All too often I hear participants complain at my employee retention and employee engagement workshops that they don’t have the time to get out of their office and to wander around to talk to people. As an employee retention speaker and employee retention author, I tell leaders that they need to be intentional and develop a habit of putting time on their calendar to wander around, talk to people and to engage with them. It really is about habits. If you leave it to chance, you are not going to perform any task regularly.
My recommendation is that you allocate time…and put it on your calendar. Pick times you know to be less productive time, set aside 30 minutes and get out of your office, wander around and talk to people. Not only will you get the interaction with people, you will also pick up on organizational issues. It is AMAZING what you see when you get out of your office. You will see people standing around, wasting time in the lunch room, shopping on eBay etc. You won’t see those things when you are sequestered like a monk in your office.
When you start wandering around (I like to call it strolling) don’t take any path in particular, just stroll around, observe and say “hi” to people and generally just chat with them. Most people love it. They love the attention. Although most people love it, he millennials are particularly used to getting attention so this is a chance to give them some when you start talking with them. If you want millennial engagement, this is a must.
The key is to not race through the stroll like you are just trying to get it done. Before I became an employee retention speaker and employee retention consultant, I worked for an incredible leader that had strolling down to an art. He would wander aimlessly through the facility every day and just observe and say “hi.” Conversations would develop as a result. He would ask about work, projects, how the day was going etc. Often, he’d ask how the family was doing and engage in casual conversation. People loved it…and they loved him. It gave him an incredible opportunity to give his employees C.R.A.P. (Caring, Respect, Appreciation and Praise) It was evident in his actions that he cared. This is what built loyalty and employee engagement. It’s what will build millennial engagement. People wanted to do things for him and bring up ideas to him. So, not only did he get to know people, he learned what was going on in the operation.
It’s hard to give your employees C.R.A.P. when you are hiding in your office. The best way to get out of the office is to be intentional and put it on the calendar. So, put it on the calendar, get out of your office and give your employees C.R.A.P.