There are lots of benefits for businesses hosting teambuilding events, including increasing morale and building trust among employees. One of the main benefits is employee motivation and how events like this can increase productivity. In this blog, Managing Director Jo Sellick looks at why he thinks hosting teambuilding events like this is important for the business and explains the positive impact it can have on employees. It is that time of year again when Sellick Partnership comes together for our annual 'Teambuilding' event which will be held on Thursday 15 August 2019 to Saturday 17 August 2019 at Bangor University. This annual event is one of my absolute favourites and is highly anticipated by everyone across the business. It is a chance for all of our people to come together, socialise and share experiences which I believe is vitally important to ensure morale and productivity remains high all year round. Our very first ‘Teambuilding’ event happened in 2005 with just 15 members of staff travelling to Cumbria in the Lake District. It was really important to me to create an event that people would enjoy, where employees across the business regardless of position or seniority can socialise and have the opportunity to catch up with colleagues they wouldn’t normally see day-to-day. Since then we have grown considerably, and this year 80 of us will be heading to Bangor University making this one of our biggest events to date. Despite our growth, and the challenges that comes with arranging an event of this size, I still believe it is one of the most important events we put on each year. In previous years we have asked our people to create rock bands, we have competed in our very own ‘It’s a Knockout’ competition, hosted a “bake off” and in 2017 we took all of our employees for a two night break in Majorca to celebrate our 15th anniversary. It is something our people always look forward to and an event I will always insist that we do in some form. I can honestly say that our Teambuilding events have been instrumental in strengthening relationships across our seven offices and have helped us retain many of our long-standing employees. Here are just some of the reasons why I think hosting teambuilding days like ours are so important to keep morale and productivity high all year round. Increased productivity: the collaborative nature of a teambuilding event teaches people how to work together more effectively. It allows you to see that everyone has different skills and approaches to a problem. This knowledge is then transferable to the office environment, as individuals understand how to make best use of each other’s abilities. Develop problem solving skills: because teambuilding exercises usually involve a simulated problem that must be solved, participants can feel like there is less pressure compared to when an issue comes up in the workplace that they need to deal with. They can then find ways to reach a goal despite hurdles, and feel more confident about their ability to do this. The problem solving skills they gain are ones that they can make use of in the corporate setting. Develop future leaders in your business: teambuilding activities usually requires people to step up and take charge to reach an end goal. These leadership qualities can be invaluable to a business and can help you grow your senior management team. This is an excellent opportunity for you to find out who those people are in your business and decide whether they can utilise those leadership skills within your business. Increased networking/communication skills: most businesses rely on effective communication and networking to survive, and teambuilding days can be an excellent way of improving these skills amongst your workforce. Create teams of people who do not usually interact on a regular basis. In doing so you will encourage employees to step outside of the box and help them improve their communication and networking skills overall. Improved company culture: in my opinion this is the most important and valuable benefit. A good company culture will give you the basis to attract and retain the very best employees, and teambuilding activities like ours can really help in boosting the culture within your organisation. A happy workforce is one that is connected and collaborative, and events like this will really help you to reach that goal. But ‘Teambuilding’ for us is not just about increasing morale or improving productivity, it is also our way of saying thank you to the commitment and hard work of all of our staff. Without a great team of people no business can succeed, and here at Sellick Partnership we have a team that I am immensely proud of. It is important to remember that and to always give credit where credit is due. For more information on our annual Teambuilding events or what it is like to work for Sellick Partnership, visit the work for us section of our website and browse our internal vacancies. Alternatively you can see more news, resources and insights here.
On Tuesday 17 July 2018 we hosted our first ever candidate appreciation and recognition event at Rotunda Bar and Restaurant in King’s Cross which was kindly sponsored by Giant, Danbro and Walker Smith Global. We hosted the event as a way of saying thank you and recognising the hard work that our candidates have put in over the past year. Over 30 of our locum candidates attended the event and enjoyed an afternoon of drinks and food in the sun whilst networking and relaxing with like-minded legal professionals. As a business we are committed to ‘putting people first’ and events like this are a great way for us to give back to our candidates for the excellent work they do day in day out. In the hustle and bustle of daily life it is often easy to forget how important a simple thank you can be valued. By hosting events like this we are not only able to say thank you to our candidates but we are also able to build strong working relationships. We believe that recognising our candidates and the work that they do is essential for motivation and helps us build up long and lasting relationships with them, which is crucially important for us as a business. We pride ourselves on building and maintaining these strong working relationships to fulfil the best outcome for both our candidates and the firms that we work with. Relationships cultivate loyalty, build trust and form long lasting connections with each of our candidates. This event gave us the opportunity not only to say a simple thank you to our candidates but to also show that we are keen to go above and beyond for the excellent work that they do. We also try to align everything we do with our company values which are Respect, Passionate and Engaging and this event allowed to show those values to our loyal candidate base. The BBQ allowed us to engage on a more personal level, showing that we are passionate about what we do and how we assist to find the correct role. We were able to engage in great conversation and build up the mutual respect needed to build long-standing relationships. The evening also showed our candidates how much we respect their input into how we secure them roles and the values that we follow. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody that was involved in setting this event up and of course to our candidates for attending the BBQ on the evening. We hope everyone who joined us had a fantastic evening, we are already looking forward to planning our next candidate recognition event in 2019. If you are interested in finding out more about the vacancies that we are currently recruiting for or our future events, please contact me for more information.
“The destiny of [Google’s search engine] is to become that Star Trek computer, and that’s what we are building.” - Amit Singhal, Google In 2013, Slate published an article entitled “Where no search engine has gone before” all about Google’s obsession with building the Star Trek computer. It’s an interesting read, talking about the idea of having a conversation with a machine - speaking, not typing - and having it give you the right answer every time. In fact, the computer might even anticipate what you need. It’s not just Google, though - Alexa, the assistant built into Amazon’s Echo device will tell you “I want to be the computer from Star Trek!” if you ask it “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and, as Ars Technica explains, the iPad and the Apple Watch very closely resemble handheld devices used across the different Star Trek series and films. The people designing our digital future are Trekkies, bought into not only its hopefulness about the future of humanity, but also the way in which its technology operates. For anyone who’s never watched Star Trek (surely this must be a small number, even amongst non-Trekkies?), the crewmen and women on the U.S.S. Enterprise can operate their ship’s computer either by voice or via a screen. The computer can answer questions, control systems and ship’s functions (lights, temperature, engines, etc.), access data and carry on a conversation even as a person moves from room to room. The computer is also accessible via a portable, handheld device similar in size and shape to smartphone. When you think about the way we search now, and the array of devices controlled by voice and by a basic AI, technology (and Google in particular) has come a long way towards giving us that experience of the Star Trek computer. Google has an assistant that you can address vocally. It can thread conversations (to a point), meaning you can ask follow up questions without having to re-use the trigger word (OK, Google), and they recently published some research into how they are developing technology that can better understand the intent of searchers’ queries so that they can produce more accurate results. This will be done by analysing the answers and comparing the different questions that may seem different but produce similar responses, as opposed to questions that sound the same, but need different answers. The most recent statistics suggest that 40% of adults use voice search regularly - whether you’re talking to Siri on your iPhone, Cortana on your Surface, Alexa through your Echo or the Google Home Assistant on your Android device or through a Google Home speaker. Certainly, being able to speak to a fairly intelligent computer has come a long way. When we’re not speaking into our devices to find the nearest coffee shop, the most convenient movie times or speaking to a customer service chatbot on Facebook, we’re queuing up to gain access to Amy, the AI personal assistant built by x.ai to schedule meetings for us busy office workers. Using this technology you can CC Amy into your email chain and she will take over the correspondence to set up appointments for you. And then there’s Rankbrain, the AI which is reordering search results for Google. Even the team behind the search engine can’t explain why Rankbrain makes the decisions it makes. They’ve taught it what a “good” SERP (search engine results page) looks like and now it makes its own choices, based on what it thinks you want. If the end goal of the companies driving our digital future is to create an AI that provides the experience of using the Star Trek computer, then they’re getting ever closer. The voice assistants of today don’t always have the perfect answer - they get their results from search engines or other human-built resources - but that is why Google has been building its Knowledge Graph for years, in order to understand entities (a person, a place, a brand or even a concept or the characteristics of any of these things - any sort of thing that we can describe and discuss), the relationships between entities and to classify facts. However, with 16% of the queries typed (or spoken) into Google each day being completely new, Google will need to get far better at understanding context as well as at answering difficult questions, such as when someone is posing a philosophical or situational question, rather than asking for a fact. For this, Google will need a far-improved AI. Tim Urban, from the superb Wait But Why blog, writes about a third party survey of hundreds of scientists that returned a result giving 2040 as the median year when we might see an AI that is as intelligent as a human. To reach superhuman intelligence? It could be hours after that, or years (and this is a fascinating subject in itself - the 2-part series on Wait But Why is worth the hour or two it takes to read, and it will delight and terrify you in equal measure). Assuming what Google, or Amazon or Apple, really needs in order to build a Star Trek computer is an AI capable of human-levels of intelligence with access to a large search index - and the ability to interpret the context of the questions and critically assess all the information to which it has access in order to deliver a coherent answer - then we’re perhaps not that far off. In the meantime, simply being able to adjust our heating while out of the house, or ask our phone for directions while we’re driving is futuristic enough to be getting on with. This guest article was written by Mindy Gofton, Head of Marketing Strategy & Innovation at I-COM, a full-service digital agency based in Manchester.
This week marks 70 years since the NHS was founded at Trafford General Hospital in Manchester. To celebrate we asked our public sector Recruitment Consultants what it is they love about this national institution. The NHS saves lives every day - Managing Director Jo Sellick "I love the NHS because so many people would not be here without it. Each and every one of us will have had some help from the NHS, and will know someone that has been saved as a result of the treatment they offer." The NHS is principles led - Manager Helen Dodds "I love the NHS because of the principles it stands for. The founding principle of the NHS was to be free at the point of use, and funded solely by tax. This still stands true today, 70 years after its inception which is an amazing feat for any organisation." The NHS is the UK’s single largest employer - Associate Director Abigail Day "I love the NHS because it provides so many people with a long and rewarding career. It is the largest employer in the UK and the fifth largest worldwide, employing over 1.2 million people." The NHS provides the best specialist care and innovation - Manager Mark Croston "I love the NHS because of the specialist care everyone receives. The NHS provides some of the highest quality healthcare in the world and has experts that specialise in a variety of fields. Some of the most ground-breaking medical achievements have been achieved by the NHS including the first lung, liver and heart transplant." The NHS is a national institution - Principal Consultant Stephanie Tasker "I love the NHS because it is a national institution. The NHS is known worldwide, and is world renowned. People from across the world envy our NHS and we should treasure it each and every day." These are just some of the reasons why we think the NHS is so important. Please let us know what you think by Tweeting us at @SellickGroup or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.