Front-line employees can be your greatest asset-here's how to tap their rich vein of insight and leadership.
Front-line employees who deal directly with customers are the face of any organization. Not only do they have the most impact on how a brand is perceived, but they are also the most valuable source of insight into what customers want and how to give it to them.
Unfortunately, as management experts Chris DeRose and Noel M. Tichy explain, most organizations don't know how to evaluate the risk of giving employees more autonomy. Many of those who are willing to try haven't even invested resources in ensuring that-once the shackles are off-front-line employees make good judgments.
Tichy and DeRose offer powerful examples of front-line leadership, such as:
How Zappos trusts its people to do anything in service of a customer, including providing free product or reimbursing for mistakes
How Mayo Clinic of Arizona enabled its nurses to challenge the hierarchy in order to improve patient care