I think Oprah said it. Honestly, Oprah has said a lot, but I think I’m safe in attributing “Everyone wants to be heard,” to her. What matters is that she, or whoever said it, was right. When we feel heard, we feel like we matter, and all of us want to matter. Often this presents a challenge when we are HR professionals in large organizations. We think, ‘If we let one person speak, we have to let everyone. If we let everyone speak…we will never see our families again.’ Yes, the prospect of inviting large numbers of employees to the table and creating space for them to express themselves, share their perspectives with leadership, and offer their suggestions for improvement can be daunting. BUT it is not impossible, AND the payoffs of orchestrating the discussion are huge. Chipotle Mexican Grill CEO Brian Niccol and Chief Diversity and Inclusion People Officer Marissa Andrada, have been soliciting employee feedback and suggestions for three years. As a result of that heightened employee engagement Chipotle went from a $6 billion market cap into one that exceeds $50 billion. Believe it or not, when Ms. Andrada was brought on board in 2018, the company did not even have an HR department. Leadership performs better when they are given opportunity to relate to employees at both a personal and professional level. When leadership fields questions that they may not have immediate answers to, and admits that fact, it flattens hierarchy and allows employees to realize that they can contribute potential solutions. When employees present obstacles in their workday to Chipotle leadership during Chip Chats in the morning, leadership will circle back – sometimes by day’s end – with solutions. An ongoing conversation is realistic because each day brings with it new challenges, and new approaches to problem solving. If your organization is not constantly evolving chances are its relevance and competitive standing may be at stake. Growth comes from conversation. Chipotle is having one with its people, are you?