Managing By Walking Around

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This is not a new concept but one that seems to have been forgotten. As I work with companies to help them enhance their management capabilities I am surprised to see how few managers are actually walking around. We keep getting caught up in paper work, (or at least that is an excuse) and not taking the time to see what our associates, staff, employees, and team members are doing.

It is not just walking around either. It is what you do when you walk around. For example, Patrick made a practice of walking around the factory floor and stopping to speak to some of his employees-usually the same people whom he had known for years. He asked how they were doing and about their families. It was good for morale, but he never learned anything of real value…and neither did his employees.

Contrary example, Greg also walked around his department, but he took a different approach. Before he starts he reviews what projects were being done, who is the team leader, what the completion dates are, what each team members assignments are, and any challenges that he may have that may have an impact on any of the projects. His questions and comments to his staff were focused and specific. He would ask if they were having any problems or if the project was going to be completed by the due date. He asked if they had any suggestions that could help in this or any future projects. He too would ask about their families (very important to know your employees) and would make sure that he allowed people to exchange ideas to enhance their jobs, the company, and the future for success.

Greg’s employees knew that he valued their ideas and suggestions and was able to boost productivity and morale.

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