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“Neighbours should be there for one another.

That’s when good neighbours become good friends.”

My husband, son and I just moved from the Northern to the Southern hemisphere. Whilst this is quite a huge thing in itself, the thing we found hardest about making the leap was leaving behind some of the most amazing neighbours one could ever ask for. I was devastated to be leaving them. I wasn’t however expecting to land in what I can only describe as our very own real-life Ramsay Street. We’re again surrounded by a bunch of kind, thoughtful and genuinely awesome neighbours. Within the first few weeks of moving into our new home, we were invited to a Mexican night of margaritas to welcome us to the hood, a green smoothie was delivered to my door when I was working to a deadline, invitations to go surfing were extended, and even an essential oil diffuser is on permanent loan to bring me balance and calm…they have literally surprised and delighted us almost every week since our arrival.

Our neighbours have really taken the time to get to know the “newbies on the block” and with no hidden agenda they have thought about what would make us feel welcome, part of the community, and they have tailored their approaches to things that align with what we value. My real-life sitcom is a living, breathing advertisement for how People Leaders should be treating their teams and building brand ambassadors.

At FizzPopBANG we are firm believers that Marketing/Brand and HR should be BFF’s. HR could learn a thing or two from marketeers (and vice versa). An example is the marketing tool called ‘surprise and delight’. With this, Marketeers target a person or a group of people to receive an experience, often catching them off-guard (surprise!) with something that makes them feel good (delight).

When this same tool is used by people leaders it builds strong employee engagement, brand ambassadors and a vibrant company culture. Whilst reward and recognition are critical to get right, sometimes it’s the little things – the wee thoughts, the sharing of a joke, the free things, the quirky ideas that you can do to engage your team, that make all the difference in helping them deliver the best performance -– the ‘surprise and delight’ things.

So, what’s necessary when planning a surprise and delight campaign for your team or organisation?

  1. It’s got to be genuine - people will see through anything that isn’t authentic, this is an opportunity to really show appreciation for an individual in your organisation, so don’t fake it or you won’t achieve the desired effect

  2. It has to be personal – “delight” will mean different things to different people so get to know your team, what they enjoy, what they are passionate about and tailor your approach to each person

  3. It’s gotta land at the right time – there’s no point sending a special welcome gift to a new starter if they have been at your organisation for weeks. Get the timing right and it’s a game changer

  4. No strings attached – the desire to surprise and delight should come with no agenda. If my neighbours had only hosted a welcome party to then have some kind of ulterior motive, I would be hurt rather than delighted. Make sure you keep performance incentives, or other motivations distinct from your surprise and delight strategy

The very fact I am writing this blog tells me marketeers are onto a winning formula. Surprise and delight almost always guarantees a ripple effect. Anyone delighted by a surprise is very likely to snap a picture of their experience and pop it straight on insta, facebook or snapchat. So, the last piece of the puzzle is to make sure you give your people social currency for them to share these magic moments with their world. Give them a voice.

Building your own surprise and delight employee engagement strategy comes down to a question of imagination and bravery. People leaders, this is your time to make someone feel truly special and valued in their work life and, by giving that extra personal touch, you might be amazed by how far they will go in return…

Tanya, Ben, Indie, Sarah, Nick, Suzanne, Dennis, Lily, Nixon, Michelle & Don … this one was for you. Thank you. x


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