Is Edelman encouraging fraternization? Helping relieve the stress of single workers trying to find a mate by pairing them with each other? Starting an internal dating service for their nearly 3,100 employees worldwide?
No. They’re using the dating concept with a unique spin.
The new Blind Date program begins this week. While it might kindle some romance, it is designed more to foster teamwork. And since 70 percent of Edelman workers are women, those looking for a man from this experiment might be disappointed.
According to a memo from Kelly Andrews,
“Each week, two people will be randomly paired, given a $10 Starbucks gift card and have two weeks to go on their ‘date.’ Each person has to each share one personal and one professional fact about the other (that was learned on the date) with the office. Photos of each ‘couple’ and the facts will be on a cork board in the kitchen.
“We hope this helps everyone to get to know their colleagues better as well as uncover unique talents which will help with cross-team collaboration!”
This is a clever way to get people to connect with colleagues beyond their usual workmates.
What if by some stroke of improbable matching, a romance or two emerges? Warnings and caveats abound about dating a coworker. Mostly the concerns are about ramifications from preferential treatment, whether from a boss or peer. Or the aftermath from love-gone-wrong and one or both of the couple unable to treat each other professionally. Then there is the stalker issue if an emotionally unstable coworker’s approaches are spurned. This can happen even if the pair never went out, but if one feels slighted, havoc can ensure.
The fallout doesn’t have to be within the couple. A friend and her husband have worked in several of the same companies. For the last 8 years they’ve worked in the same area of the same company, but neither reported to the other. They’d attend the same executive meetings. The woman of the pair got stellar reviews for years, winning awards for accomplishments. Six months ago her boss changed and her new boss didn’t really like her. Recently her boss let her go. The boss and the husband regular attend the same executive staff meetings. He can’t help but hold some resentment toward his wife’s ex boss.
Have you dated a coworker? What have you learned to do and not do to ensure neither of you has to seek other employment if the union goes awry?