Unrealized Value Add For Your Company

Some of the greatest value adds for your company are already employed by you, you just haven’t been able to capitalize on them. The value adds are your frontline managers and they are a critical component of your company’s success or failure.

So, why are frontline managers so important to your success?

Depending on your vertical, they have the most frequent and direct access to the majority of your workforce and have an enormous impact on an employee’s performance.

The positive or negative impact that they have with their direct reports can drastically impact retention, upskilling, productivity and efficiency.

How we enable frontline managers to be the best they can be for the business:

   1. Training

The typical process of creating managers for organizations is promoting successful front line workers into the role. A successful sales rep often gets the opportunity to become a sales manager. In retail, an efficient and dependable front line employee should be rewarded with a promotion to store manager or managing other front line employees.

A challenge here is that the qualities that made that person exceptional in their position may not be easily transferable, and they may not be consciously aware of what led to their success. They need to be trained in how to manage other individuals and how to provide a productive work environment.

Without inspecting the training process and ensuring it is properly aligned to teaching and educating your managers on how to be successful, it is impossible to set any sort of expectations for them.

   2. Let them be managers

If the above is true, a good portion of your managers will be high performers in their prior roles. What is critical is that any responsibilities from their prior role cannot carry over into their new role as a manager. In order to gain value from having front line managers, they have to work ON the business and not IN the business.

What does it mean to work ON the business and not IN the business?

  • You have to require them to be managers. They performed well in the prior role and might have taken the promotion purely for financial reasons. If you don’t empower your managers then reverting back to their prior role might be more comfortable for them. Empowering managers makes sure that they work ON, not IN.
  • Businesses rely on frontline workers to keep operations running smoothly. However, when a frontline employee calls out, takes PTO, or departs for a new opportunity, it’s essential to have the proper mechanisms in place to prevent the manager from taking on their duties for an extended period. While it may be a temporary fix, it cannot serve as a long-term solution if you wish to leverage the full potential of these individuals. Working IN the business keeps your managers from working ON the business.

   3. Take their advice into strong consideration 

Your frontline managers are dealing with the aches and pains of your frontline staff on a daily basis. They are reporting the most pressing issues that are disrupting daily operations to the higher-ups. If the issue is being funneled up and a solid business case can be made, chances are that resolving the issue will appease everybody from frontline workers to the top of the chain..

Having strong frontline managers has a far-reaching impact on other areas of the business. It allows you to rapidly respond to on-the-ground situations in an informed and effective way. This, in turn, enables improved efficiency and retention rates. If frontline managers are neglected, the negative effect will ripple across your organization. Is your organization misusing managers? As always, inspect what you expect.

Let’s get to work.