Evidence into action: For employers and employee organisations
- The culture of a workplace can promote inclusion, a sense that all people are treated fairly and supported. Good social relationships also promote a sense of identity and belonging at work.
- There seem to be some generic principles that go with actions to improve relationships through shared activities:
- Inclusivity is important -making efforts to include people who might be reluctant or have difficulties in engaging with the activities;
- There should be multiple activities and these should be sustained. Some social and non-work elements can be included, but problem-solving circles, communities of practice, project groups and interactive training workshops could all form part of a suite of activities;
- Staff need to look forward to the activities –asking staff for suggestions on the activities they would like to see can help here;
- There needs to be input from someone outside of the workgroup –for example a training workshop delivered by an external provider
Shared activities can improve wellbeing and performance by improving the social atmosphere in the workplace. Good social relationships at work have a profound impact on wellbeing and our work colleagues can act as sources of support and friendship.
Exploring the Evidence: What Do Employers Do?
Between 2006 and 2009, Ginsters ran a wellbeing programme to improve engagement through promoting health and wellbeing. Many of the activities in the Ginsters’ programme involved staff and their families doing activities together, including:
Turning spare land at the back of the production site into allotments so staff and their families could grow their own fruit and vegetables. Activities spun-out such as: produce shows, cookery classes, family and staff barbeques, master classes from staff.
Linking informal learning into formal learning plans. Ginsters encouraged informal learning as a way to engage isolated sub-groups of staff to share their experience.