Are your frontline managers undertrained?

by John Maguire29 Oct 2015
A massive 90% of respondents feel that inadequate leadership among frontline managers is detrimental to employee engagement levels, according to a recent study involving more than 600 global executives.

The analysis, conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, also found that 77% of senior leaders perceive these managers as critical in guiding organisations toward their business goals. Indeed research routinely demonstrates that inadequate leadership on the frontline often correlates with increased staff turnover, lower productivity and reduced profits.
 
Despite this fact, a mere 12% of participants believe that their organisations are providing sufficient tools and training to develop frontline managers as leaders. 
 
These numbers provide remarkable insight into a skills gap that needs to be addressed if employers want to increase their long-term profitability and organisational growth.
 
Specifically, the key skills that employers should look to instill in their frontline supervisors are:
 
  • Setting clear goals and expectations
  • Offering regular formal and informal feedback to employees
  • Supporting employee development and success
  • Participating in leadership talent pools and emerging leader programs
  • Understanding personality assessments, such as Myers-Briggs, for improved self-awareness and communication
 
“We expect frontline workers to do lots of complicated things as well as work hard for the employer, typically in contexts where we cannot easily monitor their performance,” said Peter Cappelli, an HR expert at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  “If we undervalue and underinvest in those areas, we pay a price.”
 
For more on this topic, click here.

COMMENTS

  • by RogerD 29/10/2015 12:12:24 PM

    That is so true! We can do the best job we can, but we can only do so much as L&D professionals. It's so important to get the competencies of line managers up to scratch.

  • by Rebecca 29/10/2015 12:30:19 PM

    Interesting that only 12% of participants believe that their organisations are providing sufficient tools and training to develop frontline managers as leaders - companies should obviously be giving their L&D departments more funding so that we can get them all trained-up.

  • by Jimmy31 1/11/2015 7:36:10 PM

    One of the most important things for any business is having leaders who 'walk the talk'. As the evidence shows, it can really motivate employees.

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