As an employee retention speaker I always ask my audience, “Do you regularly take a morning stroll through your facility or office first thing when you come in?” For most people, the answer is “no.” Usually what they do is go to their office to immediately start to work. And that might work if you are a very earlier riser and if a few are only in. However, in most cases we get in a bit early and start to work because we want to get something productive done before that inevitable first meeting.
Instead of just going to work, take a stroll. After all, being visible and accessible is part of your “work” as a leader. When working as an employee retention trainer, I tell participants in my workshops the morning is a perfect time to demonstrate visibility. Stroll through the facility and say “Good morning…how was your evening?” You will be surprised by what you learn from people. That is when they will tell you about what they did the night before with their family, friends or significant others. You will get to learn some things about them that you may not have known, or, understand the things that are important to them.
People will also ask you questions about what they have scheduled for the day or projects they are working on if they have them. Your visibility enables them to easily access you (before you get into an endless string of meetings) so they can be more productive and not be frustrated by their inability to ask you questions that might hold up their productivity.
Perhaps, most importantly, you will be able to see how things are going and assess their mood. This is crucial to employee retention strategy. If you sense something is wrong, ask! People will open up if they are used to your strolling around and saying “hi” in the morning. This gives you a golden opportunity to act on concerns and be of value to your people.
The morning stroll is something I was trained on early in my career. It should be an integral part of your employee retention strategies. It actually became one of the most fun parts of my day and my people came to expect it and love it. Don’t miss this golden opportunity to be visible and accessible.