We’ll begin by quoting a paragraph from a 4/12/15 article appearing in healthcare-informatics.com. (Note: I have elided the man's name as well as the name of his company since my purpose here is to focus on the worst-ness of the idea rather than any particular person or organization.)
At the same session [MAN’S NAME], senior vice president and chief information officer for [COMPANY’S NAME], offered CIOs some ideas about employee engagement. He said it was important to be available to employees and purposefully have lots of interactions. He takes the long way on trips to the restroom and realizes the round trip might take 20 minutes because he has lots of interactions on the way. “Let people touch you,” [MAN'S NAME] said. “Make yourself available.”
I will resist the temptation to point out the unfortunateness of having the words “Let people touch you” so closely juxtaposed with the content of its previous sentence and instead focus on why this is potentially such a bad idea. I say “potentially” because it all depends on one’s mind-set while considering applying this tactic. If one is genuinely interested in and regularly connects with employees so that taking the long way on restroom trips is merely one more on a long list of regular connections, then by all means, take the long way. (Although prudence might dictate that you reserve that longer route for when you’re on your way back from the restroom rather than on your way to the restroom, if you get my drift.)
My fear, though, is that in the “Give me three prescriptive steps I can take right now!” ethos favored by so many of today’s bloodless strivers, such chance encounters will have all the genuineness and authenticity of, say, a former Secretary of State’s visit to, say, a Chipotle’s. (For more on this point from, of all people, Steve Martin, scroll down to the very first Musing, which was posted on February 10, 2015.)
Congratulations to [MAN’S NAME] of [COMPANY'S NAME] for providing us with The Worst Employee Engagement Idea of the Week!