It can be easy to slip into “check-the-box” rounding with employees: “How’s it going? Everything good? Great, keep up the good work!” Just because you talked to someone does not mean you rounded. It’s more than that. Think of rounding as intentional communication to drive engagement and improvement.
The concept is based on the model of doctors’ rounds with their hospital patients. In focused discussions during patient rounding, doctors assess what is helping and what is not. They make a connection, look for clues to understand a problem, identify solutions, and make the best use of the team. Patient rounding is not meant to replace an annual physical or tests for other unrelated medical issues any more than your leadership rounding is meant to replace your other performance management interactions like coaching, goal setting, performance reviews, etc. Rounding is its own carved out opportunity for quality dialogue.
As you reflect on your rounding skills, consider:
For inspiration for more great questions, look at your employee opinion/engagement survey items. If there is a particular area you are working on, create a question related to it so that you can take a pulse on how your action plans are leading to improvement. While social interactions matter, it’s the intentional questions-and the data that they provide you-that differentiates rounding from other communications.
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Lead the Way in Five Minutes A Day: Sparking High Performance in Yourself and Your Team, by Jo Anne Preston is currently available for purchase.
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