Often times as managers we don’t think it is a big deal to have lunch with senior management. After all, we see them regularly and interact with them in meetings or in the hallway. But for someone that is an hourly employee who rarely interacts with senior management, it is a BIG deal for them to meet and talk to the president or other members of the senior management team
When I am doing workshops as an employee retention trainer, I often remind HR people of the importance of this type of interaction. Having the ability to ask senior management questions about the business is reassuring to most people. So, let them have that opportunity
The trust level of senior management is lower than it has been in years. By giving your employees access to these leaders, it helps to make them real and enhances trust and as I say as an employee retention speaker, “Trust drives loyalty and people don’t quit people they trust…they quit nameless faceless corporations.” If you give your people that “face” it will pay dividends in your employee retention numbers.
Lastly, if senior management is using the meetings the way they should, they will be using them as an opportunity to educate employees on how the business works. This is an area that most employees are sorely lacking in knowledge so there is a business benefit that goes beyond just employee retention. So…spend a few bucks, bring in subs and let your people have lunch with senior management regularly.