Eko Consulting Ltd will share our latest thinking in our monthly blog. We will cover matters of topical and practical interest to those interested in developing themselves and their organisations.
As the saying goes- ‘employees join organisations but leave managers.’ This saying underscores the importance of management and organisational leadership in creating the right environment for employees to thrive. Frontline leaders and managers play perhaps the most critical role in this regard. For it is from them that the shop floor employees expect the enactment of the appropriate enabling behaviours and values. Frontline leadership is extremely challenging and often beset by myriad seemingly insoluble problems on a daily basis. It is thus quite surprising that the appropriate development and resourcing frontline leadership remains inadequate accross almost all business sectors.
Fred Hassan in the May 2011 Harvard Business Review Leadership article entitled ‘The Frontline Advantage’ contended that ‘ the managers most responsible for a company’s success or failure happen to be the ones with whom the CEO spends the least amount of time such as frontline managers, shop-floor supervisors, leaders of R&D or sales teams and managers in restaurant chains or call centres. They are the very first level of management across a company’s business operations and functions.’
However as a McKinsey & co August 2009 report by Smet et al entitled ‘Unlocking the potential of the frontline managers’ by Aaron De Smet and colleagues highlight - ‘the effects of poor frontline management may be particularly damaging at service companies, where reasearchers have consistently detected a causal relationship between the attitudes and behaviour of customer facing employees on the one hand and the customers’ perceptions of service quality, on the other.’
One of the recommendations of the ‘Thriving at work’ review is the need to ‘promote effective people management’ - a task that disproportionately impacts of the skills and expertise of frontline managers. Therefore investing in the learning, development and ongoing support of frontline managers is imperative for any organisation aiming to delight their customers, create value and generate revenues.
Against this background Eko Consulting Limited in seeking to contribute to the important agenda had created a ILM Developmemt award programme called ‘Leadership at the First Level.’ This programme aims to help increase awareness and analytic skills, improve communication and oversee and facilitate the completion of required organisational tasks.
We are also able to deploy an employee diagnostic tool called ‘Organisational Human Factors Benchmark’ that address critical issues like employee engagement and wellbeing.
In the next blog we will look at the issue of Conflict and how it can adversely affect the wellbeing in the workplace.
* Leadership at the the First Level by Dr Tim Ojo (a primer) is available on Amazon.