By Beverly Crowell

It’s called the 8-foot rule. A leader at a manufacturing facility recently gave the direction to his leadership team to engage with their employees every time they come within eight feet of one of their employees. It’s a simple rule that is simply brilliant!

How many times have you passed a colleague at work with your nose buried in your Blackberry? Have you ever walked down the hall at work and not acknowledged the people you are passing? When was the last time a colleague stopped to talk with you and you’ve not looked up from your computer?

C.S. Lewis once wrote, “This moment contains all moments.” It’s easy to get caught up in work. However, every moment can and does matter. Gallup research suggests that employees would rather be criticized by their boss than ignored. People want to be recognized and acknowledged. Without it, we become disengaged, hurt, frustrated or just plain mad.

It doesn’t have to be hard. Practice the 8-foot rule. You don’t need a measuring tape to get the job done. Use the rule as a reminder to engage with the people around you. If you are busy, you don’t have to stop for a long conversation. Look at the person, say hello, and smile. Miss the moment and you may be missing the boat.