Back in the day when I first entered nursing, it was common practice to check on my patients frequently. At the beginning of a new shift, I walked around with the nurse who had charge of my patients during the preceding shift and we discussed the needs of those patients. We called it “making the rounds”.
When I became a manager, I followed the practice I had used so successfully as a nurse. I found myself at the beginning of each day, walking around the office, speaking to each person, asking how things were going and was there anything I could do the help them. Did they have any problems that they were facing that day that needed my attention or the attention of their immediate manager? I was amazed at how quickly they began to look forward to my visits every day.
Well, come to find out now…rounding with employees has been shown to be a very effective leadership tool. To the extent that there are even models out there that show managers how to implement rounding in their organizations. The benefits of rounding have been shown to include: building relationships; setting expectations; focusing on key questions; recognizing staff; improved employee satisfaction; and, reducing turnover.
The recommendation of some studies on rounding is that every employee should be asked the following questions at least every one to two months:
- What is working well today?
- Is there anyone I should be rewarding or recognizing today?
- Do you know of anything we can do better?
- Do you have the tools and equipment you need to do your job?
The most important message that is communicated in rounding and getting their input is that you care about and value them. It gives the opportunity to recognize and reward employees for their contributions to the organization and its customers. In a healthcare organization, it has proven to increase quality care with patients. The result in any organization is engaged and caring employees.
I now work at PPR Talent Management Group. Our leaders make rounds every day. It is one of the reasons we have such a great culture and have been recognized by the Best Places to Work Institute as a great place to work for the past ten years. Rounding really does work!
Let us know how rounding works for you.
Ruth R. Stiehl, Ph.D., R.N.