Who do you work with today?   Will that change in the future?

Will you be rotated to another team, another assignment,  ♦ or project?  Will there be a need to step out of your comfort zone and work with a worker that you did not know?   Ideally, you did not ignore them when you passed them in the hallway, the cafeteria or the parking lot.  But it happens on a daily basis on the job.  We are looking down at our mobile devices as we are holding our laptops and material in our hand.  We miss the opportunity to connect with the person in the hallway – even for a moment.

A former colleague mentioned to me that a company that he worked for did a recent  experiment.

Ever heard of the TV show “Undercover Boss“?

Well it was a similar concept, except the undercover person was not the C-level executive.  However, it was one of the most talented persons in the company, with the connections to influence decisions and changes.  So what happened?  This talented person went into the company cafeteria with a mobile device and headphones, got lunch and sat alone at a table.  Nearby, there were tables with chattering employees, enjoying their lunch and each other.  During that lunch hour, no one approached his table to speak or to invite him to join their table of colleagues.  No effort was made to interact or engage.    Just in case this was an isolated incident, the experiment was repeated several times on different days, with the same results.

♦  What happened?

The influential and talented undercover team member reported back to the leadership team his experience.   As  a result, there was executive level attention and discussions that launched in a corporate wide initiative to be proactively inclusive on a daily basis, with all workers, no matter their role or responsibility.   The initiative was launched with a corporate video communication from leadership.  Many who heard the results of the experiment were understandably concerned and shocked at the picture this painted of their workplace.  Another positive action taken was a leadership decision to include a measurable action item in every employee’s quarterly review to stress the continued behavior changes and commitment

♦  What can you do today – right now – to improve the inclusiveness with your teams and in your job?

Don’t overlook the small things.  The basic elements of human interaction and civility in daily interactions can set the tone for better workplace collaboration and inclusiveness.  Who knows, treating our coworkers better could impact in better service to your customers!  Isn’t that one of the chief goals of your business?

  • Acknowledge the existence and presence of everyone you meet.
  • If you come within 5 – 6 of any physical person, no matter there role or stature, acknowledge them.
  • Give a smile or a nod.
  • State a civil “hello”, or “good afternoon”, etc.

Who knows, treating our coworkers better could impact in better service to your customers!  Isn’t that one of the chief goals of your business?

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