Team productivity, confidence, and self-reliance come from many sources, but the primary influence is the atmosphere created by leadership. Employees are given the reign and trust to complete tasks they are proficient in, to speak out when issues arise, and to add a new perspective to projects underway. This doesn’t happen on its own, but instead comes from a fostering environment where employees are heard- and the one, sure-fire to support this workplace ennui is the concept of the ‘LBWA.’
Leadership by walking around (LBWA)
Employees have an innate need to feel their efforts are recognized and on track, and the best way to do this is completing daily walkarounds. Leaders who take an active role in keeping in touch with employee’s progress project their trust and confidence in a team, leading to greater self-reliance and dedication from team members.
The walk around allows a leader to touch base on a one on one basis, letting employees know that their efforts are appreciated and significant. A few minutes’ conversations with a team member, even outside of the direct work at hand, can pay off in spades and keep productivity levels well above projected numbers.
The other side of the coin
Leaders who sit behind closed doors all day with no interaction with their team easily lose touch with the driving forces behind a project. Employees feel disregarded, and leaders should not be surprised with falling productivity reports. Guidance is lost without face to face conversations, and emails and memos often go unread – or if they are read, become fodder for water cooler conversations. A leader who is out of touch with their team will have the results to prove it when evaluation time rolls around.
Managers in a leadership role can curtail this behavior with a recognition of the significance of staying in touch with employees. Taking a walk through working spaces three or four times a day, with the express focus on touching base with employees, can repair a great deal of damage in a short amount of time. Use this time to listen to employee suggestions or simply to hear what they have on their minds.
It all starts with a dedication to open communication and an expectation that your team is a vibrant process in any project at hand. Taking a few moments each day to speak face to face can pay off in spades, with new approached to issues, and to strengthen the cohesion of a working unit.