Mulled wine and merriment

friends in manchester christmas marketsIt’s that time of the year when Manchester turns into one big giant super-market. Wait, that didn’t sound right! Not a super-market exactly but more of a city showcasing Europe’s finest food, drink, and other stuff you can buy from markets. All with a Christmas flavour, of course. And there’s no other Christmas flavour that attracts the masses quite like mulled wine.

So it’s time to get into the spirit of Christmas with lots of fun an socialising and often, that starts with paying a visit to Manchester’s Christmas Markets. We’ve had the lights switch on and now we have the markets too to give the city that familiar festive look.

When an event attracts people from all over the country, you know it’s gotta be good. And that’s because the markets are not just a shopping experience but a leisure one.
Don’t forget to sample Dutch mini pancakes, Hungarian goulash, Spanish paella and French profiteroles. Not all in one sitting, of course :)

But as with any local event revolving around Christmas, it is best done with an opportunity to meet new people in Manchester. Sampling a delicious mulled wine is always best done with some like-minded people who can appreciate it along with you ;)

So come and make some new Manchester friends at the Christmas markets and enjoy the beginning of the festive season.

The forgotten art of real-world socialising

 meet new people in manchesterYou may enjoy sitting on your couch at home engaging with your friends (and even family) through social media (twitter, facebook, instagram) reflecting on the days when you used to go out and meet each other face-to-face.

But what are the effects of socialising 2.0 and are they positive or negative? Should your friends find out that you’ve cancelled a night out on Facebook or should your relatives see your baby photos for the first time on Instagram?

There are numerous benefits to be had from real-world socialising. It not only provides fun and enjoyment but that’s not all. It also helps to reduce stress throughout the day. It builds positive and worthwhile friendships not only with those you already know but with their friends also. It improves your mood, and as long as you meet the right friends, you will also receive encouragement when you need it and support when you really need it.

Being social also improves your personal development and growth. In some cases, it increases your self-esteem and confidence by getting rid of your shyness and improving your ability to work a crowd. By continually using you mind to and engaging with people, it improves your ability to function, mentally.

Promoting real-world socialising is what we do best at Social Circle as we facilitate social and platonic introductions in a group setting through social and fun events. From pub crawls and comedy night to indoor climbing and abseiling, we make it easy for people to meet others who enjoy doing the same things. Meet new people in Manchester, expand your social horizons and please, get the hell of Facebook for at least one night a week :)

manchester christmas party

A Christmas party with a twist

manchester christmas party
If you have a Christmas party with your workmates in your calendar for this year, you may or may not be looking forward to it. After all, you will be spending time with the same people you see all year round, some of whom you will like and some whom you won’t. So how about an alternate plan (not that you have to cancel your work party, of course) where you can attend a Christmas Ball (that’s right, I said ‘ball’) and meet people that you haven’t met before that are there on the same terms as you; to meet new people and have fun.

The hotel is known for its quality dining and so you are in for a treat with a four course Christmas meal. There will also be a fully stocked bar serving up a diverse array of festive drinks.

With Social Circle at the heart of the festivities and the 4* Renaissance Hotel setting the scene, you are promised a night to remember for a very long time.

We have also planned some fantastic entertainment; it’s a party, after all. There will be a DJ, Christmas disco and fund and games to keep us mingling and entertained.

So come on and spend the evening with is and indulge in some fantastic, food and drinks, entertainment and non-stop socialising. Oh, and did I mention that it’s half price right now. Secure your place now…this is one event that never fails to sell out.

Social Circle goes to London

manchester days out london Not content with appreciating the highlights of Manchester and all they have to offer, we will shortly be paying a visit to London to take in some of the iconic attractions such as The Tower of London. We will also be taking a tour on an open top bus (hopefully a red one) and enjoying lunch in the wonderfully picturesque Covent Garden, with its famous market and entertaining street performers.

The royal family may not live in the Tower any more but the stunning crown jewels still reside there. And, of course, at one time it was not only a palace but also a jail, fortress, Royal Astronomy, and zoo.

The Beefeaters, along with their families, continue to reside at the Tower, which inside resembles a small village. And, of course, there are ghostly residents. It’s hardly surprising that there have been beheadings with the last being in 1747 which was the strange disappearance of the Princes in the Tower, as well as Henry V111’s poor treatment of his wives.

But don’t worry, we won’t be going to be beheaded. We will take in a few sights before and after so bring your camera (not like anyone needs to anymore as it’s already on your phone). Anyway, we hope you will come with us and enjoy a day out of Manchester.

 

HR networking and wise words from Will

manchester hr networkingSocial Circle is not just providing you with an opportunity to meet and mingle with other HR professionals at our very first HR Networking event but to also learn from Mr HR himself, Will Kintish. The E-Kintish founder’s advice will catapult your networking skills to another dimension and you will have the opportunity to put your new superpowers to the test on the night at this exclusive event, open only to HR professionals. So yes, you will also have the chance to learn from your peers and, dare I say it, steal the odd idea or two.

You will also hear from the founder of Social Circle, Manchester’s biggest advocate of the work/health balance, as he gives you tips and insightful strategies on recruitment and retainment of employees who can really make a difference in your company.

The relationships you build in HR are invaluable and they begin with a handshake at an event such as this. The beauty of knowing who you will meet i.e. HR professionals, you won’t have to deal with the awkward feeling and silence you often get when you meet with someone who is an industry that is entirely irrelevant to what you are looking for. Although with Will’s networking tips, that shouldn’t be a problem after this event. Right?

Held in the sassy and spacious downstairs area of Revolucion de Cuba, many spaces have been filled already so get your name down for this event whilst you still can. It is one you (and your employer) will not want you to miss.

Business owners: how do you make your staff want to be in the office?

Starting to notice the post-holiday blues among your staff? Slumped manchester staff benefits packageshoulders, window gazing and a general lack of energy are all key indicators… and for some people, coming back from holiday can trigger feelings that they no longer want to keep doing what they’re doing, they’re considering making enormous changes to their lives.

This, coupled with last month’s change in flexible working legislation, which now allows everyone with 26 weeks continuous service the right to request flexible working could fuel any unrest, with employees considering home-working or switching to a part-time role, but not all business models can support these requests.

So with the combination of post-holiday blues and the widely heralded easier route to flexible working, how do we keep our staff motivated and wanting to do their job in the office environment?

Each employee needs to feel wanted in the workplace, both in relation to their job and also socially among colleagues. Demonstrating care to individual staff members can be a cost-effective route to loyal staff. Simple things like ensuring they take lunch breaks will make them happier and also more productive in the afternoon.

Some Manchester companies are taking this seriously and investing in encouraging their staff to be more sociable. We have helped them put a scheme in place to enable them an easy way to interact outside of the workplace and get to know each other better, creating a greater camaraderie when they are in the office.

With these schemes, staff can choose from over 150 activities each month to do with their colleagues, or by themselves, outside of work. The majority of the pursuits, such as fitness classes, zumba, movie nights and ten pin bowling are free to the employee and cost the employer just £1 per employee, per month. There are also more serene activities such as chocolate making and Spanish lessons. Some of the more adventurous activities, such as vertical ice climbing, abseiling and extreme caving are subsidised.

Our clients are saying that the activities their staff are now doing have created a real buzz in the office – not dissimilar to the Christmas party buzz – but they’re now getting it all year round, which is helping with staff retention as well as increased productivity.

Demonstrating a vibrant work social scene can help with recruitment too, especially those who are relocating to the area or younger recruits. Increasingly, job seekers are favouring employers who can demonstrate a friendly, sociable culture.

Ultimately, getting to know colleagues better and trying new things helps employees to feel better in body and mind, which makes them happier, more productive and more motivated to be in the office.

Social Circle currently offers over 150 events and activities each month for employees to choose from, for a cost of just £1 per employee per month. The innovative company is offering free advice on staff retention and free corporate membership trials for Manchester-based companies until the end of August 2014.

About Social Circle

Social Circle is the only company in the UK wholly dedicated to providing employees with a social life outside of the workplace.
The established Manchester-based activity and events company helps increase workplace productivity while reducing absenteeism and recruitment costs.
Completely different to ‘away day providers’, the innovative company offers employees regular opportunities to socialise with colleagues whilst creating more variety and diversity in their lives.
manchester events its a knockout

Fancy playing It’s a Knockout? Yes, seriously!

Remember whiling away those Bank Holiday Mondays watching James Bond, Morecambe and Wise and, yes, It’s a Knockout?

Every now and then you should try an experience which will see you lose your senses an get caught up in a whole lot of fun!

So come along, lose yourself, forgot how young or old you are, turn back the clock and have some fun!

And just in case you were wondering, no it doesn’t matter how old you are or what fitness level you are at to compete in this weird but wonderful challenges. All you need is a zest for fun and a willing to try anything once.

Of course, you can expect bouncy castles, inflatable obstacle courses, giant costumes, foam and water galore.

And that’s just for starters. For the main course, you may find yourself building a huge, inflatable burger, climbing slippery summit or making your way through a gimoungus, foam-filled washing machine.

So come on, what are you waiting for? There are only a few places left, are you going to miss out whilst your Social Circle friends are having the time of their lives. Relive your childhood and come and play It’s A Knockout. You know you want to ;)

manchester summer party

Don’t forget our hottest Manchester event of the year

If you’ve yet to secure your place on the Manchester Summer Party to end all…well, summer parties, the good news it’s not too late. The bad news (for you, at least) is that it sells out each and every year so time is running out to make sure that you get to be a part of the fun. And oh, what fun  it is!

There will be as much food (barbecued, of course) that you can fit into your mouth. And that’s also true for the vegetarians among you. The bar will be stocked up on all your favourite tipples. And we will have a number of fun activities sch as games, quizzes and a chance to embarrass yourself with karaoke.

You will also be welcomed by a complimentary glass of Pimms (I know, there’s no end to our generosity. Oh, and I forgot to mention, we will have a DJ spinning the decks (yes, I did just say that) to ensure that the fun spills into the early hours.

Last year 130 people showed up and since everyone had such a good time, we expect that they will tel all of their friends which means that this year will be even more popular and, of course (I had to say it), sell out more quickly. Don’t miss out on the hottest Manchester event of the year. Find out more right here, right now.

 

Give your colleagues the gift of Social Circle…for free!

refer a member3

That’s right- Social Circle has decided to enter the corporate world by including Social Circle in corporate staff benefits packages to companies across Manchester. So by telling your boss about our innovative new package and pointing him towards our corporate membership page, you will be on the verge of a big ‘thank you’ from your workmates as they would suddenly find they have access to over 150 events to pick and choose from. You will also get a ‘thank you’ from us too…to the tune to £50, to be exact.

You should also take a look at our corporate membership page in order to know what benefits we offer so you can be just as excited as we are about it and let your boss knows what a fantastic package this is.

Gaining and retaining top talent…it’s not what you think

Picture this: an aspiring young professional, let’s give her a name: Sally. Sally is 22-years-old, she manchester staff benefits packagehas a degree in business administration and excelled in her year of work experience. At this age, her salary expectations are low, especially when taking into account, her demonstrable talent.

Unsurprisingly, Sally has caught the eye of a number of prestigious Manchester firms. They are all vying for her attention but propose a difficult choice for the aspirant because when all pros and cons are weighed up, a single company fails to stand out. She looks at the salary, pretty much even, future prospects, again it appears to be a tie, employee benefits…oh great, they all offer a pension, healthcare, 10% off her electric bill and countless other “benefits”; Sally thinks that each one would make a great gift for her Grandmother.

So how would your company attract such talent as Sally? Not by a typical staff benefits package, that’s for sure. Of course, other aspects come into play such as how ambitious she perceives your company to be. But let’s say, for arguments sake, that you have that under control. She will also be considering company culture and that’s where you can take your competitive advantage by the horns. If she is going to be spending 40 hours  week at your company and give her all, you can stake your life on her perception of your company with regards to her bosses, colleagues and generally attitude of the work environment, being key; whether she says so or not. And her attitude towards those people will affect her motivation, in turn, dictating her level of production and whether her unquestionable aptitude is applied.

But how do you achieve this motivation and production? And how do you avoid making the same mistakes that your competitors are making, giving you the edge not only in attracting talent but ensuring that they stay for the long haul. You do wish to build the dream, team, don’t you?

Download our FREE report, ‘The 7 Biggest Mistakes That Cause Employee Benefits To Fail And How To Avoid Them‘.