and love being recognised for our efforts (taken care of). Really, we crave a great work-culture.

If you want to build a great workplace culture, take these three simple tips, step back and watch the magic happen…

1.    Engage (become a tribe)

Intrinsically, everyone yearns to be part of something greater. By engaging your people ­through a deep culture built on values, purpose and passions, you’ll create a group of people pulling in the same direction and helping each other grow.  

However, culture isn’t one single thing. It’s a thousand little things … layered one on another to create a rock-solid foundation. In short, it’s what the business stands for (and on) and when that same culture engages your people, they become advocates and vocal evangelists for your business. And that’s something that no amount of money can create for you.

2.   Recognise (thank)

Let’s face it. Not everyone deserves to be praised. But there is one thing for sure; everyone wants to be motivated – to strive for more – in life and work. By giving out more recognition, not less, your culture benefits.

It’s hard to put a price tag on a thank you. That’s because it’s something you experience, not possess. There are many similar, small ways RedBalloon can help you recognise people contributing to your culture. A tiered array of offerings ranges from experiences through to gift vouchers and personalised gifts – all of which deliver far more than just a pat on the back.

So how do you know what’s right? Ask! Tailored programs (with different levels) can be structured to suit your goals, your people and your pocket – not all recognition is equal – because it needs to be meaningful to the recipient.

And once you’ve started recognising effort, you then…

thank you post it

3.   Reward (take care of)

Not everyone has or wants a massive budget for large-scale cash bonus programs to reward milestones, achievements and contributions. So what can you do instead? You create ‘memory banks’.

Time and again research has shown that every stage of an experience carries more value for people – the anticipation, the stories and memories – than any possession. Why? Because experiences are more closely associated with peoples’ identity, connection and social behaviour (AKA bragging rights). Plus … you carry the memories forever. That outplays any cash reward, any day.

Experiential trumps material

RedBalloon has more than 3500 unique and curated experiences – perfect for your workplace reward and recognition program. Whether ongoing, KPI-driven or occasion based, programs using RedBalloon experiences are a unique way to layer greater meaning into your culture and deliver value.

Wouldn’t a hot air balloon ride at dawn far outweigh a simple cash payment that’s probably going to get sucked into covering everyday essentials? I’d say a definite, “Yes!”


Di Mace is a freelance story-making brand writer, strategist and purpose-digger. She turns boring brand messages into content and stories that matter. Find her at www.wordswords.com.au.