Once you have made the decision to invest in developing your frontline managers, you then must determine the best way to develop and harness their talents.
Here are six tips to help you drive development among your frontline managers.
1. Make sure they have basic business skills.
Your frontline managers are responsible for interviewing and hiring, managing budgets, and working with subcontractors or suppliers. If they rose to their positions because they were high-performing individual contributors, they may need some training on essential business skills to help them succeed.
2. Develop their coaching skills.
Good frontline managers should be spending a great deal of time connecting with their employees. Spend time developing their coaching skills so they can effectively develop their own direct reports and help create a leadership pipeline for the long term.
3. Encourage development at all levels.
As you are developing your frontline managers, encourage them to develop their own direct reports. When companies encourage development at all levels, they improve the employee experience, drive retention, and create a strong leadership pipeline.
4. Put them in charge…
…Of their own development, that is. When your frontline leaders can drive their own development, they’ll be more likely to find roles and positions within your organization where they can excel. In addition, if they leave your organization later, they’ll be strong evangelists of the company.
5. Give them the chance to stretch.
Middle managers and directors face a crisis of overwhelm and burnout right now. Rather than continue to put more responsibilities on their plates, give frontline managers some stretch assignments that would otherwise go to middle managers. It may be worth it to let them leave their positions for a short time to take on a special project or two. You can give them a chance to develop new skills and alleviate some pressure from struggling middle managers at the same time.
6. Reorganize where necessary.
It may not always be possible to reorganize to give frontline managers more responsibility, but it’s worth considering. If you can make organizational tweaks that take some pressure off middle managers and give frontline managers additional responsibility, you may be able to drive frontline development while freeing higher-level managers to pursue more strategic business initiatives.
Skilled frontline managers are critical to the overall success of your organization. Use these six tips to drive frontline leader development. Stewart Leadership has been developing leaders at all levels across organizations for over 40 years with solutions tailored to your specific needs and budget. Let’s talk.
- What are the basic business skills our frontline managers need?
- What stretch assignments can we give our frontline leaders?
- How can we empower our frontline managers to drive their own development?