Managers. Diamonds between a rock and hard place
When it goes well they are the unsung, unnoticed heroes…when it doesn’t, the finger points directly at their chest.
They are frontline managers, team leaders, supervisors and foremen…the people that turn up daily to lead front-line teams, facing down the dual challenges of management that wants them to deliver and a team that craves direction and support.
They are Diamonds caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand they are desperately trying to deliver the management agenda, on the other they are trying to maintain the support, trust and respect of the people they are managing.
GREATEST IMPACT ON SUCCESS
More than any other group in your company or department, these managers will determine your success. Every objective, strategy, project, change, process, system or direction…passes through his or her guiding hands. If you want to get stuff done…this is where you have to start (and finish).
Recent Research from Dale Carnegie Training placed the number of “fully engaged” frontline employees at 29%. Essentially that means 71% of employees are less than fully engaged.
The number one factor the study cited influencing engagement and disengagement was “the relationship with their immediate supervisor”.
Engagement is directly linked with productivity, so if you really want to get stuff done, execute strategy, improve performance then put your focus on Frontline Managers and Team Leaders.
1. REMOVE DISTRACTIONS
These Managers are THE most valuable commodity in your organisation. Take care of them, support them, listen to them, and get their feedback. Do whatever it takes to remove distractions from them getting their job done.
2. SET EXPECTATIONS
Without clear and concise direction, with black and white clarity, these managers wither and die on the vine. Without the certainty of an objective and a clear path to achieving it, no management or leadership ability on their part will help. They will be dead in the water and their teams will not deliver.
3. DON’T GIVE THEM A HOSPITAL PASS
Hospital pass (def’n) : in sport when someone passes the ball to a teammate just as he or she is about to be hit by an opponent twice as big as they are. In the end they get hit so hard they end up in hospital. In other words giving a front-line manager an assignment that is impossible to achieve is a hospital pass. No chance of success, no matter what “here catch this…good luck!” Hospital pass!
4. THINK OF THESE GUYS FIRST
Next time you roll out a strategy or a change of direction think the front-line first. Think about what it is you want them to accomplish. Decide where you want them to focus their time, effort and resources and be prepared to support them to the hilt.
THE BOTTOM LINE
They are Diamonds but your frontline managers can only play with the hand they have been dealt…give them good cards.