There is a growing body of research studying the role of “fun” in the workplace. Generally, evidence shows that socialising with colleagues in an informal and relaxed setting has a beneficial impact on individuals and the organisations they work for (Yun-Ping Lee, Chang and Chang, 2022). Here at Richmond Pharmacology we value our employee experience, and have implemented social opportunities on a regular basis in order to foster a positive workplace culture.

Beating isolation and engaging meaningfully

COVID-19 restrictions were undoubtedly tough, and across the UK, 3.7 million adults reported feeling lonely or isolated as a result of the necessary actions ( Anecdotally, many of our staff report that collaborating with colleagues is an important aspect of their working day, and company-wide social time can help to build those important working relationships. 

With this in mind, the Social Committee was formed. In autumn 2022 a group of Richmond Pharmacology colleagues from departments such as Project Management, Volunteer Recruitment, Human Resources, Clinic, Marketing and Compliance eager to volunteer their time came together around a shared goal: to engage with our workforce meaningfully and support a positive organisational culture. 

Since then, we have hosted monthly events, commencing the plan with Halloween 2022. Over 75 colleagues gathered on our roof terrace in London Bridge for a party, where they enjoyed spooky punch, nibbles and a fancy dress competition to nurture the creative energy our colleagues harbour. Further events such as bowling, a 5km charity run, carol singing, ice skating and a comedy night have successfully engaged over 50% of colleagues.

Maintaining momentum

“Fun” looks different for everyone, and the key to successfully engaging the workforce in social activities is organising a variety of events in order to suit everyone’s tastes. Maintaining the contact is of equal importance to fostering meaningful engagement, and so it is important to host events regularly. Abrupt changes to the routine could cause colleagues to feel disillusioned and distrustful.

Continuous learning 

Thus far, the events hosted by the committee have been a success, with between 20 - 100 employees engaged at each one. The events have even attracted members of the workforce that have not previously taken part in workplace social events and have generated substantial positive feedback.

The social committee continually improves the approach using key learnings from each occasion. We have found it is important to always give colleagues a choice around whether they attend the events to continue to create a pressure-free, fun-filled environment.

For successful engagement, it is also important to ensure that there are minimal cost implications to the individual when organising events. Offering complimentary welcome refreshments and subsidised entry fees (if the event is at an external location). Ultimately, making it as easy and fun as possible for employees to attend social events is crucial in boosting employee engagement. 

Adopting a positive, collaborative and mutually beneficial internal attitude can be simple with a little passion and dedication. Why not explore how workplace fun can elevate your culture!

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