Peter Aceto is a passionate leader. As the President and CEO of Tangerine, he stands for more than a leader of a bank: his goal is to change the conversation about leadership, and to inspire unconventional thinking and transparency that delivers unparalleled results for business and consumers. Today, Peter’s new book, Weology: How Everybody Wins When We Comes Before Me, hit store shelves, and we’ve got an exclusive excerpt for you here:
An open-door policy. . .without doors
Employee engagement is one of the most important ingredients for a successful business. You can strategize about vision, innovation, collaboration and even compensation, but if your team is not “in it to win it,” you have a problem.
Leaders are beginning to question years of old practices and con- ventional wisdom. For years, CEOs have been isolated in steel-and- glass towers, behind giant wooden desks and thick opaque doors. The fact is that CEOs, leaders and the rest of the people in an organ- ization are the same. The challenge today is proving that humanity exists at the top, that you are accessible, that you listen, and that you want to hear from them directly. There can’t be enough clarity or rep- etition around this message. Not when we’ve been trained for years to believe otherwise.
So, are you all in when it comes to open communication? How open is your open-door policy? How comfortable is your team in talking to you? I do not have an office. I sit at an open desk with various people and departments around me. Human Resources is to my right, our Strategy Team is to my left. No walls, doors or barriers. Anyone can drop by and chat.
The concept of ROR—return on relationships—is an important and valuable one. Enabling dialogue, being open and real, make the most difference in engagement. Recently, on Tangerine’s intranet site, I asked all of our employees if there was anything about our business that they would like to bitch about. This may sound unconventional to some, but why wait for reviews and surveys to find out how your team is feeling? And will surveys actually reveal what is really being talked about at the water cooler?
These conversations are happening right now as you read this, in my company and yours. So why not find out directly what ticks off and aggravates your team during their day, and what you can do about it? Let your team in, break down the barriers and truly commit to an open-door policy, whether you take that figuratively or literally.
Getting a grasp on the true reality of your business without any filters is a huge benefit to any leader, particularly a CEO. With this you will build openness, transparency and trust. Consequently you will experience a substantial shift in the overall engagement levels of your most prized resource: your people!