Large companies should know that frontline managers should be given training and authority to act. Frontline managers are those noteworthy souls who, in most cases, oversee others efforts in a management role yet are given no authority to make policy or decisions. Generally they relay decisions and then make sure those policies are followed. Yet, frontline managers may be the very people who can see where changes should be made to create better results. If they know how to develop strong relationship with the line workers and with upper management, they can become the bridge that strengthens every part of an organization.
Leadership Training : A Necessary Investment for Success
If your company wants to see real expansion and growth, consider training for your frontline managers in the following areas:
Communication and coaching. An active and empowered frontline manager needs to be aware of what is happening in his location. If he has an open communication with the workers, customers, and upper management, he can then use that information to make decisions to stay ahead of any problems. If the frontline manager is in charge of one store in a national chain, he is the one who should have the power to act when community situations arise.
Waiting for a policy decision from the national headquarters may cost valuable response time in emergencies. The faster the manager can act to provide help and assistance, the more positive will be the outcome for that store, and in many cases for the chain of stores in an onslaught of positive publicity. And just as each location may have specific needs and concerns, they have individuals in their workforce.
The frontline manager is the one who, if he is keyed in, can see the special talents, connections, and skills of his workers. That manager should have the training to know how to use those skills to the best outcome for the company as well as the individual. As a manager learns to develop the abilities and skills of his staff members, he improves the conditions of the workplace, employee satisfaction, and the morale of the workforce. Happy workers make for pleasant interactions with customers, which lead to repeat business.
Retention and motivation. Yes, your frontline manager will make sure the workers know the company policies, but he should also know how to get the best results from those efforts. It is hard to build employee loyalty simply by enforcing corporate rules and policy. A good manager will find ways to amp up the efforts of his staff, to motivate them to better results. He will also make sure that he retains employees, so turnover is not costing more than necessary.
When people feel they are appreciated and honored for the work they do, they will generally stay longer and be loyal to their employer. And, in this case, their employer is the frontline manager, at least to their way of thinking. But that manager will have also instilled a culture that lasts beyond his time in the job because the workers have seen how it is done day-in and day-out. This trains them to do the same with each other.
Problem resolution. Whenever possible the manager will foresee any problems, plan for them, and put solutions in place before the problem happens. But there are also emergency situations that arise and need to be addressed. A local dam breaks and floods half of the community – this is an emergency that needs to be addressed immediately. In such major situations, communications may not be available for days. If your manager has the authority to act promptly, he can save your company a lot of headaches and money.
Whether he closes shop and sends the unaffected workers out (on your company’s dime) to volunteer in the community rescue efforts, or opens the facility to provide temporary shelter to displaced families, he can be the best thing that happens in your company. If his hands are tied, you may not have repercussions, but you also won’t have any good will nor the publicity garnered from his good choices.
Give your frontline managers the tools they need, and they can do wonders for your bottom line.