Our shared purpose

Company is singular. This is not a lesson in grammar (although that is one of my personal bugbears – when I see a sentence “company X are doing…” versus “company X is doing …”).

I am concerned about the current debate regarding workplace legislation and its potential impact. It would be a disaster for Australian workplaces to return to a “them versus us” attitude. The bosses versus the unions. Have we not moved forward at all? And that is what this legislation looks like to me.

For eight years my total existence has been about creating an organisation based on a clear sense of shared purpose. Not “the boss’s” purpose – but a shared purpose. That is that we all – every team member, wants to “change gifting in Australia forever” – this is what brings us together as a singular company.

We recently published the third edition of the Little Red Book of Answers – which lists 105 ways of engaging employees… all under the premise that “Happy people – happy profits.” The contribution employee engagement (shared purpose) to bottom line performance is evidenced in this book.

I invite Julia Gillard into the RedBalloon workplace…. Come and see for yourself when people are all pulling together, focusing on the customer experience rather than “what’s in this for me”. There is no “me” in company… it is all about “we”.

There is no other place on the planet that I would rather be than in Australia right now. Seven out of 10 of our major trading partners are in recession.


However, we are in no way near the circumstances of those economies. We have superannuation. And while the value of funds has been decimated, those employed still continue to pay into funds every day. And those funds are looking for good investments, and there are many to be found.

So when I look to the greater community that I represent – our 900 suppliers – the single message from them is “please just keep sending us business”. This is Australian companies looking after Australian customers. More people will do more things domestically than they have in years.

It is our chance to strengthen Australian businesses, to innovate and invest – we want to focus on not merely surviving but thriving. So please let us get on with it, working side by side with our teams to create strong robust businesses. We want our energies focused externally – not worrying if a union official is knocking on the door to stop us doing what we do best.

We are one company – we are one country. Let’s work together singularly rather than against each other. This is a new era of opportunity.



Naomi is the 2008 National Telstra Women’s Business Award winner for Innovation. Naomi was also a finalist for the Australian HR Awards and a finalist for the BRW Most Admired Business Owner Award in 2008. Also in 2008 RedBalloon achieved a 97% Hewitt employee engagement score. One of Australia’s outstanding female entrepreneurs, Naomi regularly entertains as a professional speaker inspiring middle to high-level leaders on employer branding, engagement and reward and recognition. Naomi writes a blog and has written a book sharing the lessons from her first five years.

To read more Naomi Simson blogs, click here .



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