How to Make Your CEO More Approachable to Employees

Your CEO may be a genius when it comes to running a company, but he or she might not be as approachable as you’d like in dealing with employees, including at corporate events. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can make your CEO more approach to employees:

Get active on social media. Platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are great ways for CEOs to connect with employees – especially when some of your employees work at other locations or remotely. CEOs at the top Fortune 500 companies are using social media to stay in touch with their workforce, including Richard Branson (Virgin Group), Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn) and Marissa Mayer (Yahoo!).

Step out of the CEO bubble. CEOs can gain respect by opening up a bit personally. At an employee event, a CEO can become more approachable by telling a personal story. Doing so reinforces the impression that an executive is just like the rest of the team in many ways.

Show recognition throughout the day. CEOs should make a habit of pointing out the great things employees do every day. A hand-written note, email, handshake or high-five in the hallway goes a long way to showing appreciation to personnel. As Google’s Larry Page puts it: “My job as a leader is to make sure everybody in the company has great opportunities, and that they feel they’re having a meaningful impact and are contributing to the good of society.”

Share the not-so-proud moments. Everyone makes mistakes. Sharing these incidents with employees during an event or in an employee communiqué makes a CEO appear more human. As Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat, wrote recently, “I’ve learned that nothing builds engagement more than being accountable to the people in your organization.”

Use webcasts. Especially with a dispersed workforce, CEO cannot always meet face to face with employees. Webcasts enable executives to reach employees on a regular basis in a more personal way than phone conference calls do.

Fostering an open relationship between executives and employees is essential to an effective and productive corporate environment. It’s important to ensure C-Level professionals are approachable for the entire team. How do you make a CEO more friendly and accessible? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

For a complimentary 30-minute consultation on how to build your brand and inspire an audience through events and communications, please contact Brian Duffy by calling 630.427.4235 or by emailing bduffy@onesmoothstone.com

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