There’s a marked difference between managing by walking around and managing by sneaking around.
Good managers who use MBWA effectively by making their presence felt, even if they aren’t present. Changing the pattern of your MBWA by changing the time, frequency, and route you take can create a consistently operating workforce. One might say if the MBWA route is too consistent, it can lead to employees only working hard when they know that you are making your daily walkby at 2pm.
On the other hand MMBSA (micromanaging by sneaking around) can be an aftereffect of too much variety in your MBWA. If you only are changing your MBWA method to catch people doing things wrong, you will create an atmosphere of distrust.
Use MBWA effectively, and you will earn the trust and respect of your employees, and also keep them on their toes. As well, you will see your customer service and productivity metrics improve dramatically.