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Corporate Team
Trust takes Time… and also the ability to be oneself at work – The RedBalloon corporate team – I wonder what teenagers would say if this was their first experience of work.

I have teenagers – their friends are beginning to get part time jobs… I am fascinated to watch them learn and discover the world of work. The experience that they have with these businesses may well determine what ‘work’ looks like for them.

Trust is paramount in every employment relationship – without it, it is really difficult to achieve great things.

So imagine a young person – his first work experience job – 5 days in total he has been told that he will receive $20 per day. He is happy with this because it covers the cost of his bus and lunch. At the end of the week no one mentions it – he leaves with out his $100… feels unable to say something to someone… and is quite hurt that they said one thing and did another. To a 15-year-old $100 is a lot of money. What is his impression of work so far?

Simon Sinek told us at his presentation this week that the biggest abusers of trust are organizations. (And large organizations the worst.)

“Trust is a feeling, it is a human experience” he said – our instincts tell us when things are not right. So much of business is now conducted ‘online’. The Internet is an amazing tool to connect people around the planet (and locally) to spread the word quickly and also to massively increase the speed of transactions…. but what it is not good at is building relationships. And an employment relationship is one of trust. Negotiations for instance are emotional activities – and as are better done face to face. Let’s not confuse technology for a relationship builder – email is ideally used to confirm the facts rather than a vehicle for emotional thoughts.

Trust takes time – as do all relationships. It is something that is given not earned. I said recently to all RedBallooners – “you have my trust – it is not something you need to earn – it is implicit” – that is I trust my choices in those leaders around me, I trust those leaders to fulfill on and live and honor our values – and that everyday they encourage and develop those around them…. first of all you have to trust yourself and your choices. There is no power in blame.

As employers though our role is to lead by example. I was saddened that one of my children’s friends, who had been so excited when they got an interview and then two ‘trial shifts’ at the local store… was not only not paid for their time – but the employer did not even give them feedback if they were good enough… they simply never called with another shift. What is that young persons experience of work… how easy it is to create a ‘them and us’ attitude. At $12.50 per hour for the sake of a total of $50 this young person would have respected, and perhaps even trusted the employer…  Now some other employer at some other stage is going to have to rebuild that persons trust in authority.

Trust is the very premise of all relationships – and the first employment relationship is critical. Leaders please give your people a reason to trust.



Reader Interactions


  1. This is absolutely right that a good employer can always manage his employees upon good relationship, trust and honesty.

  2. Hi Naomi!

    I just wanted to let you know how much your blog from yesterday struck a chord with me.

    As you know, I joined RedBalloon as a teenage intern in my second-year of uni. RedBalloon was my first office job (so yes, the photo of the crazy corporate staff was my first experience of work!) and 3 years later – I am still here! I didn’t have too much experience in the work force, but the thing I noticed about RedBalloon so early on was the “Thank Yous” I received – no matter how small the task. We talked about how important “Thank Yous” are in our May team meeting recently and this also struck a chord with me. I had previously worked as a waitress in a couple of restaurants and bars where I rarely felt appreciated for all the hard work I had put in. It may not seem like a lot, but to an 18 year old, it made such a difference to me and my day and gave me the incentive to work harder!

    On the topic of trust, I was paid cash in hand at one job and didn’t receive my tips. If I was lucky they gave me $2 as a bonus and kept the rest for themselves. I came to RedBalloon and was surprised I was paid fairly and thought maybe this is how the real world works. RedBalloon changed the way I perceived what ‘work’ was and, as you mentioned, successfully rebuilt my trust in authority.

    Just thought you should hear first-hand from an employee whose experiences match some of those mentioned in your blog!

    So THANK YOU Naomi for creating an organisation that changed my perception of the workplace J


  3. It is really alarming that the simplest of values does not exist in many workplaces –even today! Without trust, there is no foundation for great leadership, great workplaces and great results. Thanks for sharing Naomi, we absolutely need more leaders that are authentic, with themselves and their teams.

  4. Hi Kate,
    Thank you so much for taking a moment to share. What a shame we cannot have more school leavers – to come to RedBalloon, learn how easy it is to be a part of a great workplace – so that they can go off an multiply….


  5. Congratulations Naomi,

    Whilst most employees are out to try and screw the young, your building relationships with them. The experience of working at Red Ballon will stay with them as they grow and mature. I’m sure one day in the near future your nurturing will directly or indirectly benefit you and your company.


  1. […] For more than half a decade Kate has been an absolute advocate of RedBalloon – she speaks openly to her friends and family about her ‘experience’ at RedBalloon – “This is what she wrote a few years back as a comment to another post I wrote called “Trust takes Time” […]

  2. […] For more than half a decade Kate has been an absolute advocate of RedBalloon – she speaks openly to her friends and family about her ‘experience’ at RedBalloon – “This is what she wrote a few years back as a comment to another post I wrote called “Trust takes Time” […]

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