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publication date: Oct 14, 2012
author/source: Sutter & Pine Hospitality

MBWA…A Lost Term……….

  This was a term used by men like Charles E. Henning, Henrich Mario, and Jim Gernhofer, all veteran hoteliers, a term that I seldom see used today with all the technology today, Manage By Walking Around. There was a time that the Hotel Manager would schedule time to walk the property. This style is works for managers who are actively engaged in the day-to-day activities of the business. This approach works well when a manager has made a commitment to spend a dedicated amount of time on the floor with the employees or in various employee offices each day.

This becomes your style; it should not be forced or just a charade. It should be learned. In effect you are being yourself walking throughout the organization looking for opportunities to make positive comments and/or receive input and feedback. This approach allows you to see everything going on, and it allows you to listen directly to the employees. It fosters a teamwork environment. It is especially effective in an organization with many management layers. The approach permits all staff direct access to the boss and frequently generates high levels of spontaneous, creative synergy while employees and the boss exchange ideas. It creates a system, and a thought process of your staff to be empowered to maximize their objective potential. There is a reason for the success of operations of Managers that do this, Here are some tips that may help you start your own program…

Do it to everyone.
   Be seen by your staff

Do it as often as you can.
    Try and do it everyday..Change it up…Walk at different times

Go by yourself.
       MBWA is means more when you visit with employees alone, and one-on-one. It encourages more      honest dialogue and speaks loudly of your personal commitment to the idea.

Don’t circumvent subordinate managers.

            Some employees may take advantage of your presence to complain about a supervisor who is your    subordinate. Counsel them to discuss the issue fully with their supervisor first. If you have cause to question the supervisor’s judgement, don’t indicate so to the employee, but follow up privately with the supervisor.

Ask questions.
        It’s how you learn, and share experiences.

Watch and listen.
        You hear more and learn more, and find more effective solutions.

Share your dreams with them.
               As a Dog sled team handler used to say, "The view only changes for the lead dog." MBWA is a solid opportunity to make sure that when you lead the sled in a new direction they share your view.

Try out their work.
                My Dad used to say “Don’t criticize me until you walk a mile in my shoes.” In other words you learn more by doing their job.

Bring good news.
        If something good happened, share the news…

Have fun.
          It makes your staff see that you are real, and care about them and their jobs.

Catch them in the act of doing something right.
          Create a program and reward them for doing a good job, make a point of it..It will go a long way.

Don’t be critical.
             Be supportive, Be creative,

A good program will be a great tool, and raise awareness of their work and standards.
It is a return to the basics of hospitality, Cornerstones of Service, in light of the pending NFL season, it relates to learning the basics of football..Block and Tackle. It starts with the simple things first. The rest fall into place.

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