Well? Do they?
The one thing I hear most often after employee events is how much colleagues appreciate having time with the senior leaders in the organisation. You know, the ones you usually only see from afar, if at all, especially if they are based in another location, or understandably as their diaries are extraordinarily busy.
And time and time again, employees who have had a chance to spend time in person with those leaders come away changed, and invigorated in their commitment to the Company vision.
The most inspirational, the biggest leaders, are even asked for selfies… so should this be something we encourage? Could it not be seen as frivolous, or unprofessional? Isn’t it just a waste of a leader’s time?
Some denounce the selfie as symptomatic of a narcissistic generation, an expression of self-absorption. Others argue that selfies are simply the modern way of recording special moments or people, and when taken with special people, a modern-day autograph book.
It’s important, I believe, to consider how the whole process of getting a selfie is one of connection – the request (sometimes overcoming a little nervousness), the huddling up to be visible in a few inches of screen, the inevitable technology issue, the checking of the photo, the thanks. In my experience in HR, you should never underplay the importance of moments of connection, wherever you find them.
At work it’s the same. I’d argue if you are a senior leader, and asked for a selfie, or invited to have a conversation on a human level with your employees, grasp that opportunity.
Revel in the fact that to some people you are a bit of a rockstar; an inspiring leader; someone they’d like to remember having spent time with. You are doing your job just right.
If, on the other hand, you don’t get asked for selfies with your employees, perhaps now is the time to gently question for yourself – why not?
Spending time with the senior leaders, recounting cycling tours, discussing wine, exclaiming over GT500 racing, admiring watch collections, and comparing notes from the garden were the order of the day at the #GoElectric gallery event. Talking as humans and understanding leaders as whole people forges connections you can’t make in a Company Bulkmail, and gives a new perspective to the shared passion we have for what we do.
At the end of the night I’d only managed a couple of selfies myself, although I took many more for others in the employee SoMe team. If there was a competition then I clearly lost, but I don’t mind at all, because every connection I made was a win.
(I feel like I made up for it by excitedly spotting Robert Llewellyn the next morning and charging over for a selfie with my colleague Matt (I’m very much a Red Dwarf fan)).
Thanks then, to Robert, and also to Stuart, Roelant, SJ, Steven, Amko, Darren, Michael, Jay and everyone else for their time at this event and others. I hope the coverage we’ve given goes some way to repay your investment in our team!
I’ve been taking part in a really special @forduk event this week, sharing all the excitement with you on Social Media. Be Social with me using the icons below #GoElectric