Social interaction, just as the name suggests, relates to the relationships created between two or more people. It involves the interactions, communications, connections and propinquity between the people within an organization. It also involves how people act with others, as well as their reaction to how other people are acting.
These interactions form the basis of social structure, but social interaction in many workplaces is unstructured and given limited importance by many top managers. Whether we like to admit it or not, far too many companies regard employees as people who should follow orders and not question. Companies forget that we all are humans with a degree of emotions and can only truly deliver on motivation and a feeling of acceptance.
Why We Need to Rethink Social Interaction in the Workplace
Social interactions in institutions build social structures and cultures. By interacting with one another, people ineluctably design the rules and systems they seek to abide by. There are different types of social interaction in an organization. Including exchange, competition, cooperation and conflict.
The exchange involves the interaction between parties as to what they expect from each other. This element is all about freely communicating one’s ideas. It also constitutes exchange between parties; it can be the exchange of goods or services.
Competition is when two or more people attempt to achieve a goal that only one can attain. It can also cause differences or a lack of cooperation in social groups. Competition is often a fight to control resources. It can be from the interior or exterior forces of an organization.
Conflict is a struggle between two or more people fighting for common interests that one can only achieve. Conflicts also arise when different parties have different opinions on something. Conflicts occur when the parties involved oppose each other in social interaction.
Are you all working towards the same goals? Cooperation is the process in which people work together to achieve shared goals. It is a social process that gets things done. No group can perform its tasks or goals without cooperation from the members in it.
All these types of social interactions have some significance in an institution. It’s through conflicts that people find suitable solutions, and it is through cooperation that things get done with ease. Firms should thus welcome interactions among their subordinates to come up with ideas quickly.
The traditional social interaction model sees management as the sole originator of change ideas while employees as mere implementers. With employees stationed to fear raising concerns, there is less development in organizations. Every human has a unique capability. Failure to give everyone a chance of expression deprives the organization at large of the opportunity to grow and us.
Regarding the staff’s working conditions, it is necessary to provide a favorable one to allow creativity and productivity. With the types of social interaction stated above, it is clear that social interaction is of great significance in the workplace. Here is why.
Increased Engagement and Loyalty
When employers and management regard employees’ opinions, the staff feels a sense of belonging and thus is motivated to give the best efforts. This sense of belonging allows them to share a firm’s goals with the management easily and therefore work towards achieving them. It is also easier for them to identify missteps and report to their supervisors for their betterment. They can also easily contribute innovative ideas to improve the firm.
According to Forbes, employees with social connections at work tend to be more engaged and loyal. Quality work relationships help build a strong company culture that emphasizes respect, loyalty, and trust. It provides a sense of cohesion essential for cultivating creativity, teamwork, and collaboration.
What could be more enticing than a lively working environment? Interactions among stakeholders allow people to freely express themselves not only in a formal manner but also on personal issues. It provides support and guidance in all aspects of life. When one is content with everything revolving around their lives, being able to share life with their colleagues, then they will be happy for most of their time. A happy mood encourages healthy living and, thus, productivity. When clients walk in a comfortable environment, they will be compelled to conduct transactions with your organization.
Social solid connections result in happiness and content among employees. It is no doubt that when one is happy, it boosts psychological well-being. According to Mayo Clinic, adults with strong social support have a reduced risk of significant health problems, including depression, high blood pressure, and an unhealthy body mass index. Also, older adults with a rich social life and quality relationships are likely to live a longer life than those with fewer social connections. Healthy employees have higher levels of work performance.
Research by South University shows that having a more robust support network or stronger community bonds fosters emotional and physical health, an essential component of adult life.
Knowledge and Productivity Spillover
With social connections, the trained and more experienced employees can pass knowledge to the untrained and the less experienced personnel. With this attitude and cultivated culture, there is no doubt that there will be high productivity in the workplace. This structure could work out well when working in groups where seniors would nurture juniors. Employees will tend to grow fast, too, in such a setup.
Also, peer relationships between co-workers with no formal authority over one another act as an essential source of information and emotional support. Everyone can be on the same page with such interactions.
Efficiency and Effectiveness
The above four benefits fuel efficiency and effectiveness. Efficiency in an organization is the ability to utilize minimum resources to achieve organizational goals. When employees are happy, and when they feel motivated to work harder, business owners will have to cut the costs of machines, freelancers and hiring more employees. At the same time, the organization will be productive. You will have cut down costs and yield ample profits.
Effectiveness means quality output; to accomplish something adequately, producing the intended or expected results. When employees are motivated, there is no doubt they will do anything within their capabilities to create or to deliver sufficiently.
It is essential to create a workplace culture that encourages social interaction and helps employees connect. Culture will help employees establish relationships without feeling as if they are overstepping boundaries. A firm bound by traditional leadership methods needs to rethink its ways and encourage social interactions.
You can influence social connections by:
- Creating a Social Spot
Colleagues could agree on a social spot off work, during breaks, or sometime during the weekday to engage.
It would help if the management organized celebrations to mark a stride or for work well done. It is during such occasions that we get to interact with our colleagues easily. These celebrations could be anniversaries, celebrating an innovation, or award ceremonies.
- Inspire Positivity
The human resource management team could again influence positivity among employees often. Co-workers could also do the same, inspiring each other. Encouraging each other is a method of social connection.
- Encourage Team Building
Team building is where a company engages its workforce in outdoor activities. The significance of these outdoor activities is to allow a change of environment, to take time off work off the pressure to boost productivity. It also helps many re-strategize and gather energy to get back to work. It may also influence creativity.
- Connect departments
Specialization is excellent, and it undoubtedly boosts productivity in individual parts of an organization. It is, however, helpful for the top management to consider connecting departments to allow social interaction. Social interactions, in turn, influence idea-sharing and interconnecting tasks to boost the output.
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Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending
London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.
According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.
The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:
“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”
The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:
“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”
The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.
The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.
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Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs
As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.
Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI
In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.
According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.
One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.
To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.
Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.
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UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations
As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.
Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation
To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.
The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.
Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.
The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.
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