COVID-19 has shown that organizations that invest in frontline managerial skills are more resilient and adaptable than their competitors, and in many, frontline management has been the initiator of multiple process improvements and new ways of working . Independent of specifically impacted industries such as aerospace, organizations that have best resisted the crisis are those that invest in their frontline managers.

The pandemic has proven what research always stated: frontline managers are critical when securing business continuity and change. Comprising the majority of management and overseeing most of the workforce, frontline managers such as shop-floor supervisors, call center managers, and sales team leaders have exceptional leverage in protecting and reassuring teams, steering business results, and serving clients in an extremely chaotic environment.

In a post-COVID-19 world, the pace of transformation is only likely to increase, but frontline managers are still often merely perceived as transformation execution agents. They are much more than that. In tomorrow’s world they should not only be key to transformation implementation, but the initiators of change.

Senior transformation leaders looking to create highly adaptable and responsive organizations should step back and re-assess the importance and potential of this critical population. There is room for improvements in training, coaching, onboarding, and rewards; investment in which will empower and support this often ignored management layer and make them instrumental in developing and implementing successful transformations.

With change afoot in countless industries, now is the time to cultivate your frontline to facilitate your future.

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