The dual health benefits of MBWA

A few decades back, we learned unstructured management by wandering (or walking) around (MBWA) was distinguished as a valid way to improve the morale and productivity of an organization. I think MBWA is intuitive to most hoteliers because we know the best way to understand what’s happening in our hotels comes from being “on the floor” and responding to what we directly observe — rather than reports, documents and other sources after the fact.    

Japanese businesses use the phrase “go to gemba” (i.e., “the real place”) to highlight the concept of having managers spend their time where the work is done. This approach asserts direct experience best informs problem-solving and process improvement.

MBWA is a great way to catch your associates performing well so you can acknowledge their contributions immediately or provide feedback for improvement, when needed. It also works to increase the amount of time you spend with guests, in the lobby and elsewhere throughout your property. One should use time spent at “the real place” productively and not simply to get out of the office. 

The second benefit of MBWA is the health benefit to you, personally, from being on the floor. Some fitness experts claim staying healthy requires a steady diet of 10,000 steps per day, which for a person of average height is about 4.5 miles (7.2 kilometers) of walking. You may not be able to walk that much each day on-property, but practicing some level of daily, unstructured MBWA can reduce stress, keep you healthy and strengthen your operation. 

What other activities benefit both your health and the health of your hotel?