Monday, March 23, 2009

The Actions and Influence of Managers

Front-line managers usually have the most direct reports, have close relationships with those direct reports and are the closest of all manager to customers and employees, yet they often have the least amount of authority, enablement and ability to influence company policy towards cost cutting, employee engagement, customer service, etc.

Often senior management ignores the input and ideas of the front-line citing their lack of experience or lack of access to information. Senior management fails to realize that the higher up they go the farther away they are from the action of customers and employees and the more they must rely on the front-line.

Senior managers must enable line-managers to make as many decisions as possible when engaging employees and customers. Company-wide employee engagement programs tend to eliminate individual ownership and become ignored.

The best way to improve employee engagement is to enable line managers to have enormous input and individual responsibility by pushing decision-making as far out as possible. Line management is closest to the action and must be able to act. In a paradox, line managers should be running the show when it comes to employee engagement.

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