Naomi Simson
Naomi Simson Contributed

BIZTALK: The A-Z of a thriving workplace

Naomi Simson joins Queensland Times as a guest columnist for our latest series, Business Class. 

IT IS no surprise that when your people thrive, so too does your business. The common theme underpinning thriving businesses is the clear alignment between vision, values and purpose.   

In successful companies, people know exactly what the company stands for - the purpose and the driving force behind why they're doing what they do. They understand their contribution to this bigger picture.  

To get you thinking about your own purpose and whether that translates into a thriving workplace, I've pulled together an A to Z of thriving workplaces to help you on your way.  


AUTHENTICITY: Be authentic when giving praise. People know when you're faking it.  

BEHAVIOURS: Rewarding for the behaviours you want to see more of encourages others to repeat them.  

COMMUNICATE: The best cultures have a program of communication - consistent, thoughtful and informative (and sometimes fun).   DELIVERABLES: Make KPIs achievable and aligned to your organisation's purpose.

Welcome to our Business Class series.
Welcome to our Business Class series. News Corp

EXPERIENCES: Shared experiences as a team, or as a thank you gift gets people talking about you and your employer brand.  

FUN: A little bit of fun during the work day delivers you higher productivity.  

GROW: In order for your business to grow you must invest in your people and their continued learning.  

HAPPINESS: When people feel happy at work, they are likely to be more creative, take more initiative and ultimately deliver better outcomes.  

INCLUSIVITY: One for all and all for one. An inclusive workplace with diversity and different viewpoints helps represent your customer base better.  

JOY: Celebrating 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.  

KNOWLEDGE: Seek feedback around your employee framework. Do, analyse, do - and then do more of it… insights and knowledge are power.  

LITTLE: Notice the little things that your people do with on-the-spot recognition.  

MANAGERS: Managers nurture individuals for the good of the business. They are coaches who challenge your people to be the best version of themselves.  

NIMBLE: Every dollar counts so keep investing ideas and energy into your culture to keep it alive.  

OBJECTIVES: A clear set of objectives will help you define your culture. What does success look like a year from now?  

PURPOSE: Cultivate a shared sense of greater purpose around your business goals to drive effort and focus.  

QUICK: the quicker you are to recognise behaviours, values or accomplishments the greater impact it will have on your culture.  

RECOGNISE: Recognise people frequently and consistently - peer to peer is powerful, reporting ensures that everyone is with you on the journey.  

STRUCTURE: Create a timeline and rhythm for your employee engagement program. Share the structure and make sure you stick to it.  

THEMES: Whether you use them monthly, quarterly or annually, what is the one critical success factor for your business in that period? Create a theme and a sense of fun and healthy competition around it.  

UNDERSTAND: Deepen relationships by understanding who your people are and what they love. Learn to ask great questions.  

VARIETY: No culture is set and forget - it needs to be nurtured and continually refreshed.  

WISH LIST: Encourage your people to create a wish list of what a great culture looks like to them.  

X-TREME: Get people pushing their boundaries and celebrate amazing results.  

YARN: A thriving business has a folklore that will get your people talking positively about you.  

ZOOM: Keep one eye on the detail. Look at key metrics like absenteeism, retention and engagement to help you identify problem areas as they arise.  

A thriving workplace is ultimately created by leaders who provide the business and its people with consistency in messages, execution and expectations. Find and build a great leadership team and you're already more than halfway there.  

An entrepreneur and business leader; Naomi Simson co-founded the Big Red Group in 2017. BRG is all about serving experiences to different audiences through its various brands: RedBalloon, Adrenaline, BRG serves an experience every minute as the third largest experience marketplace of its type in the world. In this series we present some of her key learnings on how she grew her businesses.