A Birthday at RedBalloon

My Pleasure Relations chums reminding me just how old I really am!

There are many great aspects which make working at RedBalloon such a pleasure, but I reckon that one of the most popular is the Birthday Day-off.

This has been a long standing policy of the company and means that whoever you are and whatever you do for the company, come your Birthday (BD) the day is yours to do with what you will.

Pretty cool eh?

This year I was very lucky as my BD fell on a Monday. So I got a long weekend to boot. I enjoyed a non-kid day (they were at school) with my lovely Wife and my Mum who had just arrived from the UK. It was a lazy day of shopping, lunch and then out to dinner at one of Sydney’s finer restaurants. I also got some great gift’s, which included a Barista Course and some long overdue Surfing Lessons.

But this is not about what I did, but about what this says about Redballoon’s philosophy towards its employees.

The only person who can give the real deal on this is our CEO (Chief Experience Office) and founder, Naomi Simson. So I dropped Naomi an email to ask why this benefit was available to all. Naomi, who, I’m sure she won’t mind me saying, is not short of a word or two and she happily obliged with both the official and unofficial answer. I’m going to give you both because what started as an efficiency drive has morphed into a great form of employee engagement.

“We used to have a cake for everyone at the office, we’d stop and sing happy birthday, when we were only a few people it was fun… But the more people it just became cumbersome. What people really want to do is have fun on their birthday and do something special which is far more exciting than hanging out at the office answering all the texts, Facebook messages and voice mails wishing a Happy Birthday.

“The real reason is – that it makes us special as a business – RedBalloon prides itself on listening to our people as if they were customers. And most RedBallooners think it is a lovely little perk to have the day off for their birthday… Everyone wins.”

I’ve worked at many companies big and small over the years and this is the first time this privilege has been afforded to me.  Brilliant. It has returned my BD to being a special day and not just a moment sandwiched into my daily life. Thanks for a Happy Birthday Redballoon.

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