The Power Of The Buddy System
Starting a new job can be a very exciting time in your life, but the process often leaves you feeling uneasy and intimidated. You’re the new kid on the block, doing your best to navigate your new surroundings and make a good impression. Most of us will quickly try to find allies in the office, but that isn’t always easy to do. It doesn’t help that stressful situations, back-to-back meetings and timely deadlines are not the ideal ingredients for relationship building.
In September 2015, Fast Company published an article breaking down the importance of having friends in the work place and why it is crucial to our happiness. The article claims that even though we spend most of our days at work, we are less likely to have friends in the office now in comparison to past years. Although this seems like a problem most directly affecting employees, it is also a troublesome problem for employers looking to maintain a positive, productive work place where they can groom long-term talent.
Since our mission at DiMassimo Goldstein is to Inspire Action, we set out to find a solution to this growing problem in the hopes of increasing employee happiness, productivity and motivation. The solution was to start a two-month lunch program that gives employees the opportunity to go to lunch with one another. Each lunch you get thirty dollars to spend with your buddy and the only guideline is that it should be with someone you don’t know very well.
Being one of the newer employees at DiGo, I wanted to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity. My work life was very separate from my personal life when I first started in May, and although I loved my new role, I wasn’t as friendly with my coworkers as I had been at previous jobs. This new company program gave me the confidence and opportunity to reach out to coworkers in various departments including creative, strategy, operations, media and production. This also opened the door for me to reach out to senior staff members that I didn’t otherwise interact with on a regular basis.
There are so many reasons I have enjoyed this program, aside from my love of free food. After speaking with different people from different departments, I learned more about how each department functions on a day-to-day basis and ways the account team can better work with them. Having a reason to get out of the office and get some fresh air helped me focus better in the afternoon and increased my productivity level. I noticed I feel much more comfortable walking around the office, chatting with people before meetings or even bumping into them in the kitchen. Most importantly, I had the opportunity to ask advice from people with valuable experience which will not only help me grow at DiGo, but also as young person in the advertising industry.
When introducing this program to the company, Mark DiMassimo explained that the goal was for everyone to be able to say they have at least six friends in the office. After speaking with some of my new lunch buddies, I can confidently say that many of us have accomplished that goal and then some.
And they say there’s no such thing as a free lunch…
-Morgan Kelly, Brand Manager