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.
The eleventh season of the Manchester Professionals’ Cricket League (MPCL) is coming to a close and once again we have had an amazing year of camaraderie and sportsmanship. Since its inception in 2008, the MPCL has attracted more than 50 plus businesses and raised over £60,000 for two charities close to our heart; St Ann’s Hospice and the Lord’s Taverners. The League, born from my love of cricket, has become a hugely popular way for businesses across Greater Manchester to strengthen professional relationships and create new relationships, and I am proud to see the event continue to go from strength-to-strength. In this blog, I look at why I feel so strongly that sport plays an essential part of our CSR strategy at Sellick Partnership and the benefits that businesses and professionals can gain from getting involved. The Sellick Partnership sporting culture Sport plays a key role in the culture of Sellick Partnership and as a seasoned sportsman myself, I fully encourage our staff to get involved with any sporting event we host! Throughout the year we have a number of sporting initiatives like the MPCL, including the Manchester Professionals’ Football League (MPFL), our regional football tournament in Derby, and various other events hosted throughout our regional offices, all of which are integral elements of our events calendar. As a business we use these events not only as tools to raise vital funds for worthwhile causes and strengthen relationships across the business community, but also to provide business professionals with some light relief and friendly competition to balance the day-to-day challenges we all face in the workplace. This year’s MPCL attracted 20 businesses from across Greater Manchester. The League brings together professionals and promotes the ethos of using sport to find common ground and cement relationships away from the office. I have always found that using sport as an instrument for business and employee development has been successful for increasing morale and productivity. The benefits of healthy competition and social activity within the workplace are evident, with heightened motivation and engagement – both resulting in a stronger sense of comradery across the business. Engaged, motivated and mobilised Having the motivation to train or compete in a sport at whatever level can be a real benefit to your success in business. I am convinced the two go hand-in-hand. More often than not motivated and highly driven individuals in both sport and business achieve greatness, and it is an inherent desire to succeed that drives them forward. I firmly believe that keeping yourself motivated ‘on and off the pitch’ and taking on board the philosophy of ‘you get out what you put in’ is an invaluable lesson for all. The link between keeping fit and success There is also a positive correlation between being successful in business and keeping fit – each requires stamina, training and innovation; just using two different sets of muscles. The release that physical exercise can provide is vital to personal development in business – keeping employees fresh, both from a physical and mental point of view. The MPCL provides a wonderful opportunity to gain perspective and instil confidence in an individual through sporting achievement and social interaction, helping with ‘soft skills’ that are often in short supply. Could sport bridge the ‘soft skills’ gap? Business professionals are under increasing pressures to build ‘soft skills’ – skills that are often difficult to teach through formal training. It is therefore up to business leaders to find innovative and engaging ways of allowing employees to do this. Teambuilding events and sporting activities can be a powerful and effective way of doing this. They can unite staff, develop strengths, and address weaknesses – but only if the exercises are planned and carried out strategically. Too often, organisations plan activities with no end goal in mind and in doing so business leaders risk losing the respect of their workforce if they plan exercises that do not help those involved. Getting this right could be hugely important in helping to bridge the ‘soft skills’ gap often seen in business today. Working effectively as part of a team is key to success, and team sports like cricket have this, and other essential attributes at the core. Using sport as an alternative to costly teambuilding exercises could be a progressive and beneficial way forward for business leaders to consider. At Sellick Partnership we encourage people of all levels to participate in the MPCL along with our other sporting events, and take pride in ensuring they are effective tools for professional development. The benefits are unparalleled in my opinion, allowing businesses to take control and build on ‘soft skills’ in a situation that is fun, healthy and non-evasive. The power of sport It is events like the MPCL that prove the true power sport can have over people. Sports inherent ability to bring people together, whether competing or spectating, cannot be disputed. I believe that businesses who encourage sport and physical activity will naturally find it releases stress and increases productivity in the workplace. Cricket by definition is a bat and ball game. The MPCL however is not just a game, it is an opportunity to interact with others, raise funds for charity that can be enjoyed by professionals at any level. By taking part and being absorbed in an activity as far removed from work as possible, business professionals can open doors, connect with others and let off some steam. All of which will prove beneficial to anyone looking to succeed in business. If you agree, and are interested in taking part in one of our sporting tournaments, please do not hesitate to get in touch. You can register your interest by emailing our Events and Marketing Executive, Samantha Hattersley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can find more information about our CSR policy, the charities we support and what we are doing in your community here.
As with many sectors, legal firms are recognising the importance of diversity and inclusion and are taking steps to ensure they appeal to a wide and diverse talent pool. In this blog, Catherine Wasilewski, Senior Consultant and legal recruitment expert celebrates Pride Month and takes a look at the steps legal firms are taking to ensure they are inclusive and welcoming to LGBT+ candidates. Diversity and inclusion is quite rightly a hot topic across all sectors and I have noticed that there is a particular focus on the legal sector currently. If your LinkedIn feed is anything like my own, you will see countless posts about diversity initiatives and events that legal firms are involved in to actively promote better equality in the sector, which is fantastic to see. Typically law firms have a historic reputation of being home to white, straight privileged males; however, these days the reality is much different. The latest Annual Statistics Survey (2017) from the Law Society shows that women currently outnumber the number of men that hold practising certificates. The study also revealed an increase in representation from those from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) background. In honour of Pride Month however, we wanted to focus on looking at what the legal community is doing to represent the LGBT+ community, and what still needs to be done in this area to promote true inclusion across the legal sector. Legal firms amongst the most inclusive workplaces in the UK A number of initiatives now exist across the legal community that are encouraging firms to take a look at their attitudes towards their LGBT+ employees and colleagues, and also provide LGBT+ lawyers with specific platforms to network and share ideas. For example, on a firm level, the majority of multi-office firms now have committees dedicated to analysing their approach to diversity and inclusion, with many also having their own internal LGBT+ networks, both of which are great steps forward to ensuring true equality across the sector. It is also great to see a number of legal firms going above and beyond, and showcasing their commitment to the LGBT+ community externally as well as internally. This year 16 law firms were represented in Stonewall’s annual list of the top LGBT+ inclusive organisation to work for, with numbers 1 and 2 being legal practices for the first time. At a higher level, the Law Society also has its own dedicated LGBT+ Lawyers Division where LGBT+ lawyers and those in support – referred to as LGBT+ allies – can become members of. This group provides a forum to address challenges and issues LGBT+ lawyers may be facing within the legal sector as well as the opportunity to meet likeminded people within a supportive environment. Legal firms across the UK are acknowledging the importance of diversity It is also positive to see that diversity initiatives are not just London focused, as these things can tend to be. Outside of the capital organisations, such as The Law Society, Bar Council and CILEX are representing the LGBT+ legal community at Pride events across the country. Regional initiatives such as LawLink – the diversity network that has recently been set up in Manchester – also exist and will be hugely important moving forward. There is still work to do This success however does not mean that the fight against LGBT+ discrimination within law is over – far from it. It is still a conversation that needs to be consistently had, and there are still issues and questions to be raised. For example, I have noticed that the success stories we see are usually about the bigger, national and international firms – those that are under greater scrutiny and have bigger resources – however it is important that those at smaller high street practices are not forgotten about and are given the same support and resources. Smaller firms should look at larger organisations and think about what they can physically do to support LGBT+ lawyers within their firms, and in doing so they will also become a much more attractive option for diverse candidates at all levels. Inclusion is just as important as diversity It is also important for legal firms to remember that diversity does not necessarily mean inclusion, and businesses that want to attract a diverse workforce need to ensure they have a truly inclusive culture as well. Diversity and inclusion are separate issues and go hand-in-hand. Even if the number of LGBT+ solicitors continues to rise, whilst this increases diversity, it does not necessarily mean that those individuals will feel secure about how their sexuality may be perceived at work. This is something legal firms need to think about, and adapt to ensure they build a culture where minorities can thrive and that they appeal to a diverse range of candidates. The fight for inclusivity and equal treatment across all sectors is an ongoing struggle, and one that requires constant scrutiny if we are ever to achieve true equality. If you would like more advice on building an inclusive workplace, you can check out our Employer Resources section. Alternatively, if you want to discuss your next legal job opportunity and are looking for an LGBT+ friendly employer, take a look at our blog or get in touch with me or the legal recruitment team today to discuss your needs.
Are you a Housing & Property Services professional looking for your next career move? When you first begin your job search, it can be tricky to know where to start. Reviewing a company’s LGBT policy can be a good place to begin, and to help you narrow your job search our Housing & Property Services team has compiled a list of the top LGBT-friendly companies in the UK. So, whether you are looking for a hands-on role such as an electrician, plumber or carpenter, or an office-based position such as an administrator, manager or planning officer, you can move forward with confidence. Having an inclusivity and diversity policy is becoming the norm for Housing & Property Services companies, as many job seekers now actively seek out employers that are open, progressive and inclusive. A company that has LGBT-friendly policies in place is particularly important to many candidates. Fortunately, campaign and advocacy charity Stonewall released its annual report at the start of 2019, which details the top 100 most LGBT-inclusive employers in the UK. In this year’s report, four housing companies made it onto the top 100, out of 445 organisations that entered. Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall, said: “Changing things for the better needs us all to work together – across workplaces, across sectors, across communities – and using tools like the Workplace Equality Index helps systematically achieve sustainable change. Collectively, we can, and will, build a world where all LGBT people are accepted without exception.” Each Housing & Property Services company on the list was assessed on 10 key areas of the Workplace Equality Index. These included: LGBT employee network groups, community engagement and how the organisation involved all employees on LGBT inclusion. Read on to discover more about the top four companies and their policies. 1. Home Group #17 on the Top 100 This year’s report saw Home Group jump up 58 places on the top 100 list, up from 75th place in 2018. As part of its efforts, the social enterprise and charity runs the ‘role models’ and ‘Lifeswap’ programmes, which encourages people to share their stories and also to support others in becoming more knowledgeable about the challenges that LGBT people face in the workplace. Susan Fulton, Director of People at Home Group, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have been placed 17th in the Stonewall Top 100 Employers Index. We’ve always recognised the strength that diversity brings to everyone in the Home Group team – we are so proud that our staff’s passion for inclusion, equality and acceptance, whether it’s in health, society or as individuals, is recognised by this fantastic ranking.” Visit the company’s policy page to download its equality, diversity and inclusion policy. 2. Riverside #26 on the Top 100 Another climber, Riverside moved up 10 places to claim the 26th spot on the top 100 list. It manages more than 55,000 properties across the UK, and its equality, diversity and inclusion policy extends to everyone who is employed by or who receives a service from the social housing provider. John Glenton, Executive Director of Care and Support at Riverside, said: “I believe that diversity enriches Riverside. As we demonstrate our commitment to diversity, we consequently attract and retain talented people who can be themselves and are reflective of our diverse customer base.” Discover more about Riverside's commitment to diversity by following this link. 3. Nottingham City Homes #44 on the Top 100 Nottingham City Homes manages approximately 27,000 homes in the city of Nottingham on behalf of the City Council. In addition to its placement on this year’s top 100, the organisation is also a member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme. Nick Murphy, Chief Executive at Nottingham City Homes, said: “As an organisation we are committed to diversity in our workforce. We want to make sure we are an inclusive employer, so we can attract and retain the very best talent to provide the best services for our tenants. Nottingham is a diverse city and it is important to us we reflect the diverse communities we serve. Read more about Nottingham City Homes’s equality and diversity strategy. 4. Your Homes Newcastle #77 on the Top 100 Coming in at joint 77th with the Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in 2019, Your Homes Newcastle has made it on to the top 100 list for the last 10 years. In 2018, when the housing organisation came 47th, Tina Drury, Managing Director, said: “We’d like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that all of our services are inclusive of LGBT Plus communities and we’re committed to maintaining that. Our ‘Proud@YHN’ staff network group has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of important issues for the LGBT Plus community and YHN has engaged with more staff and residents than ever this year. If you are interested in a career at Your Homes Newcastle, find out about its diversity and inclusion policies here. Get in touch With our in-depth sector knowledge and more than 16-years’ worth of experience, Sellick Partnership is ready to help you find your next role. Visit our dedicated jobs page to view our current Housing & Property Services opportunities, or contact us today.
Diversity in the workplace is a hot topic in today’s business environment. The term diversity is nowadays widely understood, and most people understand its importance in the workplace. However when you take a good step back and take time to assess can you truly say your company is diverse? As LGBT+ Pride month comes to a close, Managing Director Jo Sellick takes a look at the global issue of diversity and offers advice on how businesses can use diversity to their advantage and create a truly inclusive culture. Diversity is a complex issue and something many businesses often get wrong. Organisations that are successfully managing diversity will hire the right person for the job regardless of sex, race and disability, something that I would argue is not happening across the board here in the UK. Businesses that are conscious about diversity combat prejudice, stereotyping, harassment and undignified behaviour, creating an environment in which people from all backgrounds can work together harmoniously and succeed. Diversity is a complex global issue that needs to be addressed Diversity can be hugely confusing and is often perceived to be a minefield for businesses who do not fully understand it and are finding it increasingly difficult to stay up-to-date and adapt. Diversity laws nowadays cover race, gender, age, ethnicity, marital status, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, education, religion or belief and sex with the list constantly growing. It has become a hiring managers’ nightmare, and almost impossible to ensure all the boxes are being ticked when building a diverse workforce, which is possibly the reason why many tend to hire similar candidates. Human nature can stop you building a truly diverse workforce We instinctively strive to find our own ‘tribe’ in life and fit in with like-minded people, which in business can often lead to issues when hiring a diverse workforce. We are all drawn to traits and personalities we can relate to, and are most comfortable with. However, constantly hiring the same type of employee can do a disservice to your business, team and overall business reputation. On the other hand, creating, nurturing and building a diverse workforce can bring with it an abundance of different skillsets, experiences and points of view and can help promote growth, new collaborations, and huge success. It is difficult to do, but recruiters and hiring managers need to step out of their own comfort zone, and leave personal preferences at the door when bringing new staff into the business. Diversify and get yourself (and your business) noticed While diversity in hiring is one part of the task at hand, promoting complete inclusion within your organisation and externally is essential. Businesses adopting innovative diversity business models are reporting huge success and being recognised for it. For example, Vodafone Group was named the 2019 LGBTQ+ employer of the year at the British LGBT Awards and Pinsent Masons, Newcastle City Council and Lloyds Banking Group are among those honoured in the Stonewall Top 100 LGBT+ Employers 2019. Receiving accolades like this is not only good for team morale, but also your overall brand reputation which is of the upmost importance. Progression aside, we still have a long way to go to truly achieve what the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) strives for, and even the most forward thinking and reputable companies have come under fire in recent years. Facebook, seen to be at the forefront of diversity success in recent years has previously been under scrutiny for having a “predominantly white male workforce” with the release of their annual diversity report showing only minor changes. Also the likes of the BBC has come under fire for the pay parity between their male and female actors. It is instances like this that we still need to shout about to ensure we achieve complete gender equality in our time. The EOC is working tirelessly to ensure all businesses, big or small are complying with legislation but this is incredibly difficult to enforce. We can however live in the hope that one day, all inequalities within the workplace will be a thing of the past. Getting the business advantage When the EOC was set up, it was to tackle the issue of gender discrimination predominantly and to offer women the same working rights as their male counterparts. However equal opportunities has now been broadened and backed up by law to provide the same level of protection to other minority groups in the workforce. As a result at Sellick Partnership we have a Race Relations Policy, a Disability Discrimination Policy and an Equal Pay Policy, amongst a number of other policies to protect our diverse workforce and ensure we are an inclusive employer. Today, diversity in the workplace is much more than a vital social goal. Forward-thinking companies understand that building diverse teams of employees within their ranks at every level is actually critical to their organisational and operational success. It is also not just a business requirement, or simply the right thing to do. It is the basis of building a powerful business advantage – sparking innovation, creativity and efficiency. To capitalise on the remarkable workplace culture that results when differences in talents, viewpoints and experiences are embraced, organisations should start by developing a clear strategy to embed the search for diversity within their core principles. Manage diversity effectively Your employees should be a true reflection of your customer base. Injecting different perspectives and seeking out individuals from different backgrounds can only enhance what you are offering. In my opinion the benefits of hiring and retaining a diverse workforce are clear. You will build a more collaborative workplace, create greater synergies with customers and colleagues and promote and maintain a powerful business reputation. If you want some help building an inclusive workforce and attracting diverse candidates, check out our Employer Resources, or get in touch with one of our team today. Or to find out more about Sellick Partnership’s own diversity strategy contact our Diversity Champions on email@example.com or visit our website.