Developing Effective Frontline Managers

A 2010 survey conducted by McKinsey in the US revealed that nearly 70% of senior executives are only ‘somewhat satisfied’ or ‘not at all satisfied’ with the performance of their companies’ frontline managers. Furthermore 81% of frontline managers said they are not satisfied with their own performance. Developing effective frontline managers thus becomes an important issue for all organisations.

Whilst concerning, these figures are hardly surprising in light of the fact that many frontline managers are promoted from the frontline because they are good at the technical aspects of their job, rather than as a result of their leadership abilities or influencing skills.

Developing Effective Frontline Managers


Frontline managers can often find themselves thrown into the position where they have to deal with new responsibilities including conducting performance reviews, developing team members, handling difficult people and driving performance whilst often dealing with a new complex dynamic of managing former colleagues. Developing frontline managers enables organisations to not only retain talent but to improve engagement and productivity of frontline employees.

Despite research consistently showing frontline manager behaviour as the most influential factor in determining overall performance, this group are often overlooked for training opportunities in favour of frontline employees and senior leadership teams. iHR Australia’s Director Workplace Relations John Boardman said “training for this group is critical from a compliance perspective as poor management practice is often an underlying issue involved in workplace investigations”.

With frontline managers critical to the performance of an organisation, the need for training focused on developing leadership and interpersonal skills becomes acute. iHR Australia’s Stepping Up training program assists frontline managers with the transition into their new position by providing immediate skills, behaviours and practices they can take into the workplace and apply directly after the program. This training program covers:

  • Responsibilities as a manager
  • Role in business performance
  • How to manage a team
  • Self-awareness
  • Building team and culture
  • Setting expectations
  • Preparing for a performance discussion
  • Managing and communicating to the team
  • Coaching, giving feedback and handling conflict


Read more about iHR Australia’s Leadership and Management services that can be delivered as in-house training at your organisation’s premises or as a public training program at a location near you.

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