logo image

ATD Blog

The Morning Routine of a Ground Floor Leader


Wed Oct 12 2016

The Morning Routine of a Ground Floor Leader

I recently decided that I wanted to step it up and be more active in my local church as a section greeter. This is someone responsible for making people feel welcomed and invited in a particular section of our sanctuary, particularly those who might be first-time visitors. To become an “official” greeter, I was required to attend a brief information/training session on what my responsibilities would entail and actions I should take to be hospitable to parishioners.

During this meeting, we were instructed to do two things when we serve as section greeters:

  • Welcome anyone within 10 feet with a warm greeting. 

  • Spend three minutes after the service getting to know someone new.

I instantly thought to myself: “Wouldn’t these be great rules to follow at work and in life—not just at church?” Further, I pondered the benefits that an employee could gain from their manager giving them a warm greeting in the morning and spending a few minutes talking with them about their day.

According to Gallup, one of the key drivers of employee engagement is whether an employee feels as though their manager truly cares about them as a person. Asking someone about their day is also perceived by many as a random act of kindness, which also has several proven benefits, such as a direct link to employee performance. If you want to become a Ground Floor Leader—someone who is intentional about positively influencing employees on the ground floor of an organization, I would highly encourage you to adopt the following morning routine. 

Spend 30 Minutes “Getting Settled”

When you arrive at the office, set your watch, phone, or other timer for 30 minutes. This is your time to scan your email, respond to any overnight emergencies, and get your morning coffee. In other words, it’s your time to get settled in for the day. When the 30 minutes is up, step away from your computer and your office. Don’t worry, you won’t be gone long enough for any catastrophic events to take place.

Say Hello to at Least Five of Your Employees

After you’ve started your day, make a point to genuinely greet five of your employees for a minute each. All it takes is a simple hello, a smile, or well wishes for the day ahead. If you are in a remote location away from your employees but in a place where you can greet other workers that you know, still take the time to say hello to folks. Consider sending an email, text, instant message, or call to a few people who you feel compelled to reach out to appreciate something that they did. 

Spend Five Minutes Having a Personal Conversation

Do you recall an employee telling you they have to leave early for their kid’s soccer game or another personal event? If so, make a point to follow up with that individual and ask how things went or how things are going in general. If they aren’t up for personal talk, you can ask them how their work is going and if there is anything you can do to make them more successful.


All in all, your time spent caring for your employees will only amount to 10 minutes, but it will likely have lasting effect on their morale and their performance. Sure, you could spend 10 minutes looking at a P&L statement or reviewing your strategy, but investing that 10 minutes in the people who make the business profitable will always yield higher results.

You've Reached ATD Member-only Content

Become an ATD member to continue

Already a member?Sign In


Copyright © 2024 ATD

ASTD changed its name to ATD to meet the growing needs of a dynamic, global profession.

Terms of UsePrivacy NoticeCookie Policy