Frontline Manager Training That Supports the Tough Job They Do For You
A growing number of frontline managers are leaving their jobs and for good reason. The job of frontline manager has always required a lot: patience, coaching, mentoring, conflict resolution, problem-solving, customer service, and overall knowledge of the company. But over the past few years, this role has felt intensifying pressure with staff shortages, supply chain issues, and health and safety challenges. It’s not unusual for frontline managers today to not only have to manage, but most have had to roll up their sleeves and actually do the work that is not covered due to being short-staffed.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the impact this role can have on your business—recent research shows that highly effective managers drive 48% greater profits for their companies than average managers.
The right frontline manager training can not only make managers feel that you understand their struggles but also empower them to succeed even with the massive amount of challenges they face right now.
What is a Frontline Manager?
A frontline manager is a crucial role in an organization, overseeing the day-to-day operations and supervising frontline employees. They bridge the gap between upper management and frontline staff, ensuring efficient workflow, resolving issues, and motivating teams to achieve operational goals and deliver high-quality customer experiences.
Acknowledge the Struggles in Your Frontline Employee Training
Most training content is designed around how things operate normally. And lately, it’s been anything but “normal.” So, how can you provide training that supports managers when the environment is not ideal? If you know there have been challenges, that should be addressed in your training content and communications around training.
Make sure your frontline worker training solution allows you to quickly update and distribute engaging digital training content and send notifications. That way you can address the elephant in the room when it’s relevant and more likely to have the most positive impact on your frontline managers.
Listen to Feedback from Frontline Managers and Respond with Empathy
Frontline employee training that encourages and captures feedback gives you the opportunity to listen and respond. The more emotional intelligence and empathy you can bring to your response, the better. When managers feel like you understand what they’re going through, the more valued they feel.
And when frontline managers leave, find out why and make sure that the reasons are highlighted and addressed. You can use this feedback to update training content so you can prevent more turnover.
How Can Organizations Move Forward in Supporting Frontline Managers and Workers?
How can organizations communicate clear career pathways to keep good managers happy and prevent turnover?
Organizations can communicate clear career pathways to keep good managers happy and prevent turnover by showcasing various opportunities for growth and advancement. This can include promotions, shifts in responsibilities, external or rotational opportunities, or pay increases. By clearly communicating these pathways and providing support for managers to navigate them, organizations can demonstrate that they value their managers’ development and provide incentives to stay within the company.
How can organizations address the challenges faced by frontline managers in training content and communications?
Organizations can address the challenges faced by frontline managers in training content and communications by quickly updating and distributing engaging digital training materials. These materials should acknowledge the current environment and provide practical strategies to overcome challenges. Additionally, organizations should encourage and capture feedback from frontline managers during training sessions, allowing them to express their struggles and concerns. This feedback can then be used to improve future training programs and provide targeted support.
How can organizations measure the effectiveness of their support for frontline managers and workers beyond training module completion?
Organizations should measure the right things to gauge the effectiveness of their support for frontline managers and workers. Simply relying on training module completion is not sufficient. Instead, organizations should focus on promoting leadership qualities and essential traits that deliver long-term returns. By measuring these qualities, such as employee satisfaction, performance improvements, or retention rates, organizations can gain insights into the impact of their support and make necessary adjustments.
How can organizations create a company culture that values empathy and emotional intelligence?
Creating a company culture that values empathy and emotional intelligence requires a two-pronged approach. Organizations need to develop empathy and emotional intelligence through training programs. However, since nothing happens in a vacuum, these qualities must also be ingrained in the company culture. This means fostering a compassionate environment where development is seen as an investment rather than an expense. Organizations should encourage empathy at all levels and recognize managers who exhibit these qualities.
How can organizations balance accountability with compassion when supporting frontline managers and workers?
To balance accountability with compassion, organizations can embrace the practice of listening to employees, especially those in leadership positions, and further investigating when someone is struggling. Regular check-ins and conversations should incorporate empathy and emotional intelligence. This approach allows organizations to hold employees accountable for their performance while also showing compassion and understanding.
How Can Organizations Measure the Success of Frontline Managers?
Why is it important for organizations to measure the success of frontline managers beyond training module completion?
It is important for organizations to measure the success of frontline managers beyond training module completion because completion of training modules alone does not guarantee effective performance. By measuring success beyond training, organizations can assess managers’ abilities in real-world situations and understand their impact on the overall business. This comprehensive evaluation allows organizations to identify areas for improvement, provide targeted support, and ultimately drive better outcomes. It ensures that frontline managers possess the necessary skills and traits to lead their teams effectively and deliver sustained results.
How can organizations effectively promote the leadership qualities and essential traits required for frontline managers’ success?
Organizations can effectively promote the leadership qualities and essential traits required for frontline managers’ success by incorporating them into their training and development programs. This can include targeted training modules, workshops, and coaching sessions that focus on developing the necessary skills and traits. Additionally, organizations can provide opportunities for managers to practice and hone their leadership abilities through real-life scenarios or simulations. By emphasizing and investing in the development of these qualities, organizations can help frontline managers thrive in their roles.
What can organizations do to identify roadblocks and potential impacts that may hinder the success of frontline managers?
To identify roadblocks and potential impacts that may hinder the success of frontline managers, organizations should have a presence on the frontline. This involves actively engaging with managers and their teams, observing their actions, and understanding the context in which they operate. By being physically present and interacting with frontline managers, organizations can identify any challenges they may face, such as operational inefficiencies, communication breakdowns, or resource constraints. This hands-on approach allows organizations to address these roadblocks and provide the necessary support for managers to succeed.
How can organizations measure the success of frontline managers beyond training module completion?
Organizations can measure the success of frontline managers beyond training module completion by taking a more comprehensive approach. One way is to have “boots on the ground” and actively observe managers in action on the frontline. This allows organizations to assess their performance, and identify roadblocks, and potential impacts that may hinder their success. By directly observing managers’ interactions with their teams and their ability to overcome challenges, organizations can gain valuable insights into their effectiveness.
What qualities and traits should retailers promote in frontline managers to measure their success over time?
Retailers should promote leadership qualities and essential traits that deliver the greatest return over time. This includes traits such as effective communication, problem-solving skills, adaptability, and the ability to motivate and inspire their teams. These qualities are crucial for long-term success in managing frontline operations.
Show Frontline Managers There’s More Opportunity for Growth
It’s very unlikely that your frontline managers want to stay in the role forever. In fact, managers are often looking for a career, not simply a paycheck. A recent study by McKinsey found that a lack of career advancement was one of the main reasons managers leave frontline jobs.
Clearly communicating career pathways in new hire training and frontline employee training such as promotions, shifts in responsibilities, external or rotational opportunities, or pay increases—and the steps to get there can go a long way to keeping good managers happy.
Taking a look at your frontline manager training to make sure you’re acknowledging the struggles, listening to feedback, responding with empathy, and highlighting opportunities for growth will ensure that you’re keeping managers and not losing them. In turn, you’ll also model the kind of behavior that makes for a highly effective frontline manager.