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We are going to look at some of the reasons why executive and management messages never seem to make it to the front line employees.
It can be frustrating as a manager and executive when the important decisions you make don’t end up permeating down to the frontline employees. You count on the various leadership levels in your organization to take those messages and push them out so everyone can hear them. So, why isn’t this happening?
First, your front line supervisors may not clearly understand the importance of the message, its background or its meaning. As an executive, take the extra time to explain the reasons for some of your decisions and talk about how those messages are going to make it to the shop floor.
One of our clients recently came up to me and said, “I had this decision where the executive team said they were going to push it out to all of their departments.” That team leader said, “I took a copy of that memo and I handed it to someone in another department.” And I responded, “When you actually hear this news, send me a note and let me know that you’ve got it.” Six weeks later, the person still hadn’t heard the news through their official management channels.
Another reason why supervisors might not be carrying the message to the floor is they could be overly concerned with how the employees are going to react, or to the type of pushback that they might receive regarding the message. We want front line supervisors to feel confident and to know that even if they have some doubts about the message, their job is to communicate it down to the front line. And if there’s feedback that management needs to hear, the supervisor’s job is to report that information up the chain.
You have to create an environment where your leaders, at all levels, feel comfortable asking for more clarification and giving you feedback without being worried that you’re going to get upset or defensive. Making sure that your management and executive decisions permeate to the frontline employees is key to keeping everyone in the organization on the same page.
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