There is More than One Way to Round
rounding isn't one size fits all
Rounding can occur across all levels of an organization. Mid-level leaders round with their direct reports. Senior leaders round with mid-level leaders. Executive leaders round with senior leaders, etc. It also is beneficial when cross-departmental rounding occurs, and when executive leaders round with front-line employees. Senior leaders will likely not be able to round with front-line employees with great frequency, but we know employees closest to the daily work have valuable insights to share. When rounding occurs at all levels we begin to break down silos and barriers between departments and increase engagement within our organizations.
Connecting individually with employees demonstrates our care and concern for their wellbeing, and effectively builds trusting relationships, therefore laying the foundation for creativity and innovation to flourish. While rounding, our focus as leaders is on listening, connection, and support. To effectively build relationships, leaders round with individuals on a consistent basis. This consistency is critical to building trust and strong relationships. The cadence itself will vary based on the size of a leader’s team and the organization, we want to take this into consideration as we plan a realistic rounding cadence.
To accomplish the task of routinely rounding on all employees in larger organizations, it’s helpful to set a yearly plan for our various leader levels. For example:
- Once per quarter executive leaders may round with mid-level leaders
- Twice per year executive leaders may round with front-line employees
- Leaders and their direct reports benefit from connecting at least once per month
To continue the flow of information and meeting employee’s needs, each leader can compile a summary of their rounding conversations to cascade up to their leader. This helps to keep our executive leadership team informed of the most important information relevant to all employees.
To best meet our employee’s needs, the organization’s goals, and serve our customers we consistently connect and listen. This may look different depending on the organization, and that’s okay. Remember, there isn’t a wrong way to round, unless you’re not doing it at all. Below are a few examples that may work for your team or organization.
6 different ways to round:
Senior executives design a plan to round on all levels of the organization. Depending on the number of employees, it’s likely this will only be possible one to three times per year. To reach all employees, each executive can be responsible for rounding with a specific business unit or department. During the next phase, leaders can be responsible for a different department, therefore providing people the opportunity to connect with those they may not regularly see.