I worked with a company with one of the simplest and most effective campaigns to boost employee engagement.

I mean super simple.

Ready for it?

It was called “Just say Hi.”

I know, right? Super simple. But how many times have you walked down the hall, in your own head, and didn’t even acknowledge others around you?

Or, as a leader, you have an employee who is going over and above, starting their work day earlier, making sacrifices to prioritize their work to support their team. She is working extra hours and doing way more than the average employee. And then she walks past you, and you don’t even acknowledge her. I know, you’re responding to an important email on your phone.

Do you think they will continue to keep working so hard? Probably not.

At my local gym the thing I love is anytime any employee of the gym sees me, whether they know me or not, they say hello. Or ask me how I’m doing. Or briefly engage with me. It makes me feel appreciated and takes seconds.

It’s like when you are experiencing luxury hospitality. If you’re at the Ritz or Four Seasons, from the janitor to the manager, pretty much everyone acknowledges you.

They just say hi.

Saying “hello” to coworkers helps build relationships and creates a positive work environment leading to better job satisfaction and engagement. And talking with colleagues can foster a sense of community and lead to better teamwork and communication, which can have a positive impact on productivity and job performance.

There could be several reasons why employees don’t say “hello” to each other, including:

  • Lack of time or distractions
  • Lack of training or cultural norms
  • Lack of confidence or shyness
  • Perception of power dynamics or hierarchical relationships
  • Personal preference or comfort level
  • Distrust or previous negative interactions

It’s important to acknowledge that these reasons can vary between individuals and can change over time, and it’s up to each person to determine what works best for them. And as a leader, it is up to you to help build a better culture where your employees feel connected and valued.

You can do this virtually as well. Just reach out to those who you haven’t talked with recently.

It’s super simple. But just another quality of a legendary leader.