Gemba walks are great for seeing which areas of production need attending to. Although shop floor processes vary per company, the following steps can be applied to gemba walks in manufacturing.
Step 1: Give workers a heads-up
It’s important to give employees advance notice before conducting a gemba walk to prevent feelings of concern or wrongdoing. This will minimize worries and help workers be more natural when performing their routine duties.
Step 2: Prepare worker questions
Creating a list of questions to ask workers during a gemba walk helps ensure that important items are not missed. Additional questions may come up, but having a prepared list will help the leader to better understand how operations are run and handled.
Step 3: Observe, don’t hinder
The goal is to observe and gather necessary information, not call workers out on the spot. Being an observer and maintaining a respectful attitude can help build trust and morale among employees.
Step 4: Record findings
Whatever you do, it’s of the utmost importance to record observations to pinpoint areas of success and areas needing improvement.