I can't remember where I read about a CEO who literally walked the entire plant floor every morning at his company. It took him close to two hours to complete this task each day. When asked why he would do this every day, he acted surprised at the question and said "why wouldn't I?" He valued his employees. He put them first.
When I am out touring different plants and businesses in our community, I ask them how frequently they "walk the floor" and have received some varied responses. One individual told me that he has three different offices throughout the plant, to enable his employees have better access to him. Impressive.
You may think this lesson only applies to the manufacturing industry. That is certainly not so. It is just as important in any type or size company. If you work at a company that has multiple buildings, when is the last time you visited all of them? Even if it is a small operation, take the time to stop by their desk; conversation and discussions doesn't always have to be on your own turf.
It is not too late to add another goal to your list for 2009 - make time to "walk the floor."