EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT TIP OF THE MONTH: Can Blind “Friendship Dates” Create a More Engaged Workforce?
Raise your hand if you have ever been on a blind date.
(Figuratively, please. You are reading an HR blog post that is about to take a strange twist. Raising your hand for real right now will cause the people around you to look at you funny.)
Lots of us have been on blind dates. When looking for love, the stakes can be high emotionally, so it is understandable why some people shy away from this form of socializing.
But what if the meet-ups weren’t for love, but rather for camaraderie and employee engagement? With nothing to lose, would you give a professional blind date a try?
Employee Engagement Dates
We recently read a Fast Company article about an accounting company called FreshBooks in Toronto that sends employees on blind friendship blind date lunches so that people can get to know different folks from all over the company. The story highlighted how the people involved built new ties with other employees, which made them feel more connected and involved with their company overall.
From the article:
In a follow-up survey, 65% of FreshBooks blind daters said they felt a meaningful connection to their date. There’s no doubt having a friend at work can make the workplace more enjoyable, but a 2014 survey by employee recognition firm Globoforce showed having friends at work has other long-term benefits to companies, including improving employee engagement. In the study, 69% of employees with a pal at the office reported being highly engaged, versus 28% who didn’t have a friend at work.
Other long-term benefits for the employees who went on these friendship blind dates included a better understanding and appreciation for what their employer did and more chances for collaboration between various departments. “Great company cultures grow when you allow employees to engage in positive ways and feel personally invested in the company that has invested in them,” says Tina Hamilton, PHR, president of myHR Partner.
Connecting the talent you have from all corners of your business with a friendly lunch or coffee break offers many possible benefits to you and to them. It seems to have worked wonders for FreshBooks.
Maybe playing platonic employee matchmaker could be a good thing for your business too.
HR issues have you frustrated?
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