Managment by walking around

As promised some thoughts about managment. For those that do not know currently I am working as a „Head of Engineering“ which means 25 engineers and 2 Scrum Masters are my direct reports.
One of the main challenges I am facing is how to get at least a glympse about how people are feeling and what they do to be able to provide feedback and advice at the right moment. On the other hand people want to know what I am doing because also this is mostly not obvious to the people. And this os not their fault because beside people managment I have some projects and also I am quite often on the road either becuase of the projects or also th show face in one of the other locations.
Basically the question is how to take care about a certain level of interaction and providing information to the people. Yes, regular one-to-ones are one option and I do it. But to be honest I am not capable of do that more often than once a month with each of them.
People als tend not to come and ask their „boss“: What are you doing? Or stating: Mhhh, today I feel not well today.
So, it might sound funny, but I really try to spend half an hour a day, walking around the office and the kitchen, drinking a coffee with the guys or just approaching them at their desk talking to them about projects or even work unrelated stuff. One might think that really distrubs them and distracts them from their current work but you get a really good feeling if they are in the tunnel or have some minutes for chat. From my point of view it is even the other way around so they really appreciate me, coming around and being interested in what they are doing. And this is not pretending because I am interested. Sometimes it is even enough to stick your head in the office and have a look around and you feel if something is going on or everything is okay.
For me this is really super important and this half an hour has imho one of the best ROIs of all management tools that I know so far.

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Managment by walking around, 5.3 out of 10 based on 11 ratings

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