Q & A Megan Bromley – Head of Employee Experience at Red Balloon:
The concept of loving your job is foreign to most people, but at Red Balloon there is little reason to dread Monday morning. When your job involves helping people to fulfil their aspirations and dreams, your career feels like a lifestyle. This is why Red Balloon has been named “Great place to work” five years running. Behind this unique professional environment is Megan Bromley, Head of Employee Experience.
What’s your favourite Red Balloon experience?
Rally Driving! There’s a clip on YouTube where I’m just laughing the entire time, it’s pretty funny.
What are some blogs or sites you follow?
I’m a big fan from a business perspective of Inc.com, which is targeted to start up type businesses. One of the fun things I read is Sarah Wilson’s blog.
Under your successful leadership, RedBalloon has been named as a Great Place to Work for 5 years running. Amazing! What do you think are the major factors at play here?
I think there are probably three major things that we have. Firstly, we’re all about a happiness revolution and working towards that, so everyone we bring into the business is aligned to that. “We also have values that underpin everything that we do, but they’re not written on the walls, and we don’t have meeting rooms named after them.” The values are integrity, generosity, leadership, sense of humour, fun. We like to think of a ‘little dog with a big personality’. The third factor is people. We recruit people who want to come to work as themselves and not their job titles.
Congratulations on your 2011 AHRI Award for HR Practitioner of the Year! Tell us a bit about your award-winning “Employee Experience” philosophy.
I’m not a fan of the term “HR”, because you shouldn’t treat humans as resources, you should treat people as people. For me at Red Balloon, it’s all about employee experience. It’s about how people experience their days at work and not how they are used as resources within them. I want people to brag about where they work.
What do you love about your job as Red Balloon’s Employee Experience Manager?
Everything! For me I love being about to create an “I want to come to work” culture. I love that I get to deliver experiences that make a difference to people in their lives at work.
Who has been the most influential mentor in your HR career?
I met my first mentor when I got my first real job working in an HR capacity. The HR manager started, and I’m still in touch with her today after eight years. Naomi, who is the founding director of Red Balloon, has been amazing too in the sense that she’s made me think of the world from a different perspective.
What do you think are the major benefits of having a mentor?
Having someone you go to and know that they’re not going to judge you. So they potentially know that there is a right or wrong answer to your problem, but they will work with you to get to the best solution for you. To have someone to bounce your ideas off is extremely powerful.
How do you think companies could better support women in the workplace?
It’s about the network of people that you have around you and enabling women to have a voice that’s equal to anyone other voice across the business and treating everyone the same. I think if you treat people as people whether you’re talking about fair pay or promotions it should be to the best person for the job.
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