Making Social Committees Work

Social committees can serve many purposes. Certainly they can add some ‘joie de vivre’ at work (a sense of fun). And they can also help build a more engaged internal ‘community’; encourage teams and departments to work together; give people opportunities to stretch their skills outside of their particular job role — and more.

HR Reporter interviewed me for an article on the topic. If you are interested, have a read.  And as always, would love to hear your thoughts.

To a TGIM work-life!


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7 Responses to “Making Social Committees Work”

  1. Kay Says:

    Hi Eileen,

    Our company is growing; the number at the offices is up & new offices are starting up all over the country (South Africa by the way). In addition, there’s a lot more young people around & seeing as SA is in a severe skills crunch, it’s imperative that these people are retained.

    So I’ve been asked to look into possibly setting up a social committee. But this is not my field of expertise – I’m one of the young engineers too – and I’m not sure how to deal with all the satellite offices we have, i.e. do I let them do their own thing or do I try to involve them & how do I do that? Travel is possible, but it can’t be excessive (Time is money after all!) & I’m sure there’ll be a difference of opinion in terms of “reasonable costs”. Management has indicated that the company will foot the bill somewhat, but this will be determined on the merits of the activity or event.


  2. Eileen Chadnick Says:

    Hello Kay, thanks for touching base. This sounds like a great leadership opportunity for you. It’s an opportunity to stretch yourself in organizing something a little out of your comfort zone. I get that you have a lot of questions..but remember, you don’t necessarily have to do all the heavy lifting on your own. Perhaps consider yourself the ‘igniter’ and engage a group to work collaboratively. Together, you can suss out the details.

    Here are a few thought-starters:

    1) Find out who’s interested in being on the committee and set up a first meeting. There are different ways to do this: you can either issue an open invitation to be inclusive; or you can invite people ensuring each department and/or office is represented. Perhaps having folks from other offices will help you answer that question about how to handle that satellite office issue.

    2) Before diving into the specific events…engage the group in a conversation about how you all want to work together on this…..i.e. how do you want the work to unfold. Brainstorm collaboratively. Ask the questions – e.g. how often do we meet; how do we want to organize ourselves (sub-committees, etc.); how do we want to involve others; who takes on the organizing role (is yourself or perhaps do you want to rotate? etc.).

    Asking questions of the group will give people a say and they’ll be more engaged. And you’ll find you don’t need to have all the answers yourself.

    3) As a group, establish some goals before creating events. Make sure you have parameters so that your ideas are lining up against a goal. I.e. is it to create a more ‘fun’ workforce? Stimulate team and community? Encourage inter-departmental connection? Learning? etc. You may also want to talk further to whom from management asked you to take this on. Perhaps they have additional feedback they can offer in terms of their expectations and reasons.

    These answers may help influence your ideas. And it may help you figure out how to handle that question about satellite offices. Perhaps you may find that the goals and needs call for some inter-office events…but might also require some offices to do their own thing as they may have particular needs.

    Use the group to work together; learn together; and navigate together. You don’t have to be ‘in charge’ of it all. That in fact, might be counter-productive.

    4) Find out what the employees want: consider a questionnaire….invite input…so that your events can be more meaningful to the interests. Also, if people have been asked then they will be more likely to participate.

    Remember, if your committee does its advance work in establishing goals, quering the needs; and sussing out interest – you can make a better case to management when it comes to funding. Financing events that have ad hoc or no objectives are harder to justify.

    5) Remember these discussions/meetings can be conducted virtually as well as in person. You can include folks from other offices by phone, webconference, etc.

    Finally, going back to your initial comment — it sounds like you were asked to suss out the possibility vs. taking on the whole thing on your own. So remember, take things one step at a time; engage others; ask questions; and trust yourself that you probably know more about this than you realize.

    Hope this helped. Perhaps others will weigh in. And if you want to have a bit of a chat about this, get in touch with me and I’d be happy to talk further with you.

    Best of luck!

  3. office clearance st albans Says:

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  4. Rebecca Mthembu Says:

    I hv joined a burial am part of the social commetee; they’ve asked us to come up with a plan of action; dont know where to start; can you please give me some ideas. The meeting is tomorrow.

  5. Dallas Says:

    Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful article. Thank you for
    supplying this info.

  6. Courtney Says:

    What are some examples of events put on by the group mentioned in the article? It said “It has to bring value to the employees and make a connection to the workplace and your personal
    space.” I’d love to hear more about what those events might have been. We’re just starting a committee at my office and I would like non-alcoholic ideas! Thanks

  7. Hershel Massimo Says: post to a company blog

    blog topic

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