My Leadership Advice: Stay Connected
Like most companies, Assurance has an Intranet which our employees access on a daily basis for company news, information, resource documents, seating charts, birthdays, baby announcements, you name it. We call our Intranet, ‘A’ Street, but it’s really more of an information superhighway than street.
Each month, members of Assurance’s Executive Team take turns writing a personal column for Stay Connected. Since we first launched our ‘A’ Street Intranet site, there have been no hard and fast rules for what our executives’ Stay Connected columns should be about. We were simply seeking an opportunity for employees to get to know our leadership on a more personal level, and hopefully create some new connections. Executives were encouraged to write whatever they were feeling at the moment and just roll with it.
Recently, I’ve gone back and looked at the 70+ Stay Connected articles that have been published. They’re astonishingly diverse, and personal, and introspective, and they make me incredibly proud of my fellow leadership team. Our CEO, COO, and company Presidents have written to our employees on everything from the numerous challenges of parenting, to female empowerment, staying healthy, the value of appreciation, aging, and even Taylor Swift (I’ll admit it – the Swift article was mine).
Needless to say, a fair number of these topics often did connect in some fashion to our workplace and the business we do here at Assurance, but not all of them. I think it’s that mix of personal and business, and sometimes just personal, that makes them overall so powerful.
The most amazing thing about Stay Connected is not just the articles themselves, but the responses and comments they generate from employees throughout the organization. Employees at all levels, near and far, often take the time to react to these articles. This creates an incredible sense of community here at Assurance and I believe an invaluable bond between employer and employee.
If you’re not currently doing something similar at your company on a regular basis, I can’t recommend enough staying personally connected with your employees by getting personal on a consistent basis. People follow leaders they can relate to. If all you ever talk is business, that doesn’t make for a very relatable relationship.
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