Years ago I listened to a Tom Peters program on MBWA; management by walking around. Tom claimed that when a manager approached an employee, it was usually because of a problem. The employee became defensive, uncomfortable, and perhaps even scared. The idea of approaching employees, primarily for problems, created an unsettling environment. Then came MBWA, which had managers “walking around,” having conversations with employees and complimenting them on a frequent basis, thereby eliminating fear of management and invoking a positive working environment.
Here’s my addition to MBWA. During these conversations, it creates a great opportunity for managers to ask questions – the kind of questions that move the company in a positive direction. When good experiences are happening for employees and customers, it is the perfect opportunity for management to accelerate the ownership process by asking what I refer to as accelerator questions.
– Are you doing anything new?
– How is that working for you?
– Who else should know about this?
– What can we do to repeat this kind of success?
– Do you have any ideas or suggestions to make your job better?
The list of these types of questions can go on and on. These positive questions promote ownership and pride of the employee’s work process.
To an even broader level, you don’t have to be a manager to ask accelerator questions. Anyone can ask these types of questions, especially if you like the idea of a positive and harmonious work environment; a culture (or “cult”) that is focused on creating amazement for employees and customers.
Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. As a professional speaker and author, Shep helps companies develop loyal relationships with their customers and employees. For more information on Shep’s speaking programs and books, please contact (314) 692-2200. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.hyken.com. For information on customer service training, go to www.TheCustomerFocus.com.