The Power of Lunch with the CEO

posted by Administrator on 07/02/2019 in Blog Posts  | Tagged , , , ,

Engaging your employees, especially as part of the executive team can be challenging. Traditionally speaking, most organizational hierarchies tend to separate, by design, the most senior executives from lower level employees. However, recent research is pointing to the need for CEOs to be more hands-on with all employees to increase workplace productivity and employee satisfaction. And, having regular lunch sessions that enable the CEO to interact with all employees to share their strategic vision and allow employees to contribute their ideas can be a beneficial way to breakdown the traditional hierarchy and enhance how the company grows. According to the CEO peer group coaches, here are the top three ways you can implement a CEO lunch series in your organization.

  1. Lunch with New Employees. As the newest additions to your organization, you want them to feel welcomed, supported, and excited about the company’s mission. This also is a great opportunity to share more of the company’s story, the importance of their work, and any employee success stories. The idea is, you want new employees to leave the lunch feeling empowered and clear on what they will do and the impact it will have on the company (customers included).
  2. Open Lunch for All Employees. Having a standing CEO lunch at least once a quarter can be an effective way to give employees access to the executive team. You can focus the lunch around a topic such as “How to Increase Customer Acquisition” and ask those that attend to contribute to the discussion with their thoughts, ideas, concerns, or questions. Having some structure to the lunch is helpful in ensuring attendees leave the event feeling like they have contributed to the organization’s mission. You may choose to leave it more free-flowing and just allow time for all employees to interact with the CEO in a casual lunch setting.
  3. Lunch with Invited Employees. Limiting the number of people that can attend the lunch can be an effective way to create an exclusive and personable experience. It becomes difficult to communicate with and manage a large lunch and employees may still leave the event feeling like they did not have time to interact with the executive team. With this arrangement, employees are invited to attend the lunch, ideally one employee per department and enabling them to have a more one-on-one experience. This works best if different employees are chosen for each lunch (regardless of their seniority level) to ensure that the CEO interacts with a wide range of employees over the course of the lunch series.

No matter which type of arrangement you pursue for your organization, the key to improving CEO and employee communication is rooted in follow through. Employees want to feel valued and know that what they share during the meetings will be acknowledged and/or acted on. 

What are other ways that you engage with your employees? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook.