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How do you maintain a connection to the frontline as you grow?

By Katrina Armstrong

Most providers start off with the aim of being fully involved in all aspects of their operations. However, the reality is that as organisations grow, and bring on middle management roles, senior leaders become increasingly removed from frontline service delivery as they focus on their overall governance responsibilities.

This can lead to a number of organisational and leadership challenges. Being disconnected from the frontline means that you may not know what’s really happening on the ground. Are your workers following procedures correctly and consistently? Are your customers happy with the services they are receiving? Is your organisational workplace culture one that reflects your organisational values?

How do you stay connected to the frontline as you grow? Here are five suggestions to help you stay connected.

Visit your teams – are you working across multiple sites? To stay connected, it’s vital that you take time each week to visit frontline teams. It’s an opportunity for you to hear directly from your teams about what’s working well in the organisation and what needs improving. It can also be a wonderful way to hear about how your customers are being supported to live amazing lives. Inspiration leads to innovation in service delivery.

Meet creatively – got a problem to solve? Create opportunities for people from all levels of your organisation to get together and solve your most intractable of problems. This should include support workers – they know better than anyone about what’s working and what’s not working on the ground for customers.

Attend staff induction and training sessions – Introduce yourself and share your vision for excellence in service delivery. You cannot underestimate enough the positive impact this will have on your teams and their performance.

Communicate regularly – write a weekly newsletter or update. Tell your teams about your activities over the past week and plans for the next week.

Check in with your customers on the quality of the services they are receiving. Don’t be afraid to call your customers in addition to surveys and customer feedback forms. Find out directly from your customers about their experience of your services. Don’t wait to get it second hand.

Find out more about quality management here.

Contact us for a 15-minute, no-obligation discussion on how we can help your business grow through great management practices.