3 Ways for Leaders to Engage with Frontline Staff

by Sep 1, 2022

The new wave of employees entering the workforce has shown an increasing interest in building personal relationships with leadership. They want to know the person behind the leader making decisions that affect them. 

Though it may seem like another burden on top of the many things leaders are tasked with,  building relationships with frontline staff is an absolute necessity for creating a positive workplace culture. 

Leadership visibility creates a feeling of transparency and trust which in turn increases job satisfaction and employee engagement. 

In our line of work, we often work with a leadership team that is quite removed from the workforce. This creates a feeling of secrecy and takes a toll on morale and the work environment as a whole.

We’ve brainstormed a ton of ideas over the years with our clients to help bridge the gap between leadership and employees, so we thought we’d share a few with you:

    1. Engage with staff in fun ways. One of our clients is launching a coffee cart for their employees and assigning people from the executive team to serve people for a couple hours. Imagine getting served a cappuccino by your CEO! Not only will employees get face time with key leadership, they’ll feel more valued by the organization. 
    2. Put leadership and frontline staff on the same team. Organizations often include some sort of interactive game at events or icebreaker exercise in meetings. Why not put people in teams and mix up the hierarchy? It encourages bonding and creates a shared goal between leadership and employees. Plus, at the office the next day, employees will have something to talk about with the leadership team. 
    3. Create a reverse mentorship program. A reverse mentor program provides opportunities for younger, less seasoned employees to provide their insight to those higher up in the organization. Not only does this foster new and innovative ideas that benefit the company, it also can help break the barrier between staff entering the workforce and those who are more established. 

A final piece of advice is to start the relationship building process when an employee is first onboarded. This is the time to send the message around how leadership interacts with staff – you want them to know leadership is on their side. 

We’ll be sharing a ton of ways to communicate company culture through your onboarding process on our upcoming free webinar, Using Your Employee Onboarding Program to Reinforce Company Culture. It’s on October 11th at 11am PST. 

It’s part of a Culture Forward webinar series we are hosting starting September 14th,  to share anything and everything we know about ingraining culture into organizational systems to attract and retain valuable staff. Plus, each webinar is worth one SHRM PDC! 

Click here to learn more about our other programs and, of course, register for any or all of them! 

We hope to see you there! 

 

Sincerely, 

Rebecca & The Civility Partners Team 

 

P.S. As a bonus for our folks in CA, we are offering a free California compliant Harassment Prevention Training as part of the series, to ensure your workforce is all up to date. 

About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

6 Common Costly Mistakes that Derail Organizations In Times of Change

From our episode, “6 Common Costly Mistakes that Derail Organizations In Times of Change” with Esther Weinberg   At some point, leaders today probably feel the sense of being ready to powerfully take on all the opportunities and challenges at their feet. But the...

The Workplace Culture Opportunity: Ditch the Bad, Build it Better

Based on our episode, “The Workplace Culture Opportunity: Ditch the Bad, Build it Better” with Kim MacDonald   Psychological safety is the interaction that you have with others. It is the experience you have where you can feel free to speak your mind, speak out,...

Embed DEI into Company DNA

Based on our episode, “Embed DEI into Company DNA” with Stacey Gordon When we talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion, people want to start thinking about holding hands and skipping through the sunflowers. This is so important for leaders to get. They have to...

Culture Forward Webinar Series Starts Tomorrow!

You’ve seen posts about our upcoming webinar series focused on being intentional in infusing company culture into everything you do. I’m sure you agree that company culture is key in employee productivity and retention. Tomorrow we are kicking off the series with...

Want to be an employer of choice?

Between generations having different expectations of work, COVID, #BLM, political divides, and everything else that's come our way these last few years, the world of work has shifted dramatically. In short, people have seen the light - they know they can find a place...

3 Ways for Leaders to Engage with Frontline Staff

The new wave of employees entering the workforce has shown an increasing interest in building personal relationships with leadership. They want to know the person behind the leader making decisions that affect them.  Though it may seem like another burden on top of...

Join my interview with Gretchen Carlson and Julie Roginsky

We already know that being harassed or bullied takes a toll on one’s mental health. Research is very clear that targets can develop anxiety, depression, and even symptoms of PTSD.  But what about the damage caused by the ensuing requirement to remain silent via an...

Collaboration and Cooperation. What’s the difference?

Collaboration and cooperation are used interchangeably in the workplace, but should they be? What’s the difference between them?  It turns out one is facilitated by managers and the organization, while the other is a personal choice (which can of course be influenced...

The Secret to Being Happy by Staying at Home, your Heart

From our episode, “The Secret to Being Happy by Staying at Home, your Heart” with Pradeep Kumar Cheruvathoor   A couple years ago, my eight-year-old daughter made a kite at her school. She came home and she was running around the court flying her kite, and her...

3 Employers Getting Employer Branding Right

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that over 47 million employees left their positions last year - a record breaking number. Deemed the “Great Resignation”, this phenomenon has altered the way employers must attract and retain employees forever.  In...