CEOs are busy. Under a lot of pressure. The idea of taking on additional responsibilities may seem…ridiculous. And yet, one could make the point that employee communication is already a fundamental aspect of the job description.
People do well when they are recognized by their bosses. And isn’t it your job as CEO to make sure that the company is as effective and profitable as possible?
In this article, we look at how and why CEOs can interact regularly with their employees.
The Company-Wide Event
Company-wide events are a good way to get everyone together. Particularly now in the age of remote work, where it’s not uncommon for team members to never see one another below the shoulders. It’s a good way to show appreciation, and maybe build up a little bit of comradery that can be used to bolster efficiency throughout the rest of the year.
Let’s face it: it’s also a good way for a business leader to kill a whole bunch of birds with one large stone. It’s hard to have face-to-face interactions with your entire staff on a regular basis while also trying to run a company. Company-wide events are a good way to meet everyone within a contained setting and then get back to work on Monday.
Oh good. I’m glad we are on the same page on this. So, I’ll just get someone to organize that event, and then—
Woah! Saddle-up cowboy. We’re still talking here. Yes. Company-wide events have their application. They can be fun. They do build teamwork. And, when you plan them right, your staff may even view them as an exciting little perk. Something to look forward to every year. You’re definitely still getting a bunch of birds with one stone. However, this can’t be the beginning and end of your employee outreach initiatives.
The Value of One on One Interactions
The average employee reports trusting a stranger more than they trust their boss. And guess what? They don’t trust strangers very much. Managers and upper-level employers are no better off in this dynamic. They also report feeling isolated from the people they work with.
This dynamic is tricky, born both from the tension that is inherent to, and perhaps even necessary for any hierarchical structure. Authority can be a consequence of separation, just as separation can be a consequence of authority.
This dynamic may also be a holdover from the traditional work environment. From nine to five, the employee belongs to the business. The boss is there to make sure that their staff doesn’t forget it. This idea has become antiquated over the years.
In reality, people tend to do pretty well without extensive oversite. They certainly do well with increased workplace flexibility. Some of the tension has slackened, and yet the separation remains. What is a boss to do?
Well, one of the primary complaints that the average employee has about their boss is that they don’t feel recognized for their efforts. A little bit of recognition in the form of the occasional conversation can go a long way toward helping employees feel like they are being seen in their place of work.
You don’t have to stop and chat with everyone every single day. But how hard is it to stop and chat with people you bump into in the hallway? Or maybe do the occasional round through the office space, chatting with people?
Pro tip: Ask them about their families. Talking about work is….fine. But it doesn’t make people light up the way talking about their kids does. It’s also worth considering that some people might feel a little nervous talking about their job with the CEO.
A nice personal conversation will brighten their day and increase morale in the process.
Low morale, lack of communication, and employee isolation are three of the main reasons that people leave their jobs. The occasional conversation can go a long way toward addressing all of those issues, particularly when your efforts are made in earnest.
It doesn’t take up much of your time, and it can have a big impact on the company culture and overall atmosphere of your place of work.
Outreach can also make your staff feel more comfortable coming forward with ideas, or even problems. They may not bring every thought directly to you — and that’s probably for the best. But, if they know that your business prioritizes employee communication, team members will feel empowered to bring their contributions to the table more regularly.
Accepting a diversity of opinions not only makes people feel seen and heard. It also improves your chances of getting great ideas in places you might never have thought to look.
Making Yourself Accessible
Accessibility isn’t only about taking strolls around the office from time to time. You can also improve your relationship with team members through other forms of communication. Make it clear that you’re open to receiving emails. Establish a social media presence. Take steps to firmly establish that you are always interested in and open to employee interactions.