By Fabien Feb 21, 2022

The Social Committee: How to Make a Fun Company Even More Fun

We have a great sense of timing!

After inaugurating our new offices (three times bigger than the old ones) just a few days before the start of the pandemic, we did it again. This time, we launched our very first social committee in November 2021, about a month before a new containment period.

Better laugh a little!

That said, nothing is lost! As soon as the lockout is lifted, our employees will have the opportunity to return to our offices whenever they wish. And as for the social committee, it is more active than ever, even from a distance!

How does the social committee manage to reinvent itself (we apologize) under these circumstances? To find out (and to learn more about the committee in general), we spoke with its three members: Mikaël, Katia and Maëva.

Important fact to note: at the time of writing, telecommuting was still mandatory, but relief measures were on the horizon. The return-to-office date has since been confirmed.

Social Committee's Members

Why did you decide to join the Uzinakod Social Committee?

Mikaël LeBlanc


Mikaël, Full-Stack Developer at Uzinakod since January 2020

I really like the social aspect of being in the office. I had ideas of fun things to do. I applied because I had the opportunity to do them. Also, I already had a personal desire to contribute to the social life of the company.

Katia Bertagnin


Katia, Project Manager | Business Analyst at Uzinakod since September 2021

I was once part of an equivalent committee in France, on a slightly different model, and I really liked it. At Uzinakod, there is really only the “we bring fun to people” side. I think it’s very cool to energize the group and contribute to activities that let us get out of the daily work routine and get to know our colleagues a little better, to get to know them in a different way.

Maëva Visentin


Maëva, HR | Marketing Coordinator at Uzinakod since September 2021

Before coming to Uzinakod, I was working in the event industry. When this opportunity came up, I jumped at it! I know what the return on investment is from the events I have organized, and the joy it can bring.

Being able to bring people together is something that is very important in my personal life as well. With these two facts, I said to myself: “Go for it!”

What initiatives has the Social Committee put in place so far?

Mikaël LeBlanc

The first thing we did was the first Social Committee Happy Hour, a face-to-face event. Why did we do this? Because people enjoy these events and we can start them right after the work day..

The event was also a form of test: we wanted to know how much time to allow for cleaning and other logistical matters, which we would have to do first in order to know.

Then, it was the virtual Happy Hour. We tested a platform to simulate a presence. It worked quite well; people enjoyed it. It’s quite easy to participate, as it’s online.

Maëva Visentin

We will also try to build on the thematic events by season and take advantage of these occasions to make them gatherings and team events. We did this for Candlemas in February. We seize the trends and proposals, then we build them in our own way!

Social Committee Candlemas Contest

What are the committee’s goals for the coming year?

Katia Bertagnin

Plenty, but I don’t know if I’m allowed to spoil them!😉 We’ve mostly organized “small events” for now, but we have plans to do some on a larger scale, maybe even activities where we’d get to meet outside.

Seeing each other again physically is really going to be the challenge of this year. Respecting the sanitary measures, but still managing to recreate a physical link between people and all meet again at some point.

Maëva Visentin

The basic goal is to have an event at least once a month. The idea would be to organize one or two big Team Buildings during the year. This is the kind of activity that brings a team together.

We will also continue to highlight small thematic contests, because it works really well, and get involved in organizing the Christmas party.

How do you keep the committee active at a distance?

Mikaël LeBlanc

We go one month at a time. With the committee, we communicate through Microsoft Teams. When there are preparations to make, we call each other and divide the tasks. One person writes an invitation text, we suggest modifications and then send it.

We have a budget that allows us to give prizes, and it encourages colleagues to participate. I think this is a good thing.

Katia Bertagnin

In the end, it’s not that complicated! We had already taken an organization which was rather virtual, since the presence at the office was optional.

When there is a need for a bigger brainstorming session, then we plan a meeting. Maëva is very well organized on the secretarial part. She makes us small reports. We have our own documentation space. Frankly, it works very well like that.

What are the main challenges of telecommuting?

Mikaël LeBlanc

The fact that we can’t meet face-to-face limits the type of events we can offer. The reason why we want to organize an outdoor activity is that we can meet people while keeping our distance and respecting the government’s recommendations.

The connection between people is really not the same on a conference call as it is in person. That’s what the social committee is all about: increasing cohesion between employees and getting them to know each other across teams. It’s much easier in person, because online, people will mostly stay with the people they already know.

Maëva Visentin

The choice of activities is quite limited, as it is mostly online and often ends up looking the same from one program to another.

In addition, it is again hours spent in front of a screen. Employees want to talk to their colleagues, but not necessarily with their headset in front of the computer.

Social Committee's First Happy Hour

Why do you think it is important to have a social committee at work?

Mikaël LeBlanc

Cohesion between employees is more important than it may seem at first glance for a company to do well. It’s also motivation. Personally, I used to go to the office because I was tired of being at home, but it’s not just that. Being around people I don’t see in my everyday life also makes me want to go to work. It’s motivating!

Katia Bertagnin

I find it almost indispensable! For any good business leader, wanting to create cohesion between employees is healthy, and will in fact pay off.

It facilitates the integration of new employees as well as the feeling of belonging to the company, especially in the context of a pandemic.

Maëva Visentin

I think a lot of employees have good ideas, but don’t feel it’s their job to move forward with these initiatives. So they usually fall by the wayside and nothing gets done.

Setting up a social committee makes it possible to carry out activities that would probably never see the light of day otherwise. It provides a framework for an organization and allows us to move forward with a defined budget.

The three hours per month that we devote to the committee allow us to organize a beautiful event that doesn’t look like it was cobbled together at the last minute!

The Uzinakod team is growing. Does this make the committee’s job easier or more complex?

Mikaël LeBlanc

I would say that it doesn’t matter so much when the activities are online. Face-to-face, it’s a lot different.

Not everyone will want to participate in all the gatherings (and that’s okay). There will be activities that are more targeted towards developers, others towards sportsmen for example. The goal is that everyone will find their way around the events on offer, without trying to please everyone all the time.

Maëva Visentin

This doesn’t necessarily make it more complex. More interesting, certainly, since you have more opportunities.

There are fixed costs associated with an event: decor, location, etc. The more people you have, the less impact the fixed costs per person will have. This is what becomes interesting, because we budget per person, but the fixed costs will remain the same as for a small group. Therefore, we can organize larger activities.

Conclusion

The distance did not slow down the ambitions of our social committee. On the contrary, we can say that it has allowed its members to start more slowly and to better master their new roles.

With the huge success of the Candlemas pancake contest and the upcoming return to the office, expectations are high, but we are confident that the Uzinakod Social Committee will deliver!

As they’ve said, having more employees to entertain doesn’t scare them, so join us so get in on the next activity now!

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