Frontline managers are the key drivers of a company’s success across a diverse range of industries from manufacturing and transportation to healthcare and hospitality. According to Harvard Business Review, frontline supervisors directly oversee as much as 80% of the workforce.
Frontline supervisors are crucial to their team’s success, but they’re often first-time managers who have to work with limited resources to keep their teams engaged and productive.
Frontline managers may be promoted directly into leadership roles without the training they need to be successful. And training matters: 79% of employees say the lack of frontline leadership training has a moderate or substantial impact on their company’s performance.
So, how can organizations help frontline supervisors become better leaders? In this article, we’ll unpack the unique challenges your frontline managers face and how to set them up for success.
|👋 Guide frontline leaders better with Secchi, a frictionless employee relationship management solution that unlocks clarity, one shift at a time.
Frontline supervisors are responsible for overseeing and coordinating the day-to-day activities of frontline workers. They directly interact with employees on a daily basis to provide leadership and support. They also ensure that their teams meet performance targets and fulfill organizational goals.
Frontline supervisors are quite literally on the front lines of your company’s work. When companies take the time to help their frontline supervisors become better leaders, the payoff can be huge.
Gallup found that managers account for a whopping 70% of the variance in employee engagement. Managers can be the difference between whether an employee stays or leaves a company. Plus, great managers can dramatically boost team productivity.
→ To help frontline supervisors achieve their highest levels of success, it’s important to invest in frontline leadership development and inspire managers to exceed expectations and thrive.
Good communication is essential to building a culture of trust and accountability, and it all starts with the supervisor. Frontline supervisors are responsible for communicating key decisions and company-wide updates to their teams.
Set frontline supervisors up for success by ensuring they have all the information they need to keep their team members informed.
This could include ensuring that frontline supervisors have direct meeting opportunities with CEOs or upper management. Companies can also prioritize sharing important updates with frontline supervisors before they go public. This helps build trust and gives supervisors time to prepare their teams for big news.
Strong, transparent communication between supervisors and team members encourages better employee engagement, decreasing turnover and improving retention. And studies show that workplace communication boosts productivity – meaning more wins for your company.
Even if your organization doesn’t offer a formal leadership program, you can still create training opportunities for frontline supervisors. In fact, nearly 70% of frontline leaders report wanting to develop their leadership skills.
Consider hiring a consultant to coach frontline supervisors in core competencies like team building, time management, and interpersonal skills. Online worksheets, webinars, and training programs can also be useful educational resources.
Think creatively about how to teach soft skills. Supervisors might role-play difficult workplace conversations, like correcting misbehavior or counseling employees, to build more effective communication skills and emotional intelligence.
New supervisors must learn to manage complex responsibilities alongside the demands of their day-to-day job. It is easy and natural to make mistakes throughout this learning process. And while mistakes are a learning opportunity, too much negative feedback in these early stages can be discouraging.
Be thoughtful about how you are providing feedback to new supervisors.
Encourage them to go outside their comfort zones when testing out new management strategies. Reward positive achievements, like receiving a great peer evaluation or surpassing team performance objectives. When supervisors do make an error, treat it as an opportunity for education, not for punishment.
Many frontline supervisors begin as high-performing employees who work their way up to a managing role. If you can identify these talented individuals from the start, you can build leadership development into their normal training. That way, they’ll be well prepared to succeed even before they take on a supervisor role.
Data-based performance tracking is a foolproof way to identify top talent without hassle or bias. Software like Secchi can instantly track performance measures like attendance, recognition, and warnings. Supervisors are more likely to stay on top of performance tracking when they can run reports with the click of a button.
After identifying top performers, managers can provide consistent feedback and coaching to help them achieve their full potential. If your company provides a leadership development program, you can invite them to sit in on a few sessions and introduce them to potential mentors on the team.
You may have a thousand great ideas for how to help your frontline supervisors become better leaders, but it can still be hard to find time to put them into action. Secchi is a proactive and data-driven tool to guide frontline leaders and engage teams.
Secchi empowers frontline leaders to address challenges before they escalate, effectively recognize employees, and drive positive change. This engagement and empowerment fosters a culture of continuous improvement, resulting in increased productivity and higher employee satisfaction.
Request a demo to learn how Secchi can transform frontline supervisors into effective leaders.
With Secchi, leaders across your entire organization have access to turn-by-turn leadership directions and actionable data that guides them on how to engage their teams through recognition, coaching, engagement, and accountability.
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