Frontline managers play a crucial role in creating happy customers and satisfied employees. After all, they are the ones customers ask for at the first sign of displeasure and also the ones who direct and deal with the frontline staff. While they are clearly any company’s recipe for success, most companies fail to hire or make efficient frontline managers. If this is a career you find worth pursuing or you simply want to become a better frontline manager, here are tips to make yourself a notch above the rest.
First of all, start by taking frontline management courses. This would not only add punch to your résumé but more importantly, it can significantly enhance your management skills. Good courses include modules that are very specific to frontline management tasks and are updated regularly to keep up with new management techniques. Although there are managers who seem to be a natural for the job, it won’t hurt to have a frontline management certificate from a reputable institution.
Aside from a quick trip back to the academics, being a good manager requires you to showcase good leadership. Try to gain – and not simply demand – respect from your team. Look at the senior level managers and ask yourself how you would like them to treat you. Do not copy their behaviour if you think they are insensitive or abusive. Never consider those traits as company culture. Keep in mind that there are many qualities of a good leader or manager and being abusive is not one of these.
Good managers can become exceptional managers when they are able to focus on their management duties. While it’s common to see managers doing administrative tasks or filling in for their team members, these should not get in the way of managing the frontline employees. When you notice extra tasks taking much of your time and it can’t be solved by mere time management techniques, discuss it with your superiors and be able to explain the importance of concentrating on improving your team’s performance.
Having too many people in your team can also constrain your effectiveness as a frontline manager. If you cannot talk to each team member on a regular basis, you may not be able to provide the necessary direction and support. Again, try to tell your boss how this can affect the frontline staff. Incidentally, developing individuals and teams are discussed in frontline management courses. Getting a frontline management certificate would help you back up your case with the right business reasoning.