December 29, 2021

Why Your Frontline Managers are Your Key to Success

Sam Caucci

Frontline Managers

Your frontline managers are responsible for directly supervising your day-to-day operations, and they are typically an organization’s most populous group of leaders, yet they are typically neglected when top executives think about leadership development. 

In fact, The Harvard Business Review found that 77% of frontline managers are the most important in helping their organization reach its business goals. However, only 12% of frontline managers say that their organizations sufficiently invest in their development. And more than 90% believe that their lack of leadership development negatively impacts employee engagement. 

These survey numbers highlight how important it is for organizations to make greater investments in their frontline leaders. Frontline leaders are the ones who directly connect with both consumers and employees, and they can have a huge impact on your bottom line. When you invest in your frontline managers, you have the opportunity to reduce employee turnover rates and help the organization maintain quality, service, innovation and financial performance. 

Frontline managers play a key role in:

  1. The overall customer experience. Your frontline managers have a direct impact on how the customer will perceive your organization, since they are responsible for ensuring a consistent and high-quality experience.
  2. The overall employee experience. Frontline managers directly supervise about 80% of the total workforce. A high quality manager can greatly influence how other employees feel via their management skills, which in return impacts employee productivity and retention. 
  3. Operations and logistics. Frontline managers also take on important daily tasks such as inventory, scheduling and compliance. Without frontline managers, these ongoing operations and logistics would quickly crumble onsite. 
  4. Bridging the gap between the frontline and the corporate office. Frontline managers act as the bridge between frontline employees and head office. To understand how frontline teams are working and collaborating, leadership needs to tap into managers for their important insight. Manager feedback helps to inform employee engagement strategies and improve onsite ways of doing things. 

How to Empower Your Frontline Managers

Recent surveys have found that only 12% of organizations currently invest adequately in the development of their frontline managers. Your frontline managers set the tone for your workplace and they also can deeply impact the bottom line of all businesses. Organizations who take the initiative to invest in and empower their frontline managers and workers are more likely to rise above their competition. 

Pay Attention to and Learn From Managers

Upper leadership must collect feedback from frontline managers in order to learn from them. By opening up a dialogue, leadership will understand what’s working and what needs to be improved. Leaders can also gather data around the most successful performers to understand patterns of success and replicate them. 

Think about implementing regular check-ins to connect managers and leadership. Anonymous surveys are also a great way to gain feedback without the fear of repercussions. By offering frontline managers multiple ways to give their feedback, leadership will be able to build a relationship built on trust and strengthen their relationships. Plus, leadership will be able to receive real-time information about the inner workings of the business. 

Give Frontline Managers Opportunities for Continuous Learning

Providing opportunities for ongoing training is valuable, not only for your frontline managers but for all employees. It can be essential to deepen the essential skills frontline managers must possess. Not only will training help you improve productivity, but ongoing learning for your employees has been proven to improve engagement and retention

When asking for feedback, consider asking your frontline managers what they would be interested in learning more about, or if they have particular methods of learning that they prefer. It’s a good idea to offer a few different formats of learning, from in-person training to providing online courses or learning platforms.

You can consider a few of the following content types to introduce to your frontline management learning programs:

  • Lunch & learns
  • Online classes and learning platforms
  • Virtual conferences
  • Mentoring
  • Peer-to-peer knowledge sharing

Give Frontline Managers the Right Technology

Frontline managers are responsible for making sure that onsite operations are running smoothly. In the past, non-desk workers in industries like hospitality and retail have been slow to adapt technology for supporting communications and task management. However, since managers have plenty on their plate already, giving them a platform that can give them full visibility of the business would be a huge game-changer. 

Consider the ways that technology can help frontline managers execute their roles better, such as: 

  1. Manage checklists and tasks using a digital task manager: Managers can use a tool to assign and track tasks across their frontline teams to make sure that the daily work is being executed. 
  2. Utilize data dashboards to help real-time decision-making: By using the right technology ecosystem, managers are able to access important information, anything from point-of-sale data to inventory, in order to help them make quick, real-time decisions.
  3. Use chat to communicate with teams across multiple locations: Managers should be equipped with chat software so they can connect with employees and other managers to combine their collaboration efforts.
  4. Recruit and manage potential new hires using an events tool: Use an events calendar and knowledge management system to help track prospects and schedule interviews.

Your frontline managers are an invaluable asset and they should be treated as such. Provide your managers with the technology and opportunity to give valued feedback, build skills, and better execute their roles using the appropriate technology. Managers who feel valued will be more invested in the organization, which creates stronger management and increases productivity.

Level Up Your Team With 1Huddle

1Huddle can help you and your team stay ahead of the learning curve. We offer cloud-based employee gamification software. You can customize your content for a seamless experience and all of your employees will be able to access their training anywhere, anytime and at the push of a button. You can use our game platform to measure their performance and make key decisions on where you should take your gamification strategy next. 

Do you want to learn more about how 1Huddle can help you level up your own workforce? Leave your information on the Talk To Us Page and schedule a call.

Sam Caucci, Founder & CEO at 1Huddle

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