It makes sense: an organization’s success at retaining customers depends on the skills of employees who interact with customers. Let’s take a look at three ways managers can keep front-line employees happy.
Set realistic expectations. Ever heard an employee say, “There’s only so much time in a workday. How am I supposed to get all of this done?”
Unrealistic expectations are the leading frustrations for front-line personnel, which can cause your front line to make choices that may negatively impact the customer.
I have often witnessed organizations create goals based on a mathematical formula that doesn’t take into consideration what is actually required to perform job duties. This makes it almost impossible to create an achievable goal for that task.
When assigning front line personnel responsibility for multiple tasks, it’s critical to determine how much time is required to complete all tasks in order to establish reasonable expectations.
Not only will this minimize customer service threats, it will keep morale up, too.
Solicit their opinions. Take the time to ask for and listen to the opinions of front-line employees.
It’s important for leaders to have a comprehensive understanding of the organization, and front-line employees are the eyes and ears of the company.
Further, soliciting opinions fosters an atmosphere where employees feel their opinion matters. If front-line employees feel that no one cares about their perspectives, they may make choices that negatively impact customer service.
I have often heard “They don’t really know what we do here!” or “Those people at corporate don’t have a clue.” Prevent talk like this by soliciting opinions and acting on the feedback.
Provide superior supervision. Front-line employees look to supervisors for guidance and support. Does the supervisor possess the knowledge and people skills to lead the front-line personnel?
Consider developing a supervisor-training program to ensure that supervisors possess the skills required to fulfill their leadership roles. What’s more, make sure your supervisors understand that they are only successful if their teams are successful.
A supervisor that measures performance just by the numbers will probably be resented by front-line personnel. The supervisor should get the story behind the number. It’s the supervisor’s role to identify and remove obstacles that hinder the team’s performance.
Bottom line: Select and train your supervisors with care. Front-line personnel are depending on you to make the right decision.