Consider adding this one habit to your day, and watch your employee engagement explode.
We call it the Walkabout. Make it a daily habit to go and individually connect with every single person on your team. Yes, every single day. Whether it’s over a video chat, or the more traditional ‘water cooler’ talk, make time to speak individually with every member of your team, every day. During this conversation, make sure to do two things: 1) Ask them something about their life outside of work. 3) Ask them if they have any feedback for the company, any ideas or issues they’ve come across in their work.
This is how we train our business leaders to start each day, and it’s essential. Your team needs to know you’re there for them; they need to feel known. Because, if you really think about it, who is your company’s most important customer? It’s not the one who’s paying with their dollars — it’s the people who are paying with their time. Your employees! They spend more time with your product or service, know more about your history and background, than any paying customer ever will. And yet, for some reason, most business owners give their employees the least amount of actual interaction. Most people don’t do the Walkabout regularly, and it’s an incredible untapped asset. Instead, we go to work and don’t think about anyone else. If Sally’s got her job in accounting, well, that doesn’t have anything to do with me! We forget they’re human. The number one need we have as humans is to be heard and be known; if you want engaged employees, you have to meet that need.
These check-ins don’t have to be an hour-long scheduled meeting; it’s a casual few minutes, a spur-of-the-moment conversation. It’s not about checking off a list, it’s about intentionally saying, “I care about you. I want to know what you know. I want to listen to you.” After all, isn’t that how you want these folks to treat your customers? If we want to have great relationships with our customers, it has to start with our employees. Model the culture for how you want your clients to be treated.
This may sound simple, but it can have profound results.
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