The Importance of Frontline Leaders to Employee Performance

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Why should your frontline leaders need to care about employee performance? It might seem like a “no-brainer” that frontline leaders should do so. 

The problem is that they may not understand how dramatically they influence that performance.

Who Is Employee Performance’s Biggest Influencer?

Many companies believe that you must have a good employee to perform well. 

In fact, according to a Gallup report, companies with highly engaged employees are 21% more profitable and 17% more productive. So, a highly engaged workforce is not based on the employees themselves, as much as it is based on the leadership structure that supports them.
According to a Gallup report, companies with highly engaged employees are 21% more profitable and 17% more productive. Share on X

Managing Leadership’s Effects on Employee Performance

We once had a client speak very negatively about their employees. They would even make derogatory comments about them in a management meeting. This has led to a lot of hatred among very authoritarian leaders, who were very authoritarian to the bottom. 

This situation created an environment where the employees began to perform the bare minimum in their performance. In turn, this reinforced the belief that management had, “See, I told you, these guys do not want to work.” 

What they did not realize was that they were the ones causing the problem in the first place. 

In this specific case, can you notice any linkage between the effectiveness of the leaders at different sites, shifts, and departments? 

If so, you can easily see that the leader is influencing the performance of that work group.

Changing Frontline Leadership to Improve Employee Performance

Luckily for frontline leaders, there are a few ways you can help them care more about employee performance and make positive improvements.

Tip Number One: Evaluate Leadership Effectiveness

Evaluate the effectiveness of your current frontline leadership. Ask:

  • Who would you like to lead the way?
  • Who might need to change something or increase their strength in these areas?

Tip Number Two: Communicate Expectations

Specifically, what are the expectations of a leader in terms of managing performance and communicating to frontline team members what winning looks like? 

Consequently, the organization will become like a team that has no goal and no understanding of what it takes to win the “game.” 

It is vital that you communicate your expectations.
It is vital that you communicate your expectations. Share on X

Tip Number Three: Coach Behaviors that Generate Results

Instead of assuming that employees do not care to do so, leaders need to help employees understand what it takes to move from one level of performance to another. 

Simply put, all employees want to win. And people pay attention when you tell them that they would be more productive in their position by taking certain actions. We are all interested in mastering our assigned jobs. We gain a sense of pride from garnering feedback and increasing our performance levels. In turn, an improved performance leads to more loyalty from the employees to the organization.

How Performance Affects Future Leadership Changes

We have already spoken a lot about what we can do to improve employee performance through frontline leadership. Once we address the issue head-on and our frontline leaders realize the importance of managing employee performance properly – we often start to realize that there are more leadership skills we can work on going forward.

These skills include communication, motivation, engagement, or simply the ability to hold someone accountable. These are just some of the topics offered in our Front Line Leadership Training Program.

Available on-site, in-person or (if it works better for your organization) through our state-of-the-art virtual training studio.

No matter what, it all starts with a conversation. This can be initiated by clicking on our website at You can also connect with us through our LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. 

Once you have that conversation, you will see what kind of solution can help move your organization towards being highly engaging and high performing.