One Company Is Sending Its Employees on ‘Blind Dates.’ With Each Other.
A recent study by TINYpulse revealed that the single most significant factor for making an employee feel attached to his or her company is a feeling of connection to other employees. Companies have tried a range of strategies to help ensure that everybody on staff knows each other, and now one company is fostering inter-employee connections by sending pairs of coworkers on “blind dates,” according to CBS News.
FreshBooks, an accounting software company in Toronto, is already invested in promoting a creative, positive work experience — employees can bring pets to the office, and they stand instead of sitting.
Manager Mary Grace Antonio told CBS, “I noticed that more and more people just didn’t know each other’s names anymore, which, for me, I thought that was crazy cause I love this really tight-knit community that we built at FreshBooks, and I wanted to keep that up.”
Antonio started off by asking for volunteers, and executives and other people from various departments stepped up. “Then I try and mix and match people who wouldn’t usually be working together, ”she says, before sending the “couples” off on lunch or coffee dates.
After the first rounds of dates were completed, staff was asked what they thought of the program, and 100% of the people who participated said they enjoyed it once the ice got broken. Antonio says, “Some said it felt awkward … like a real first date!”
A just-hired copywriter, Shannon, went out with a finance manager. “It wasn’t as awkward as I expected,” she says. “It was awesome and I think that it really did hold my initial idea that it would encompass all our company values and I think that really held true.”
For now, the program continues, viewed as a win-win by all involved, except for the inevitable first-date jitters, of course.