MBWA

TIME REQUIRED15 Minutes

essential previous learningNone

Management By Walking Around

Increase employee engagement with this proven management tool

Key Learning Outcomes

  • Implement management by walking around (MBWA) in your business to lift morale and productivity.
  • Recognise the value in engaging in MBWA on a regular basis and adopting an informal and relaxed manner.
  • Acknowledge the need to include all employees in your “walks” over a reasonable time frame, on a one-on-one basis.
  • Adopt an open and honest approach so your employees are willing to share their ideas without fear of criticism, and always follow up on issues as required.

Article

Management by walking (or wandering) around (MBWA) is not a new concept. It is the practice of stopping and talking to people around the office or workplace informally. It allows for managers to gain an insight into how things are going and what the general feeling is around the business. It is most commonly thought of as originating at Hewlett-Packard in the 1970s where executives used spontaneous visits to employees as a management tool. Later, management consultants Tom Peters and Robert H Waterman used the term in their book In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies.

MBWA provides many benefits, especially in this day and age where technology has removed the need to be face to face for real-time communication. It allows for business owners and managers to engage with their employees. This style of management has been proven to boost morale and productivity. Managers that use MBWA are generally seen to be more approachable allowing them to deal with smaller issues before they become larger problems. Additionally, managers who use this technique are often better decision-makers, as they tend to have more up-to-date and real-time information about what is happening in the business on a day-to-day basis.

Below are a few key things to remember when adopting this style of management to ensure it is as effective as possible.

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