Intent Group Limited Auckland (Head Office)

Building 4,  Level 3, 61 Constellation Drive,

Mairangi Bay, Auckland, 0632,

PO Box 65495, Mairangi Bay, Auckland 0754

Phone: (09) 523 0366

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Work Smarter - Connect with Your Manager

Updated: Mar 17

In World Class organisations, managers know where the REAL work takes place. This place, which is the core of every business, is known as ‘ Gemba’.

An effective manager should be regularly interacting with their staff. With a little preparation, you can obtain great value from their visits. Provide your supervisor with direction, and they can help you lift the performance of your team and achieve great results.

So, the next time your manager drops by your work area and asks “what support do you need?” think of them as a resource that can help reinforce positive behaviours within your team and make improvements to your work area.


Action: Share any improvements made in your workplace since their last visit. Present any positive results. Seek feedback and encourage your manager to ask staff working in the area about any changes made – why and how they have helped.

Result: Recognising your team’s efforts should help reinforce their positive behaviour to not only maintain any changes made, but make further improvements. If the boss notices, then it must be important.

Action: Where you know improvements are needed, reveal any specific areas you would like your manager to notice. Urge them to question the team about any standards that have slipped and ask for ideas for lifting them.

Result: No one enjoys the feeling of poor performance or bad results. Defining any problem areas, and seeking employees thoughts on how to improve them, can be the motivation to re-invigorate any lagging practises. To ensure progress is made, be sure to pick up the feedback in your next team meeting.

Action: If any new systems or processes have recently been introduced, request that your manager helps gauge your team’s understanding of them. Mention anything in particular you are wishing to discover.

Result: When you’re part of the implementation process it can be difficult to do this check yourself. Be sure to have a follow up discussion so you know any feedback and can address any issues.

A word of caution . . . a manager’s approach can add value, but it can also have a negative impact. Staff will be more responsive if they feel they are being listened to, supported and praised. Encourage all interaction between managers and employees to be conducted in a mutually respectful manner.

By taking the action we’ve suggested, not only will the behaviour and engagement of your team improve, but your manager will learn more about the value your team brings to the organisation as a whole.

Learn more about going to Gemba and Intent Group’s tips for conducting a successful Gemba walk. (MATT – Insert link from this sentence to previous article: ‘Are you too proud to go to Gemba’

If you would like to know more about how you can drive the performance of your business, call Intent Group on 09 523 0366 or email

*‘Gemba’ in Japanese means the place where all activities are actually taking place; in other words, the place where value is added. In the manufacturing industry, Gemba is the shop-floor; for the hotel industry it is the place where food is being cooked; and in case of the service industry – it is everywhere. Gemba is thus the most precious place for management.