By virtue of their formal titles, leaders have a duty to acknowledge people wherever they are and wherever they go within the organization.
And for that matter, they even represent the organization as soon as they step outside of the company doors.
It can be making sure to give the simple pleasantries and greetings in the hallway or on the elevator. Making time for the informal chat in the cafeteria or before a meeting begins.
Leaders must always be on as far as seeking recognition giving opportunities.
No matter where you are or wherever you go as a leader you must make an extra effort to appreciate people and their contributions.
Appreciating people wherever you are takes focus and intention.
Your Status Speaks More Than You Realize
While peer-to-peer recognition is certainly the rage right now because they’re the ones who mostly see the work that people do, there is something about being recognized by your boss or a senior leader.
Our CEO gives what he calls a “platinum tour” of our company to all visiting clients and dignitaries.
And he also makes sure to give the very same tour to all of our new employees too.
These employees always speak highly of being escorted by their CEO around the offices and plan and told of the history of the company and hearing about different job functions.
This CEO’s action makes these employees feel special.
When You Blow It As A Leader
I remember a new manager expressing frustration to me of how their senior leader would walk right on by them in the hallway without a single word of acknowledgment.
Worse still, the same ignoring behavior was displayed on the streetcar when employees traveled home.
Then these same leaders wonder why recognition, trust and respect score low on the employee engagement survey.
Yet, they are all smiles and warm and friendly at the podium when giving employees their awards at a public awards ceremony.
Leaders must be the same people off stage as they are on stage.
Be In The Room
Many employees hardly get a chance to see their company leaders let alone personally interact with them.
Too many employees complain that senior leaders seem to fly through the company and meet only with the directors and managers and never with employees.
When visiting your various locations or even different departments, incorporate one-on-one, or small group, conversations as you walk about the office or factory floor.
Spend a little more time stopping to chat on these visits away from head office.
You can also join employees for lunch in the cafeteria rather than always eating out or with other leaders.
Ask your employees questions about themselves, and if it feels right, get their input on one thing that could be changed to make the company better.
You will learn volumes from their answers but your presence communicates you value people and their input.
Wherever you go as a leader your job is to make your employees feel special.
Learn to be the same person whether in the boardroom or on the shop floor with the people you interact with.
By being fully engaged you will demonstrate you value people without even saying a word.
Question: What do your leaders regularly do that demonstrates they appreciate their employees?
Roy is no longer writing new content for this site (he has retired!), but you can subscribe to Engage2Excel’s blog as Engage2Excel will be taking Roy’s place writing about similar topics on employee recognition and retention, leadership and strategy.