Building Capacity in Your Frontline Employees

Posted on June 30, 2013 by From the Front Management 2 Comments

By Janna Evans, From the Front Management™ Training Program


Ever wonder why it seems impossible to build capacity in your frontline employees? Especially those who have been around a long time and are hung up on past policy, procedure and rules. What do I mean by build capacity? It is the process of expanding the ideas, vision, and abilities of your employees. How many times do you wish your staff would think outside the “box” or what has been the norm? In today’s day and age when businesses are having to do more with less it is imperative that managers understand how to build capacity for new ideas and more engagement.

So how do you do that?

Vision – You must start with a vision! It doesn’t have to be a complicated vision, just something that points employees in the new direction you want them to go. What is the goal you want them to reach? Sometimes a simple phrase that is easily remembered is worth developing.

Evaluate current level of capacity and identify barriers – take the time to assess the current capacity level of employees and determine what it would take to move them to the next desired level. Identify any barriers and move them out of the way as best as possible.

Buy-in and participation – with any change in an organization, it is important to get the buy-in and participation of the employees. Allow them to participate and share thoughts and ideas they have on how to reach the goal or implement new policies and procedures. Those doing the job everyday understand better than anyone what works, what doesn’t, where growth needs to occur, etc. Value each and every idea given.

Coaching of course – to get the best result possible from employees you must embrace a coaching philosophy and model. It is one thing to give information and set goals, it is something entirely different to ensure implementation of those things. Taking the time to coach employees will always return the best results as you redirect old behaviors and patterns of thinking to new ones.

Modeling – as a manager, you should never ask your employees to do something you wouldn’t do yourself. Model the desired behavior, knowledge of implementation for those you lead.

Praise – Never miss an opportunity to praise employees for positive growth, change, and appropriate behavior. Praise goes a very long way and spurs employees on to do their best.

Need assistance building capacity in your employees? Interested in talking more? Feel free to contact me at


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