#Nextchat: Being Present

What does it take to be an effective leader in today’s workplaces?  It’s a long list; however, one trait that will always appear at the top is being present.  Leaders have to get out of their offices and walk around so that they get to know their employees, professionally and personally.

To express sincere interest in an employee’s livelihood and well-being shows care and compassion, which, in turn, builds trust.  And trust encourages greater engagement and loyalty. 

Most leaders can barely find time to eat lunch, let alone walk around and talk with employees throughout the day. Even so, building this time into a daily or weekly schedule can have an enormous positive impact on an organization’s success and continued growth. Taking the time to visit and speak with workers can be more valuable—and revealing—than hours of meetings spent poring over spreadsheets and analytics reports in attempts to increase the bottom line.  Happy, productive employees increase the bottom line. Just ask Zappos.

A leader’s presence on the front lines of their business, such as a CEO taking incoming calls at the company’s call center, can also open a window to customers’ perspectives and to how others view your corporate brand. 

HR professionals can benefit by being more present, especially when it comes to understanding the pulse of their organization and creating strategies to match it. In his recent Next Blog post “Being Present,” Brad Galin says, “The only way HR can be relevant to an organization is to understand what being relevant in the organization means and what it looks like … I can’t do good work unless I know what is needed and that can’t happen by sitting in my office and waiting for things to come to me.”

Please join @weknownext at 3 p.m. ET on Jan. 29 for #Nextchat with special guest Brad Galin (@BradGalin). We’ll discuss why it’s important for leaders to be present.

Q1. Why is it so important for leaders to be “present” in an organization?

Q2. When leaders are present, it builds employee morale, trust and loyalty.  What are some other benefits?

Q3. Other than time, what do you think holds most leaders back from being present or walking around their organization?  

Q4. What comments have you received, as a leader, from employees when you walk around and are present?

Q5. How has being present and walking around helped you become a better leader?

Q6. What do you think about your leaders when they are present—when they take time to walk around?

Q7. Other than walking around, how can leaders be present in their organization?

Q8. How can leaders be more present to telecommuters, who might feel isolated and disconnected from the organization?



The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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