Frontline Managers: The Critical Link Between Good and Great Companies

June 29, 2015

frontline managers

Many times the question arises, “What makes a company great? Is it its products and services? Customer experience? Leadership? Culture? Its quarterly dividends? Its commitment to innovation?” If one took the time, a plethora of responses could be gathered and we would find a way to say each of these contribute to a companies’ success. However, at the intersection of each of these criteria are employees and even more specifically, their managers. Think about it – a manager is the critical link in any organization that ties strategy to execution. They’re responsible for communicating and interpreting the corporate imperatives to employees while engaging, motivating, and inspiring them to perform, achieve goals, and deliver results. It’s their presence and behavior that inspires employees who impact the customer experience and, ultimately, results.

So, if managers are the critical link, then why isn’t their development more heavily invested in? In the February 2014 article, “Frontline Managers: Are They Given the Leadership Tools to Succeed? Harvard Business Review Analytical Services,” a survey was conducted about the role of frontline managers to understand the importance of managers to organizational success, to what extent managerial effectiveness impacts business performance, and whether managers are given enough support and leadership development to optimally fulfill their roles and responsibilities. The results showed 77% of frontline managers are important in helping their organization reach its business goals, yet only 12% said their organization currently invests sufficiently in management development.

This is where coaching comes in. Coaching should no longer be reserved for the executive suite; it should be offered to performing and top talent managers too. Managers hold a tremendous amount of institutional knowledge, and their knowledge and function is a critical position. The replacement of a performing manager can cost a company thousands of dollars in acquisition costs and loss of institutional knowledge, not to mention the impact on morale, productivity, and results.

If your company does not offer coaching to its management population, ask yourself why not? Has it always been reserved for the top executives?  Or has it not been thought of?  Ask yourself, what is the risk of exploring such a program and perhaps giving it a try?

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A frontline manager has a unique set of responsibilities. Learn all the management techniques and tools you need with these AMA resources and seminars:

About The Author

Renée Robertson is a two-time International Coach Federation Prism Award Winner for Internal Coaching, in addition to being the CEO of Trilogy Development. She shares her insights and first-hand experience in her new book, The Coaching Solution: How to Drive Talent Development, Organizational Change and Business Results. For more information, please visit

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