How to Use Employee Rounding to Engage Remote Employees [In 2023]

Of all the employee engagement ideas and techniques that I’ve looked into, I’ve found that employee rounding works the best. You would think that in-house employees and remote employees would have different engagement triggers, but they’re more or less the same.

You would think that in-house employees and remote employees would have different engagement triggers, but they’re more or less the same.

Most employees leave a company because of their managers or supervisors. In fact, according to Gallup, almost 75 percent of people quit their jobs because of bad managers.

Employees expect their superiors to be approachable, involved, and have great communication skills. They also expect proper tools and equipment, development opportunities, and appreciation

Ultimately, your employees’ talents won’t mean much if they are not engaged. If that’s the case, it’ll be hard to adapt to the situation, and even harder to retain existing employees.

To counter this, I adopted the concept of employee rounding. It helps me keep my remote employees satisfied, loyal, and highly productive. It helps a lot to be transparent, show employees what they’re a part of, and continuously keep them in the loop.

Pay and benefits only go so far. Even the latest human capital management software isn’t enough. You can only truly increase employee efficiency, motivation, and satisfaction through engagement. More specifically, employee engagement through employee rounding.

Let’s look at the concept more closely.

What Exactly is Employee Rounding?

Employee rounding is the process of consistently asking questions from your employees to obtain information. More specifically, it’s when you regularly ask your employees for updates, communicate with them, and provide feedback and advice.

Now, you may be thinking: How does asking my employees a ton of questions help?

For starters, you probably already do it. And the idea here is not to just ask a lot of questions – but to shift your focus to asking specific questions.

The Focus of Questions During Employee Rounding

You should have some objectives in mind during employee rounding. These should serve as a framework through which you should decide what questions to ask, and how to communicate.

Work on these objectives in your next employee rounding practice:

  • Build Relationships – The idea is to understand and know your employees on a personal level. Building a relationship with your employees helps you relate to them, and vice versa. Ask questions like, “How are the kids?” or “How’s that diploma coming along?” Make sure you know what your employees are going through.
  • Get Insights on ‘Wins’ – Find out what’s working for your employees. Ask them what’s going well, who’s doing well, and how. Find out who’s being the most helpful to them, if anyone.
  • Ask about Potential Improvements – Find out whether your employees are happy with how things are at work. Ask them whether they have any ideas or suggestions for improvements. Get to know if they think any systems can be working better. Identify all the potential areas of improvement.
  • Resolve and Monitor Processes – Your questions should help you repair and monitor the processes and systems with issues. This involves all issues related to your employees. You can ask questions related to productivity, such as, “How long did it take you to complete this task?”
  • Ensure Centralized Standards – You need to make sure all employees follow the behavioral and process standards set by the company. This is mostly done to reward employees who follow standards. Also, you can take this opportunity to train those that don’t follow the standard.

These are the objectives you should keep in mind to ensure your employee rounding process develops positive results.

Emphasizing on Employee Rounding Objectives

Employees tend to feel part of the company and more inclusive when you engage in relationship-building conversations with them. In all levels of an organization, communication is about building relationships. Your employees should feel that you and the company cares about them.

Another important thing is to always keep your questions positive. This means that you should always focus on what’s working right. In addition, avoid emphasizing on what’s wrong and/or not working.

When you develop an understanding of what’s right and what works, you can devise solutions based on that information. A positive work culture not only reinforces employee motivation but also helps identify potential opportunities.

Employee rounding also helps you recognize who’s doing well, and give them the recognition they deserve. This motivates the employees being recognized and makes them strive to do better. Meanwhile, it makes the rest of the employees want to do better and be recognized.

Every organization has a set of rules, standards, and behaviors that employees have to adhere to. But, not every employee will automatically follow them. Recognizing the people who do follow them is important. During employee rounding, emphasize on the employees who do follow standards, and show others why it’s important.

The idea is to communicate with your employees to identify reasons behind delays, employee frustration, and any issues in productivity. Once you know what’s wrong, you take rectifying measures, and then have another employee rounding session.

Getting Faster Rounding Results

Employee rounding may seem like a tedious task. After all, going to every employee and talking to them can take a lot of time. That’s why you should use a hierarchy system for rounding. Managers will round more often with their direct supports. Founders will round once a month with entry-level employees by taking one out to lunch. Here are some tips on getting it done faster.

  • Always start employee rounding with certain objectives in mind for that time.
  • Make an employee rounding calendar and use general leader rounding logs.
  • Use the rounding log to keep track of current and follow-up employee rounding sessions.

Employee Rounding for Higher Employee Satisfaction

The number one way to achieve employee satisfaction is to engage your employees. It may seem tough at first, but it’s really not. It’s all about having the means to communicate effectively.

However, if you don’t know how and what to ask (and discuss with) your employees, it can be problematic. A recent study found that most remote employees feel left out because they yearn for regular and better communication.

Here are some employee rounding techniques for high employee satisfaction:

  • Try and stick with positive questions. Ask your employees questions like, “Are you happy with the tools you have?” Avoid questions like, “Are you lacking in productivity due to improper tools?”
  • Reinforce your employees’ confidence by helping them recognize their value. Reiterate how many times and for how long they have done their jobs. List down their lists of achievements. Help them see that they’re capable of what they’re doing, and then some.
  • Inquire whether other employees (remote or otherwise) have been helpful and communicative. Also, ask them about client behavior and how well their interactions have been.
  • Let your employees know when you’re holding an employee rounding session again. Setting such expectations helps employees develop a schedule and work accordingly.

Being regular with these techniques will help drive employee engagement in your company. Which means you get better quality work, higher productivity, and retention.

Importance of Employee Rounding and Its Implications

You will see an increase in staff and employee engagement through employee rounding. You will also notice a boost in employee satisfaction. This leads to better employee retention. The secondary result of employee rounding is better productivity, more motivation, increased efficiency, and happier employees.

Meanwhile, you will have created a productive culture in your organization. In addition, you will have improved communication among employees through all channels.

Start Your Journey of Continuous Growth

Successful organizations have one thing in common, engaged and satisfied employees.

Plus, the best way to know how to get them that way, is to just ask them directly.

So start rounding for outcomes – and you’ll create the culture you want.

Josh Fechter
Josh Fechter is a business strategy consultant and founder. He's written several world-recognized books on software configuration, speaks Spanish, ballroom dances, and owns The Product Company and Squibler.