Management 101: Top Mistakes To Avoid On A Gemba Walk!

For the uninitiated, Gemba walk is an exercise, where managers go to the work floor and interact with employees and observe operations, so as to take necessary corrective steps later. This is a standard management exercise that comes in handy in finding possible flaws in work flow and improving operational efficiency. Gemba, in Japanese, means the “real place”, and the exercise requires managers and leaders to leave the comfort of their cabins and take notes from the actual workplace.

If you check for Gemba walk examples, you will realize that there are standard dos and don’ts that must be followed in all situations. Today, there are apps that allow managers to take notes on Gemba walks, so everything in the process can be streamlined. In this post, we are discussing the mistakes that must be avoided.

  1. Don’t be a superior. You don’t want to go on a Gemba walk with a bossy attitude. It is important to understand that the success of each walk depends on two major aspects – observation and participation. You want each member of the team to be absolutely in sync with the process.
  2. Don’t go in large groups. A bunch of managers on the work floor can be intimidating for workers and employees. You want to do a Gemba walk with utmost simplicity, and the exercise itself shouldn’t affect the work flow. Keep in mind that you are here to observe, take feedback and notes, so make sure that you only have the team that’s required for the job.
  3. Don’t rush. The process of Gemba walk requires managers to keep a tab on all aspects and the process of work flow. Rushing is never a recommended practice, so if you have scheduled a walk but don’t have the time, reschedule again.
  4. Don’t ask useless questions. While being friendly and open to workers is necessary, you don’t want to ask random questions. It is also absolutely critical for managers to know what to ask, and therefore, some initial preparation is ideal.
  5. Don’t correct mistakes on the spot. Finally, do not take corrective steps. Gemba walks are not meant to be an exercise for reprimanding and evaluating the performance of employees. The whole concept is about the work process and nothing else.

If you can avoid these mistakes, conducting successful Gemba walks shouldn’t be a hard task. Check online now to know more on the process.