Articles on: Action Plan Library

Senior Leadership - Increasing Visibility

In many organizations, especially larger ones, employees view their CEO as simply a figurehead. But can you blame them for feeling this way if their CEO is someone they rarely see, or better yet, have never spoken to? We all know transparency is key for building trust and improving engagement among employees. And the most transparent companies are the ones with an engaged and visible leadership team.

Goal


Make senior leadership more visible to employees.

The importance of increasing leadership visibility in the workplace
Senior leadership plays a critical role in defining the strategic direction of an organization. While many organizations can convey this through a solid internal communications plan, nothing is more effective than hearing it directly from the CEO. TalentMap research shows that employees want more and better communications from their leaders. But even in organizations where employees interact with senior leadership on a regular basis, it can still be intimidating for employees to voice their thoughts in front of the big boss. Increasing visibility breaks down the walls between leadership and employees. It helps employees feel more comfortable asking questions, and allows them to better understand how their work fits into the big picture. This results in a more purposeful, productive workforce, and better communication throughout all levels of the organization.

What to consider when increasing leadership visibility
As important as it is for senior leadership to make themselves more present, it is equally important to get the delivery right when interacting with employees. Using corporate jargon or giving vague speeches about the company direction is not going to gain the trust of employees. Leaders must engage with them in honest and real ways. While this might seem like a big undertaking for busy executives, taking 30 minutes out of your day to complete some (or all) of the following tasks can make a major impact.

Action


Increase Visibility In The Workplace

Participate in reverse job shadowing - Have senior leaders shadow two junior employees (or employees they don’t interact with often) for an hour each month. For employees, this is a great opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and connect with senior leaders on a human level. Meanwhile, senior leaders will be able to better understand how their business functions and use that knowledge to make better strategic decisions and realistic goals.

Visit different departments - Have different members of the senior leadership team regularly make rounds around the office and interact briefly with department members. These visitations are most effective when they are informal and the interactions unscripted. Sometimes, just being present is enough to show employees that management cares.

Hold all-hands meetings - Host monthly or bi-monthly meetings with your entire organization to provide company updates, share important information, and give recognition where it is due. Have employees take part in the discussion by having them share what they have been working on and encouraging them to voice their thoughts.

Leverage communications channels - For organizations that work with remote teams, try communicating facts and big picture information through monthly or bi-monthly video chats with various departments. Depending on the size of your organization, chats should be kept to between 30 minutes and an hour while allowing some time for Q&A.

Host executive breakfasts - Organize small, informal breakfasts with employees. This will allow senior leadership to connect with employees on a more personal level, and give employees the opportunity to ask questions and voice their thoughts in a comfortable setting.

Reference Material
Visibility as a Leader
Breaking Down the Walls
6 Things Good CEOs Always Do to Connect With Employees
5 ways to increase leader visibility in the workplace

Updated on: 12/24/2020

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