Frontline leaders are the people who make sure the day-to-day get things done in an organization. They are leads and supervisors, and often have some production responsibilities in addition to their leadership role. They have an in-depth knowledge of the processes they supervise and a growing expertise in leadership skills. Add in their back office (spreadsheets, word processing, etc.) capabilities, and you have a group of people who are well-positioned to be key players in driving daily improvements in their organizations.
They biggest gap in most of this team’s skillset is in continuous improvement. They may have a rudimentary knowledge of a few basic concepts, but typically have some large gaps in knowledge of Lean concepts.
Frontline leaders, though, are instrumental to Lean in several ways:
- They help team members identify problems. Production teams often operate with blinders on, and they become numb to the problems they face. Leads and supervisors are removed from the process just enough to be able to see things that operators don’t.
- They provide the resources for team members to make changes. They give not just tools and materials, but also the time to get small projects done.
- They act as mentors. Even though frontline leaders are often in their infancy of their continuous improvement knowledge growth, they still probably know more than the frontline employees do. They are in a great position to teach their newly found skills to their team.
- They help manage change. Nobody knows how the team is feeling better than the frontline leaders. Creating a continuous improvement culture can be a challenge. Leads and supervisors are able to recognize warning signs and deal with resistance to change before it becomes a problem.
How We Help
Velaction offers a range of continuous improvement training that can boost the skills of frontline leaders. The à la carte approach to our materials means that this group can learn in a just-in-time fashion. As the need for a new skill materializes, there is probably a module available for either self-study or for a more experienced person to use to train the frontline leader.
We also recommend our lessons of the day for frontline leaders. The benefit of these series of messages is that frontline leaders often don’t know what it is that they don’t know. This steady stream of emails does two things for them. The first is that it gets some thinking about continuous improvement on a more regular basis. The second is that it exposes them to new concepts and gives them the opportunity to do further research.
Learn about more groups that we can help.