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Taking Leadership in Stride: The Art and Adventure of Managing By Walking Around

May 15, 20232 min read

Managing By Walking Around (MBWA) is a management technique that involves informal and spontaneous visits by managers to different areas of the workplace, engaging with employees, observing operations, and gathering firsthand information. This approach enables managers to stay connected with their teams, gain insights into daily operations, and identify potential issues and opportunities for improvement.

Through MBWA, managers and employees can enhance their knowledge, skills, and attitudes, leading to a more effective and engaged workforce.


This approach promotes open communication, collaboration, and continuous improvement, ultimately contributing to the organization's success.

How to practice Managing by Walking Around (MBWA)?

1.    Make it a routine: Set aside regular time in your schedule to walk around and interact with employees. This can be daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on the size of your organization and your managerial responsibilities.

2.    Be approachable and open: Adopt a friendly and open demeanour, encouraging employees to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas. This helps build trust and fosters open communication.

3.    Engage in active listening: When speaking with employees, listen attentively and show genuine interest in their perspectives. Ask open-ended questions to encourage conversation and gain deeper insights.

4.    Observe operations: Pay attention to the workflow, processes, and overall work environment while walking around. This can help you identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies, or areas where improvements can be made.

5.    Provide immediate feedback: If you notice something that can be improved or corrected, offer constructive feedback on the spot. This shows that you are engaged and committed to helping employees succeed.

6.    Celebrate successes: Acknowledge and celebrate employee achievements during your walkabouts. This helps boost morale and motivates employees to maintain high performance.

7.    Follow up on issues and suggestions: After addressing concerns or receiving suggestions from employees, ensure that appropriate follow-up actions are taken. This demonstrates that you value their input and are committed to resolving issues.

8.    Maintain a balance: While practising MBWA, it's important not to micromanage or infringe on employees' autonomy. Strike a balance between staying informed and involved without hindering productivity or undermining employees' sense of responsibility.

By incorporating MBWA into your management approach, you can stay closely connected with your team, promote open communication, identify areas for improvement, and foster a positive work environment, ultimately leading to increased productivity and organizational success.

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