How This Successful Leader Keeps her Team Fulfilled and Engaged

Lauren Powell


As the founding director of one of Australia’s most innovative start-ups, Naomi Simson certainly knows a thing or two about building a successful company. The founding director of RedBalloon turned her $25,000 start-up (that she created from her home’s front room back and a second-hand computer back in 2001) into a multimillion-dollar tech giant. Since those humble beginnings, RedBalloon now employs 70 people and has the goal to delivering 5 million experiences by 2020—impressive.

So what does Simson put her success down to? A highly engaged team. And how does she create this? With exceptional leadership skills. “Happy people make happy profits,” says Simson. SmartCompany outlined Simson’s five key tip for building a motivated and engaged team following her address at Zendesk’s Relate Live conference in Sydney. Read on to find out Simson’s invaluable leadership secrets.

1. Ensure they feel connected

Simson believes it all starts with one simple question: “Do they feel connected?” She believes employees become more engaged when they feel connected to the business, its values, and what it stands for.

2. Acknowledged efforts

Simson says that highly engaged employees want more than a pay cheque. When they produce work that makes them feel proud, this also must be acknowledged by their leaders, she suggests. Recognising employees for their efforts can have a hugely positive effect on staff. “If you recognise people, it’s mobile, social and peer-to-peer,” she says.

3. Get fit together

Simson believes that a getting employees to be active together—such as a group walk or a game of basketball—helps boost energy. “We need to get people moving,” she says.

For more leadership advice from Simson, head to SmartCompany and shop our favourite career essentials below.

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