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The experience of Mr Aydlett shows that building social connections does not come naturally for many people, even successful ones!Deliberate action needs to be undertaken to foster Social Capital across the staff in a business. ” This helps develop ties and bonds, and begins trust between participants. If you have met someone from the business at an event, the ice is broken.
Staff need fresh, shared experiences and face-to-face interactions to keep Social Capital flourishing. Most team building falls flat because it is a one-time activity, done and then forgotten.
Failure to acknowledge Social Capital and to build an environment to cultivate it may mean that your business is missing out on this vital form of capital and the opportunity to advance to the next level. Social Capital is the sum of goodwill and potential resources available to individuals and groups stemming from their networks of relationships.
When the members of networks have established some level of knowledge and trust, it brings them to a level of commitment to each other and a desire to exchange resources with each other, and this provides a context in which innovation can flourish.
The Ministry of Fun initiatives at Admiral Insurance are examples of ‘building deposits’ of Social Capital with the staff.
The outcomes of Social Capital are: • Exchange and Reciprocity – “I’ll scratch your back, because I can trust you to scratch mine, when I need it” • Good spirits • Follow through – a willingness to go the extra mile with those in your network • Trust overcoming uncertainty – it is far easier to come to an agreement with someone with whom you have a positive connection than with a stranger.