If you are like us, you’ll probably say that you’re already practicing leader rounding with your employees. We would have said so, too, at one time. In fact, during that time, if people had asked us if we rounded, we would have said, “You bet! I can do the whole organization in less than 30 minutes.” In fact, we would say to our assistants, “I’m going to go round. I’ll be back in 18 minutes.”
We would walk through the halls and flash a thumbs-up to employees as we passed by. We would ask people, “How you doing?” Usually they’d say, “Fine.” We would say, “Great!” and keep up the pace. If someone responded with a problem, such as “We’re understaffed,” we would say, “Hang in there!” and move on.
Leader rounding is different from what we thought it was. First, we encourage all leaders to round with their direct reports. The first thing we do as leaders when we round is build relationships with our employees- get to know them, what they like, what they relate to, the people who are most important to them, and other things that define employees as individuals. When leaders round, they recognize employees’ needs, which are to feel cared for, to develop their skills through training, and to have the resources they need to do their jobs.
Asti Kelley, Studer Education℠