“You can be a leader in your workplace, your neighbourhood, or your family, all without having a title,” Travis Bradberry.
#5 Experiences at work: Celebrating personal milestones at work
In this series we suggest ways to ‘shift people’s experience of work’. #4 talked how creating a welcome experience can build trust for the new team member. In this fifth post we look at how celebrating personal milestones can not only make someone’s day, but also build trust with your business.
Many people are beginning to believe that we’re so busy connecting that we’ve disconnected – at home and in business. Yet business is all about relationships. So how can we successfully create meaningful relationships if we’re always feeling disconnected?
Celebrating personal milestones is a wonderful way to build trust with your people, as there is a level of intimacy established when you know and celebrate the occasions of importance in an employee’s life. Special occasions offer the chance to have a conversation with people about why they choose to work for or with your business when, quite simply, they could work for or with someone else. It’s a great opportunity to understand why they choose to stay – this creates a culture of openness, trust and gratitude; all key ingredients to being an employer, business or supplier of choice.
It makes good business sense for people to feel special, loved and noticed. Celebrating personal milestones, like birthdays, is a great way to establish emotional connection to your brand. It’s not hard to make someone’s day – be it an employee, customer, client or supplier – help people feel appreciated by giving an experience. Because experiences help build relationships, and the workplace is no exception. People do not leave their lives at the door when they enter the office each morning.
You need to think beyond experiences that influence customers to buy a certain product or service – this is about creating a connection. As Seth Godin said, “People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.” And your people are customers too. They are the ones who help create and disseminate the folklore and stories about your organisation – experiences can help you make those stories great.
It is no surprise that when your people thrive, so too does your business. The common theme underpinning thriving businesses is a sense of trust and when people feel noticed and appreciated as individuals.
Tips for celebrating personal milestones in your business:
- Know your people. Does Jane from HR like personal or public acknowledgement? Make sure you celebrate them in a way that doesn’t make them feel uncomfortable. This will build a sense of trust and comfort – “they really get me”.
- A little help from their friends. Support from colleagues is key to employee happiness and engagement, so do your background research so you can create a truly personalised (and appreciated) recognition of any personal milestones. By discussing plans with an employee’s friends at work, you’ll guarantee you’re on the right track
- Use experiences for a truly unique and personalised sentiment. Instead of the one-size-fits-all rectangular cake from the local bakery, an experience selected specifically for that employee based on what they enjoy doing, will leave a lasting impact and make them feel truly special and noticed.
I have always advocated for creating a company with a shared purpose. When I look at RedBalloon, Redii.com and Marketics (Albert AI) I’m aware that I can’t grow and scale my businesses without the discretionary effort of each and every person I employ. That why I invest in my people and make sure I celebrate their personal milestones. A thriving workplace is ultimately created by leaders who provide the business and its people with consistent love and attention.
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