A new report released by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services (HBR Analytic Services) and Halogen Software reveals low executive confidence in their frontline managers’ ability to succeed, despite their critical importance to organizational results. “Frontline Managers: Are They Given the Leadership Tools to Succeed?” shares findings from a survey of more than 600 global executives on their thoughts of the importance of frontline managers.
The report findings indicate that most executives don’t believe frontline managers are equipped with the resources to excel in their roles. The majority also share a belief that this lack of frontline leadership development and tools is negatively impacting organizational outcomes.
Key findings reveal:
• Frontline managers are seen as critical to organizational success. On nearly every performance metric, survey respondents said frontline managers play a fundamental role in achieving business priorities, such as customer satisfaction and productivity.
• Investment in leadership development tools and programs is insufficient. Only 12 percent said their organization currently invests sufficiently in the development of frontline managers.
• This lack of development impacts executive outlook on whether or not frontline managers have the leadership competencies necessary to succeed.
• For example, only 33 percent rated frontline managers as competent on business-based decision-making and only 21 percent rated frontline managers as competent on innovative thinking and strategic thinking.
• More than 90 percent believe frontline managers’ lack of leadership development impacts employee engagement results.
• The vast majority (79 percent) said this development gap is negatively impacting organizational performance.
“We partnered with HBR Analytic Services on this survey because of a trend we’re seeing among the HR professionals we speak to: they’re stating there is a disconnect between the expectations of their frontline managers as leaders, and the investment in the tools and development to help them get there,” said Donna Ronayne, vice president of marketing and business development at Halogen Software. “While the findings prove this disconnect to be true, there are simple best practices and tools available to support managers in honing their leadership skills and driving high performance for their teams.”