Road ahead: Front Line Management to Leadership

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Management to Leadership

The question arises who are Frontline Managers: Those people who have been promoted from “doing” as an Individual contributor to managing a team.

While in their phase of “doing”, they are responsible for their output and performance based on their expertise and capabilities. In the phase of “Managing”, they are responsible for other’s output and performance as well.

As per a recent survey, 80% of the workforce is influenced and managed by these frontline managers as they are the ones with whom the workforce interacts the most and works directly with. Though many a times companies don’t put sufficient effort to train these people.

Since these leaders are recent, the focus of the companies should be on their daily, weekly and monthly activities plan and synchronization of the same rather than conduct training workshops and complete multiple modules.

Their review can break down into 3 steps :

  1. Identifying and defining the development areas:Instead of capturing all the improvement areas of the frontline leaders, the organization must identify 2–3 areas which have the biggest impact on the performance and should work on it.
  2. Identifying the top performers and reviewing them like how they work differently? How are they handling a challenging situation? And after review, the company can codify the best practices to be inculcated.
  3. Tracking where the frontline manager is investing his maximum time of the day and doing a trend analysis of the same like :
  • Is the manager spending maximum of his time doing team job or leading it.
  • How much time the leader s spending on unproductive activities like documentation, paperwork, excel etc.

Identifying these areas helps the company to bridge the gap and make the frontline leaders more productive.

  1. Identifying the stress point or the fear area: Looking at the pointers where the frontline managers feel stress or pressure while doing any activity. Identifying the reason of the same, the company can actually work towards the solution of the same.
  2. Translate change Into daily routine work: Whatever changes identified in term of observation of best practices or the road maps, need to be translated in daily, weekly and monthly activities. For example, if a person intends to lose weight, he or she inculcates those habits in daily routine like getting up early and going for a walk, using staircase instead of the escalator, taking care of diet intakes etc.
  3. Rely on Internal experts:Top performers can act as a guide, trainers, coach to their peers. Their suggestions can be more genuine and people can relate to it. Also, this will give those employees a sense of recognition that company is considering their work excellence and is aware of the fact.

Last but not the least, Senior management has to showcase the behavior they want to inculcate in the company. They are the people who drive culture and acts as role model for the people.