Who's the backbone of the company you work at? Is it the CEO and the upper management? Not saying they aren't important, but we are talking about another level of leaders here. The frontline managers - the ones that hold the most impact and influence on your frontline workers.

These managers and supervisors work with their teams daily and shape the employees' work experiences and overall job satisfaction, as well as your company's success.

But how do you cultivate a thriving frontline team? The answer lies in building great leadership from the ground up.

The Influence of Frontline Managers

Surprisingly, the importance of frontline managers is often underestimated. But don't fall into that trap!  They are more than just supervisors; they're coaches, motivators, and problem-solvers, making the business go around.

In fact, frontline managers constitute 60% of a company's leadership and directly oversee around 80% of the workforce. Now that's a lot of people under their influence! 

We have mentioned this in earlier articles as well, but great leaders can be the key to unlocking employee engagement. And as you may know, employee engagement drives productivity.

Studies even show that frontline managers account for up to 25% to 35% of the variation in productivity across different teams. Meaning, that happy, engaged employees translate to loyal customers and a thriving business!

Not to forget, influence is not only on the positive side. As much as 1 in 2 have left a job due to a bad manager, and according to Woohoo Inc., workers claim that 40 percent of their bad days are due to a lack of support or guidance from their manager.

So what we mustn't forget is that a good manager can turn a struggling team around, while a bad one can drive even the best employees away.

Building Blocks for a Strong Frontline

Okay, so great leaders are essential for driving performance, accountability, and reinforcing company culture. They are responsible for the happiness, engagement, and health of their direct reports.

Yet, 46% of companies still make leadership development optional! Despite it leading to low employee morale, high burnout, and increased turnover. Investing in leadership training is not just an HR initiative but a strategic move that can transform business outcomes.  It will help managers make more effective decisions, both faster and with using less mental bandwidth. 

Well, now we all know the importance of our frontline managers, so let's cut to the real question: How do you build effective frontline leaders?

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Here are some key strategies:

1. Invest in Development

Prioritize leadership training that equips managers with the skills they need to thrive. This can include decision-making techniques, learning how to prioritize and manage time better, effective communication strategies, and employee motivation tactics. With the right kind of leadership training, businesses can see significant gains in employee engagement.

2. Focus on Strengths

Great leaders understand the importance of building on employee strengths. By helping individuals leverage their talents, they build confidence and create a more engaged workforce.

2. Empower with Trust

Don't micromanage. Trust your frontline leaders and empower them to make decisions and solve problems independently. This fosters a sense of ownership and accountability.

3. Remember Recognition

Effective leaders celebrate achievements and acknowledge hard work. This can be through public praise, personalized rewards, or simply offering genuine appreciation.


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