How coaching the frontline managers helps achieve business goals
The success of a business is driven largely bythe employees, an engaged employee is an asset to the organisation. An engaged employee is highly productive, efficient and satisfied – to drive employee engagement, leaders are crucial. We are not talking about leaders in the top level management. With most of the companies being bottom heavy, we can confidently say that on an average, 80% of staff in large organisations report to a frontline manager. A frontline manager is the biggest influence on employee motivation and how employees experience organisation culture and engagement. Since these employees reporting to the frontline managers are interacting with the customers directly, frontline managers are influential in how customer service is delivered. Yet, most of the time, frontline managers are not given the coaching they need to enhance employee morale and in turn customer service.
The effects of poor frontline management may be particularly damaging for companies. There have been various studies where researchers have consistently detected a strong relationship between the attitudes and behavior of managers and how the employee productivity dropsdown.
Investing in the frontline
Many organisations do not understand the importance of investing in developing leaders. We see a consistent under investment in leadership development especially on the frontline. It is little surprise then that several individuals who are promoted to management roles are under prepared and need additional coaching. For every $10 spent on leadership development for senior leaders, only $1 is spent on frontline leaders. This under investment leads to leaders who are unsure about decisions and are rigidin handling people. When people are reporting to such managers, the result is usually dissatisfied and unhappy employees.
Improved employee engagement
Everyone knows that a satisfied employee results in satisfied customers. There have been enough research to reiterate the fact that highly engaged employees contribute to the productivity of the organisation. According to the Workplace Research Foundation, highly engaged employees are 38 percent more likely to have above average productivity. High productivity naturally translates to better customer servicing and increased profits.
Effective, driven frontline managers are essential for employee engagement. Poor leadership by frontline management can have amajor effect on all the employees. Since the frontline managers are directly involved with the execution, it is imperative to equip them with the skills that are necessary to lead their teams with confidence and energy.
How coaching can help frontline managers drive employee engagement?
Organisations need to understand that the frontline managers play a vital role in creating a healthy organisational climate for the people reporting to them. These managers should be capable of building strong interpersonal relationships with the employees they are working with. To foster this culture of employee engagement, frontline staff have to be coached and guided in the right way. The right coaching will empower them and enable them to take the right decisions at the right time. Effective coaching of the frontline managers will help them in mastering the fundamentals of managing people better, improve employee engagement and in turn,drive sales.
Coaching the frontline managers tells them that the organisation cares about them – when they feel their supervisors are taking care of them, they are more loyal and will be able to lead their people better. When frontline managers feel engaged and motivated, they communicate positively with their team, resulting in a highly productive and an inclusive environment. This is beneficial for the organisation in two ways; One, higher productivity translates to increased sales and profit margins. And two, it makes the senior management’s work easier – empowering frontline managers ensures the senior management doesn’t get involved in day to day activities and problems, freeing up their time to focus on strategy and planning.
To wrap up – the competition and demand for better customer service is increasing every day. Because of this, businesses are forced to think fast, act fast and adapt newer technologies. Old routines and processes become obsolete and outdated in a matter of months and the only way to move forward is to enable the people to be responsive and adaptive. And since the frontline managers are the ones who handle 80% of the workforce that executes, it is imperative to coach frontline managers to become great leaders – leaders who can take the organisation to the next level with innovative thinking, driven outlook and collaborative approach.