How crucial is it to involve your front line employees in your organization’s decision-making?

Your front line is the face of your company and the ones who have the most interaction with your customers. They are not only the representatives of your entire organization, but they will be able to provide you with valuable insight so that you can continuously exceed customer expectations.

As a senior leader, you have five key responsibilities to building an organization that is front line-focused:

1. Set the Vision by Defining a Customer-based Strategy

Outline a vision that is focused on the customer through insight that you’ve gained from observations and feedback collected from people who work directly on the field. By making the customer the center of your company’s strategy and vision, you’ll find that keeping development and expansion on track will be easier.

Define what will bring your company long-term relationships and how you can innovate a philosophy that is customer-centric.

2. Foster a Culture That Is Front Line-Focused

It starts with respecting the valuable insight of your frontline staff. Management must lead the way in showing everyone in the organization how important the frontline is. Be a model for behavior for ensuring that the needs of the frontline employees are being respected and their needs to get their jobs done effectively are being considered.

3. Be Involved in Recruitment and Hiring

Don’t be content with having HR be solely in-charge of the entire hiring process. Ensuring that you have the best front line talent should also be the responsibility of senior leadership.  Be sure that the right people are hired and that all newcomers are being trained well. Let them know their worth from the moment they are oriented as new employees.

4. Define the Boundaries for Decision-Making

Frontline leaders will often find themselves in situations where they will need to make decisions without having the opportunity to consult senior management first. Define what decisions are not within their authority.

As a senior leader, you are responsible for ensuring that frontline employees are equipped with everything they need to judge the severity of a situation.

5. Go Where the Action Is

How will you ever understand your customers or the employees who face them every day without ever experiencing what it is like to be on the frontlines? Interact with your people to understand what the energy is like at their level. Recognize if there are any gaps or areas of improvement.

Only by being on the line will you realize if your frontline employees are equipped with the right tools and enough training for them to thrive in an environment that has the most interaction with the customers.

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