Knowing that employee relationships with co-workers are essential to helping them feel happy and connected with their job, the Toronto-based company FreshBooks has begun setting up “blind dates” for its employees, reports CBS. No, not romantic dates, but rather “all business” dates that help employees get to know one another over lunch or coffee.
“As the company grew, I noticed that more and more people just didn't know each other's names anymore,” said manager Mary Grace Antonio, an eight-year veteran of the company. In order to keep up the tight-knit community feel, she began asking for volunteers to meet up—focusing on pairing those whose paths might not normally cross, like top executives and recent college graduates.
Antonio said that despite some “first-date style” awkwardness and jitters, the program has been a win-win for everyone involved. “After the first round, we sent out a survey to see how many people liked it and 100 percent of people who joined said they liked it."
"We believe culture is strategy and having people connect with folks they don't necessarily work with actually helps build the ties that keep the organization strong and information and ideas flowing," added CEO Mike McDerment.
We want to hear. Does your company have any means for you to meet and talk casually with those you don’t work with directly? Would you like more of this kind of opportunity? To join the conversation, click "comments" on our Community of Practice Forum.
If you would like to read more about creating a habit around masterful communication, check out our book: Be Quiet, Be Heard: The Paradox of Persuasion.
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