Are You Giving Your Frontline Leaders a Step-Up to Success?
Growing demands for greater productivity, more innovation, and doing more with less, have made leading at the frontline as challenging—or even more challenging—as ever.
According to a blog post by Rich Wellin of DDI, "What we found in Be Better Than Average: The State of Frontline Leadership is that organizations are doing an average job of not only developing their frontline leaders, but also of selecting and promoting those leaders in the first place. Some of the key findings include:
- One in four organizations report a loss in profit due to frontline leader failure.
- Nearly 60 percent of survey respondents indicated poor frontline leadership resulted in turnover of leaders themselves or their team members.
- Even more respondents reported a loss of productivity (65 percent) and loss of team member engagement (69 percent).
- Only 18 percent of respondents felt they had a supply of capable employees to fill frontline leadership roles."
How you develop your frontline leaders matters. Most surveys report that the majority of new managers are blindsided by their jobs. Even worse, many are expected to learn their new roles by trial and error. And weak frontline leaders have a significant impact on any organization.
Putting (or keeping) mediocre people in your frontline positions can result in high turnover both in leaders and team members, an overall lack of engagement, significantly lower productivity and lower profitability.
You can give your potential new managers a step-up to leadership success. According to Wellin:
"Interpersonal skills were the number one reason why frontline leaders are failing. It is very telling that no other reason was even close as a cause for failure in frontline leaders. Interpersonal skills truly are the foundation for any other leadership skills of importance. You cannot coach without being able to listen or maintain someone’s self-esteem. You also cannot build a team’s trust without the ability to appropriately share thoughts, feelings, and the rationale behind decisions. Organizations have to help leaders build a strong foundation in these skills—they use them in every interaction they have with their team, with their managers, and with their coworkers. And using these skills will truly separate the average from the exceptional."
Prepare your frontline for the changes associated with their new roles. Help them develop the skills and techniques necessary for leading others and motivating their performance with a program targeted specifically to emerging leaders, such as the Step-Up to Leading Others workshop from Executive Forum.