You shouldn’t wonder how the work happens; you should be where the work happens.
Meet the Gemba walk, a leadership tool that could revolutionize your management style and profoundly impact your aging services organization. And no, it has nothing to do with the moonwalk, so leave your dancing shoes at home for this one!
Gemba is a Japanese term meaning “the actual place” where work occurs. Unlike the “management by wandering around” practice that you may be familiar with, Gemba is targeted and purposeful. The Gemba walk involves visiting various work locations, such as resident rooms, the medication area, and even the kitchen or laundry rooms.
“I like when I see our executive director; it makes me feel safe.”
This quote from an employee focus group captures why being visible and engaged as a leader is essential. During a Gemba walk, you’re not just there to observe. You’ll challenge, teach, listen, learn, support, encourage teamwork, and of course, ‘Go and See’.
Leading with Respect: The Seven Practices
1. Challenge: Encourage deep thinking and problem-solving.
2. Teach: Equip staff with the tools they need.
3. Listen: Be open to feedback and responsive.
4. Learn: Understand that your staff are the real experts.
5. Support: Create a blame-free problem-solving environment.
6. Teamwork: Promote a collaborative culture.
7. Go and See: Get out of your office and be present.
These practices help to cultivate a culture of mutual respect. You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn in just 15 minutes a day of purposeful engagement with your staff. Ready to take your leadership to the next level? Consider adding the Gemba walk to your toolbox. Now, if you figure out a way to combine the Gemba walk with the moonwalk, you’d really cause a stir. Please send me a video; I’d love to see it!
By the way, this information is from our Fully Staffed program, which makes leadership development, culture enhancement, and the recruitment and retention of exceptional team members a snap! Leaders all over the country are joining on and getting incredible results in just 10 minutes a day with Fully Staffed. Want to check it out for free? Click here to take advantage of our free 30-day trial!