One of the great privileges of running a business is being able to give generously to community organisations and charitable causes. Since the establishment of Sellick Partnership in 2002, we have actively supported the communities our business operates in through charitable giving and voluntary work, and have so far raised over £80,000 for good causes across the country. This year is the tenth anniversary of our Manchester Professionals Cricket League, and our Charity Awards Lunch is happening on Friday 19 October. Across the UK we work with a number of regional and national charities with this very special event being in aid of St Ann’s Hospice and The Lord’s Taverners. Here I discuss why we support these charities and the overall benefits of corporate giving to business. Sellick Partnership: our Corporate Social Responsibility At Sellick Partnership we pride ourselves on our ethics as a business, and strive to ensure they lie at the heart of everything we do. Our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy stems naturally from our core values – and we are passionate about how our business can make a real, positive difference to the environment and community around us. As a business owner I believe it’s extremely important to give back, and our CSR policy is set out to ensure that we have guidelines in place for our internal and external activities The Manchester Professionals’ Cricket League (MPCL), part of our external CSR programme is a league founded and run by the team at Sellick Partnership. Over the last ten years the MPCL has supported Manchester’s St Ann’s Hospice and The Lord's Taverners, two charities close to my heart, whom I have forged strong relationships with. Charities and not-for-profit organisations such as these are constantly looking for funding to help accomplish their goals, and investing in them is not only the morally right thing to do – but it can also deliver huge benefits to you and your business. Giving back is good for you Businesses today are in an unrivalled position to help those less fortunate – not only by offering a great product or service, but having the opportunity to collaborate with organisations like St Ann’s Hospice and The Lord’s Taverners to help promote the ‘greater good’. It gives me an immense sense of pride when we are able to create new opportunities for people, help those in need, and strengthen our position as a supporting arm in the community. A considerable benefit of supporting charitable and community organisations is the impact it can have on you. The act of helping others can create an improved sense of wellbeing, and simply by knowing you have sacrificed time, finances or property can give you an inimitable feeling of joy and self-worth. Altruistic behaviour has been linked scientifically to the release of endorphins in the brain, producing the positive feeling known as the ‘helper’s high’, activating regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust. Being happier in business will undeniably have a direct result on performance and success. Science also supports this notion with various researchers reporting on a direct correlation between contributing to charity and reducing stress. We all look to find new, innovative ways to improve physical health and longevity, more often than not through self-medication or costly herbal/life plans, but charitable giving could be a much more rewardable option. Motivate your workforce The respect gained by giving a helping hand to worthwhile causes is beyond compare, and increased visibility will go a long way in building and maintaining a well-rounded and motivated workforce. Human beings seem genetically programmed to help in tragedy, take the tragic bombing in Manchester as an example. The fundraising campaign set up to help the victims and families of those affected and dealing with the aftermath currently stands at over £4 million. This is a huge sum of money donated by, in the most part, complete strangers to all affected. The unforgivable act of hatred has mobilised communities and motivated people across the world to help in whatever way they can. It is this motivation to help, and desire to give back we should all draw upon every day in business, not only to help our colleagues, but also to motivate and build morale in the workplace. I believe businesses that are a positive force in the community are held in much higher regard by their employees and peers. It’s clear that charitable giving has significant benefits for any organisation, big or small, but that should not be the only reason to get involved. The mission Sellick Partnership operates from is “putting people first, to create the brightest future” and Sellick Partnership will continue to support worthwhile causes, not only because it directly benefits the business, but because we have a moral obligation to support those in our community. If you would like to find out more about our CSR initiatives and the charities we support you can check out the CSR page of our website here.
If you dislike where you work, but you don’t dislike your job, then maybe it's time to think about where the dissatisfaction stems from. Have you ever wondered that it could be related to the lack of appreciation from your employer? If it is, then maybe it's time you moved on. Research shows that 79 percent of people who quit their jobs specify lack of appreciation as their reason for doing so. This is a statistic I can personally relate to. After several months of being unemployed, I was eager to step back into the workplace. So I didn't think twice about accepting a job, even if that meant going backward in my career. In the past, I have always taken up administrative roles in between jobs to keep myself occupied, particularly because it was a short-term solution. But after several years of service, I decided to quit. I realised that the dissatisfaction was due to the lack of being valued in that organisation, which was sucking all the pleasure out of my personal life too. I worked hard, put in as much overtime as I could but it was never enough. Then I landed my current role at Sellick Partnership on a contract basis. While it meant drifting away from my career aspirations, I decided to take it up on a temporary basis anyway. Within a few months I noticed what a massive difference it made to be a part of an organisation that cared for me and my work. I decided to stay at Sellick Partnership despite knowing that this was going to potentially take me further away from my career path. After almost two years, I can now say that I have made the right choice. Today, I am happier than I ever was even when I was pursuing a career in journalism. And I have no regrets. My employer supports and encourages my growth even if that may not fit into the traditional mould of how this role would have eventually progressed. Even the smallest of tasks I do are appreciated and acknowledged. When I express interest in a particular project, the management supports my interests and nurtures my growth. Science also supports my experience and the fact that being appreciated can increase personal satisfaction. Being rewarded regulates our emotional responses by releasing ‘happy hormones’ such as dopamine which drives the reward system in our brain. Oxytocin is another hormone, which regulates social interaction and allows us to maintain healthy relationships. Serotonin is the hormone that maintains our mood by regulating memory, learning, anxiety, sleep and appetite allowing us to stay focused and remain calm. Our work environment can affect how much of these happy hormones are released, thus allowing us to feel more satisfied in our personal lives. Working in a close-knit and cooperative team, having an appreciative manager and being part of a company that values our opinion can directly have an impact on our overall wellbeing. Most importantly, it can improve our efficiency at work. On average, we spend the majority of our time at work and spending those 40 hours a week in a company that sees you as a number isn’t worth your time. Try to find an employer that will support your growth and value your ideas and ambitions. It may mean that you compromise on a longer commute or a lower pay, but it will be worth it in the long run. At least in my case, it has pushed me to explore my passion for being a voiceover artist, inspiring me to write and experiment with being an entrepreneur in my spare time. For the first time in my life, I have managed to strike a good work/life balance and I have never felt more motivated. A happy employee is a productive one and many employers are now learning to create a culture of appreciation. This is the reason why companies such as Google and Facebook are continuously being ranked as some of the best companies to work for. They keep their employees motivated and focused by offering benefits, career opportunities and generally treat their employees really well. You may not land a job at Google, but you can certainly aspire to work where you are valued as a person and as a professional. If you are interested in joining me and working for a company that truly values you check out Sellick Partnership’s latest vacancies here. Alternatively you can read blogs from my colleagues across the business here.
Last week, Laura Smith and I exhibited at the Lawyers in Local Government conference in Gateshead. It was really great to catch up with our existing clients and candidates and we met some really lovely new people. The event began on Tuesday evening with a river cruise along the river Tyne with drinks, canapés culminating with freshly cooked fish and chips - officially my first takeaway on a boat. We even got the chance to steer the boat for a while. This is probably a good opportunity to offer apologies to those on board who found this less comforting than being steered by me. It’s definitely easier than it looks! On Wednesday 3 October, the conference opened with a rousing speech from Suki Binjal, LLG President and was followed with a full itinerary of plenary sessions delivered from key figures within the local government legal world. Unsurprisingly, the themes this year revolved around some of the more prominent issues that have risen over the previous year. The seminars covered how to deal with data handling with the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations Act (GDPR) and how to tackle the uncertainty of the ‘b-word’, Brexit. Over the breaks and lunchtime, we kept delegates entertained with our ‘Wheel of Fortune’ game which involved copious quantities of pick 'n' mix sweets and stationery packs. In the evening we attended a black tie dinner, where we had the privilege of meeting 'The Right Honourable Usha Kumari Prashar, Baroness Prashar, CBE'. Baroness Prashar has a truly impressive career history, including serving on the Iraq inquiry, being the first Civil Service Commissioner in 2000 and a current member of the House of Lords. The after dinner speech was really engaging and was followed by an animated Q&A segment. The Baroness is an accomplished and humble public speaker, infusing genuine warmth and character into her anecdotes, littered with classic witty references. On Thursday 4 October, Sellick Partnership's Director Hannah Cottam presented a breakout session on the topic of ‘Personal Resilience in the Face of a Changing World’. Attendees said that they really appreciated the focus on personal well-being and mental health and found the session to be thought-provoking. It feels like everybody is under more pressure to work harder and produce more, with less time and resources than ever before. In these pressured environments, it’s crucial that people manage their stress levels and seek the support that they need to stay healthy and be able to work effectively. If you attended the conference, hopefully you had chance to come over to our stand and tried your hand at our ‘Wheel of Fortune’. We will be exhibiting at the Weekend School in April and look forward to seeing you all then. In the meantime, if you are interested in finding out more about the vacancies that we are currently recruiting for or would like to discuss any of our upcoming events, please get in touch for more information.
Just over two weeks ago Sellick Partnership hosted another one of our popular CPD events in partnership with 36 Group. The CPD on Thursday 20 September was run by Rachel Coyle (specialist Housing Barrister) and Karen Reid (specialist Public Law Practitioner). Our seminar offered the chance to hear presentations on the new 'Homelessness Reduction Act 2017' and 'Housing and Planning Act 2016'. Having recruited a lot over the past 18 months for Housing Lawyers in the public sector we knew that this would prove to be an interesting and popular topic. Having worked in conjunction with 36 Group over the past 2-3 years we have consistently had very positive feedback from our attendees. Due to the ever changing landscape in the legal local authority teams it gives our locums and clients the opportunity to network and earn two CPD points over the course of the evening. Due to the split of the seminar, on this occasion we ran a break in the middle of the session. This gave attendees the chance to have a break, catch up on any work calls and take the opportunity to have some refreshments. It is always a great opportunity for us to catch up and put a face to the name at these events! It was great to see both new and old faces and I want to say a big thank you to both Rachel and Karen for hosting their first seminar with the delegates that attended. It proved to be a useful topic and attendees have taken some key information and knowledge back to their respective legal departments! Thank you for everyone who came along on the afternoon and we will be in touch in the New Year regarding our next event. In the meantime, please contact us if you are looking for your next locum role or need recruitment advice.