This is a summary of our Aug 20 webinar. To watch a video of the session, click here.

No one has a greater effect on your bottom line or your team’s safety, morale and culture, than your frontline leaders.  Are you doing enough to develop them?

Training can help: but often it doesn’t.  It’s hard to pull folks out of the field, and lessons learned in the classroom often don’t translate to the jobsite.

Here are five strategies to make development of your frontline leaders part of your organization’s daily routine.

#1: Engage their bosses. Until the people who direct and manage your frontline leaders are on-board, progress is unlikely, Call these leaders together and ask them:

#2: Get clear about the change you want to see.  Saying, “we want our people to be more organized…” or “we need our foremen to be more committed” won’t work! 

#3: Promote “moves” not skills or attributes.  If we want someone to become organized… or conscientious… or dedicated… help them by getting them to do a few simple, visible actions each and every day.

Example: a chemical plant was experiencing low-morale and poor safety performance after a period of cost-cutting and layoffs.  Management wanted frontline leaders to “be more committed to safety.” The team selected three “moves” to promote: meet someone new each day; ask for what you need – don’t assume the answer is no; say “we” and “us” when announcing decisions.   These moves had the effect of energizing the foremen (and their crews) and rebuilding commitment to doing things right.

#4: Involve the whole organization. Meet with top management: tell them what you’re up to and what help you need from them,  Meet with support staff and ask them to promote the moves – especially people who are visible and influential within the team.

Example: at the chemical plant the guards at the front-gate got on-board with meeting new people every day… almost overnight, the experience of coming onto the site changed.  Foremen experienced this change as the drove in each day – and were encouraged do the “moves” themselves.

#5: Incorporate the moves into meetings and routines: putting the moves on the agenda of your team meetings, talking about them during site-visits, and including them during orientations, recognition activities or all-hands meetings makes it more likely people will sustain attention on this effort.

Example: at the chemical plant, managers began to start each meeting with five minutes for attendees to mingle and meet people they didn’t know.  Energy, engagement and morale improved dramatically.  Foremen saw this and were encouraged to build the same spirit within their teams.

Interested in learning more?  Ready to make leadership development part of your everyday routine?  We’re ready to help.  

About the author: Andy Erickson is CEO and principal consultant at Humanus Solutions, a consulting firm that build leaders, teams and routines that engage people and create breakthroughs.. He can be reached at aerickson@humanus-solutions.com