There is something not quite logical about the way most organisations structure their leadership development. When we study the research on how organisations allocate resources mainly money) to leadership development it show a kind of upside down situation.
Without going deeply into all the stats, the general picture is quite simple. At the stop of the organisational pyramid, the spending is highest not only per person but also in terms of total expenditure on leadership development.
At the bottom of the pyramid on the other hand, at the frontline supervisor level, we see the least resources allocated. Now to me as a self established ambassador for the Service Profit Chain, this does not make much sense.
The Service Profit Chain documents very clearly that our frontline employees are crucial to customer loyalty. They create the memorable service experiences that make people come back and or recommend us to their friends and family.
But they only do that if they feel like it.
It’s not something we can reduce to a to-do list in their job description. It requires enthusiasm, initiatives, and a proactive mindset. In one word, we call that engagement. And engagement is a function of leadership. The relationship between the frontline employees and their supervisor account for up to 70% of their engagement.
So in my view, the crucial leadership role in terms of service experience is handled by a relatively young person with little experience and not much theoretical support in they bag. It is sort of swim or sink system. That is not fair on them – that is one thing – but it also means that we are playing Russian roulette with our net promoter score.
So recently, I have devoted a series of blog post to exploring this whole subject, how can we better support our frontline team leaders, recognising that this is often also their first leadership position?
If you did not follow the blog post series, you can now download an edited version in the form of this short white paper entitled: We are all born leaders – How to cultivate a culture of leadership. Enter your email below and download it now!
It is my hope that older, more experienced managers will find inspirations in this report to take actions and work with their young managers using some of the ideas and tools in this report.
But I also think that young managers who are in their first management position can find inspiration and ideas on what they could work on in order to do the best possible job in their new positions.
As always I would love to hear your feedback to this, and I am ways happy to answer any questions you might have.