Investing in People Keeps First Choice Sociable

17 January 2017

SociableOne Friday a few weeks ago a colleague of mine brought in some cakes and sweets to mark the occasion of her birthday, they were for everyone to share.

During the morning - and especially at lunch time – these sugar and savoury treats became the focal point for social interaction between people who, ordinarily, would not have anything to exchange beyond the conventional workplace pleasantries.

Suddenly people were mingling, laughing, engaging. I watched them enjoying themselves. It made me feel better, made me feel more connected, more comfortable, more motivated. But above all else it made my fellow employees happy. Bingo.

Building personal as well as work relationships with those you see on your everyday 9 to 5 creates a real sense of belonging. This motivates more productive working which leads to a greater sense of achievement and satisfaction. It’s a win win situation.

The First Choice Group Social Committee was established in 2011. With a commitment to team building its remit was to integrate staff through social interaction and feed enthusiasm and purpose into the daily work function.

BUT WHY?

• Research shows that social interaction builds loyalty. People who have friends inside a company are more likely to stay with that company and less likely to look elsewhere.

• It gets people from different departments talking to one another. That breaks down (perceived) internal barriers. If you’re friends with someone from a different department outside work then it’s no big deal to go over and talk to them when you’re at work. Overall, internal communication becomes easier and more natural and that, as the company grows, become a major benefit.

• People who know each other’s personal lives and outside interests tend to respect each other more. People who are respected feel like they belong. And people who feel like they belong are better employees.

• A work social committee can be invaluable in assisting corporate social responsibility initiatives.

In 2016 First Choice Group raised thousands of pounds for its designated charities Katherine House Hospice and Midlands Air Ambulance. Over the next 12 months Old Tree Nursery will benefit from the company’s fundraising activities.

For an organisation that talks up ethos this is a very positive thing because people want to work for companies which have a social conscience. And that will appeal to the kind of employees First Choice Group wants to attract and retain. Like I said, it’s a win win situation.

Published : 18 January 2017 15:34