In the summer of 2020, when the world was getting to grips with covid lockdowns and working from home, one of our key points of focus was on fostering connections. Not only with our clients, which we managed through virtual events and creating engaging content; but with each other as colleagues and teammates, and with our wider communities.
Pre-pandemic, as a sociable workforce, we didn’t have to think about or plan how we connected with each other. Chats in the office, coffees, lunches, meetings, drinks after work, charity and networking events, fitness challenges ensured we benefited from connections with colleagues, candidates, clients, and our communities.
Without these easy touchpoints, we were struggling. How could we prioritise connection and wellbeing in a virtual working world?
Our Solution – LJG Champions
The answer came in the shape of our LJG (Livingston James Group) Champion Groups.
Four groups were established to prioritise different elements of connection and wellbeing, and to ensure we continued to support our communities whilst working from home. Our chosen groups were the Wellness Champions, Fundraising Champions, Volunteering Champions, and Social Champions.
Every colleague in the business is a member of one Champion Group, and therefore as a collective, everyone works together to develop innovative and engaging ways for us to connect with each other and give back to our communities. When a new employee joins the business, they are asked to select the Champion Group they feel most aligned to, in terms of interest in the area and the value they can add to the group.
So far, the impact of our Champion Groups has been significant. During lockdown our Social Champions organised virtual cocktail and pizza making sessions, quiz nights, and Friday evening virtual catch ups, whilst our Fundraising Champions galvanised colleagues to run a virtual North Coast 500 to raise money for three charities – Social Bite, Good Morning Service, and the Samaritans.
As we weren’t able to arrange any in person volunteering opportunities due to Covid 19, our Volunteering Champions organised for some colleagues to support Shelter Scotland with a research assignment, gathering data and contacts for Scottish businesses who may be able to support Shelter with fundraising or volunteering.
Our Wellness Champions set all colleagues up on the Virgin Pulse app to encourage colleagues to get outside, get their steps up and even introducing some physical and mental challenges to encourage better wellbeing when working from home. Many colleagues also participated in Doddie Aid which is a mass participation event in Scotland which raises funds to help find a cure to Motor Neuron Disease every January. Each of the five districts in Scotland compete to log the most miles and every form of exercise counts!
In the post pandemic world, we have decided to keep our Champion Groups, and they have continued to bring us together. Since returning to our new normal, we have made the most of being able to get together again. Our Wellness team has offered weekly Yoga sessions both in person and virtually (run by our very own qualified yoga teacher and Rutherford Cross consultant, Gillian O’Neil), the Fundraising Champions are gearing us up for this year’s Kiltwalk, whilst the Volunteering Champions had a group of us out supporting Quarriers’ Gardening Day and will be helping childhood cancer charity LoveOliver with the refurbishment of their shop. Our Social Champions also have their hands full organising our Summer BBQ and Sports Day planned for later this summer, as well as our Christmas party which we hope we can finally have in person this year (third time lucky!)
Jamie Livingston, Group CEO at LJG said; “Our Wellbeing Champion Groups were a fantastic focus for the team over lockdown, bringing us together and offering a focus on something positive for us as a team and for our wider communities. Since then, our Champions have continued to create opportunities for the whole team to look after their minds and bodies, as well as the possibility for connection whilst giving back to others.”
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