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Connecting with a Personal Touch

Direct report rounding helps managers and employees build trust, share ideas, express concerns and find deeper purpose in everyday work.

Rounding lends purpose to workplace conversations

“Dexter” Janet Borrowman is an operational excellence coach for performance improvement in the Southern California Region. She recently spoke with LMP Communications manager Sherry Crosby about the importance of rounding conversations for managers and frontline workers. Building a workplace culture where everyone’s voice matters is key to our Labor Management Partnership.

What is rounding?

Rounding is an evidence-based practice that relies on purposeful conversation and observation to drive workplace engagement and insights. Direct report rounding involves conversations between a team member and that person’s supervisor, manager or leader.

How does rounding benefit managers and frontline workers?

When done well, rounding helps managers build trust with staff, gain insights into workplace challenges and recognize employees, which fosters joy in work. Frontline workers benefit by having a chance to connect individually with their managers, share ideas, express concerns and find deeper purpose in their everyday work.

What evidence shows rounding is an effective practice?

Rounding is one of the most effective ways for managers to spend their time. And the more they consistently round, the greater the impact. According to People Pulse, departments where rounding is routinely practiced achieve more meaningful levels of engagement, better patient care outcomes, fewer workplace injuries and improved attendance.

How can frontline workers get the most out of rounding conversations?

Sometimes employees don’t see the benefit of direct report rounding; they just see it as helping the boss complete their checklist. It’s totally missing the point! Rounding is your chance to discuss what you need to be successful and the support you need. This is all about you!

How can managers get the most out of rounding conversations?

Rounding is one of the best tools that managers have for proactively surfacing and addressing issues which can create safer, more efficient and productive teams and environments. Use rounding to connect with your team members. People need to feel that their life and work has meaning, and that they are personally supported and cared for as a complete person. People need a personal touch, especially during difficult times, and rounding can help with that.

How can managers use rounding to build trusting relationships?

Your direct reports need to feel that what they’re saying is important and that you’re following up with action. Circle back to that person who brought up the issue with you. Go to the huddle and follow up with the whole team. We build trust by following up after a rounding conversation. We break trust by not following up.

What advice do you have for those who want to enhance their rounding practice?

If we are doing rounding the right way, if we’re doing it consistently, if we’re doing it authentically, then we will discover what matters most to our people and we’ll be able to better support them and the work they do.

 

Share/Speak Up - ColorTake Action: Get More Out of Rounding

When done consistently and frequently, rounding can help managers and frontline workers cultivate joy in work and ensure all voices are heard. Check out these resources to enrich your rounding conversations:

  • Rounding for success: Use these tip sheets to encourage meaningful conversation between managers and employees.
  • Stoplight Report: Download this visual aid to show team members the status of issues raised in rounding conversations.
  • Get expert advice: Learn the benefits of rounding from a Southern California nurse manager who uses rounding as an ongoing practice.

 

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