In Julius Caesar , when the supreme commander Caesar moves through the city of Rome, the people throw notes at him, which Caesar’s aides pick up. This was a way of informing their leader what they needed fixing in the republic.
In this uncertain times, little is more important than communication. And here’s the clinker, the bit that makes communication actually work – it must be two-way! It is all to easy to be isolated from your employees, to be so wrapped up in running the business and making strategic decisions that chatting to those at the ‘coal-face’ comes very low on your list of priorities. Yet, being seen by your employees, being visible is incredibly important.
If you are likely to appear at any time, your employees are likely to make an effort and be productive the majority of the time. And you are less likely to create a deathly silence when you actually do walk into a room! So regular visits at varying times are important.
Also, the more regular your visits, the easier it will be for them to open up to you, share information with you. Yes, you may have an open door policy, but are employees using it? It’s a great thing to be promoting but you need to make yourself approachable as well as accessible. Have you considered that employees may find it very difficult to come to speak to you, to leave the comfort of their work station? Taking yourself out of your office and allowing yourself to bump into employees can create a more casual opportunity for them to tell you things. Things they may not have wanted to bother you about previously or wanted to be seen bothering you with.
So, do you want to learn about your business, know what actually happens on the floor? Step down from your throne and into the Warehouse – the benefits are insurmountable!