Gemba Walk: Do’s and Don’ts for Employees

Employees may feel a little hesitant when they hear of Gemba walk because they are not used to working and spending a prolonged time with their bosses, feeling that they will constantly need to defend their work or maybe even saying to the boss that he is wrong about something. A Gemba walk is proceeded with an intent to focus on the process rather than on the employees which helps in keeping away the discomfort. Training should always comprise a few specifics on the do’s and don’ts of the role of your employees during the Gemba walk.

Do’s for Employees in the Gemba Walk

  • Do feel free to present your ideas and areas of focus during the Gemba walk
  • Do explain the process just as it is and unlike what your SOP says it is supposed to be or the way you believe your manager would prefer to hear.
  • Do prepare yourself for presenting the performance boards and delineate the ties between the physical process and the reported outcome.
  • Do realize the fact that you may be acquainted with the process better than your manager or your bosses, so they can pose many questions. Some of the questions may sound dumb as well, in order to speed up and catch up. Just be patient and helpful.

  • Do understand the fact that the manager’s fresh eyes are looking at your project, so they may present and point out simple opportunities which you couldn’t notice and agree with. Just be open minded with everything.
  • Do feel free to provide observations and suggestions for analyses and improvising the process.

Don’ts for the Employees in the Gemba Walk

  • Don’t pose irrelevant complaints like staff problems, wages or other unrelated problems. Use the alternative communication avenues.
  • Don’t expect the change to take place overnight. Problems and challenges which are posed during the Gemba walk are considered after deep reflection and analysis.
  • Don’t expect answers to all your questions in just one spot.

  • Don’t overdo in order to impress. As a matter of fact and speaking of which, don’t try to impress at all. Speak for the process by simply being yourself.
  • Don’t be fearful of anything. Gemba walk provides a golden opportunity to spend some time on sharing the focus on the process and not the fear of punishment.