The Other Side of the Coin: What Drives Front Line Team Member Engagement

Yesterday’s post approached the topic of front line engagement from the perspective of the leaders in your organization. Today, it’s time to look at the other side of the coin – your front line team members.

Involving team members in decision-making processes, enabling them to innovate, and providing the autonomy and resources to solve customer problems collectively offer frontline team members the essential elements that have been shown to drive team member satisfactions and engagement.

Research has provided many labels for the drivers of team member commitment, but authors Chris DeRose and Noel Tichy, writing in Judgment on the Front Line, summarize them as the “four C’s.”


Frontline employees want to connect their daily interactions with the customer to the achievement of larger long-term goals. This requires an understanding of strategy and customer and business objectives.


Frontline workers, like most people, want to feel empowered to make autonomous decisions and take action when necessary. There must be established boundary conditions in which employees feel free to make decision, and they must be given the training and tools to make effective judgments.


Ultimately, if employees do not feel connected to their organizations and have a sense that coworkers and managers are unconcerned with their well-being, they will not care about he organization or their job.


Work is a personal endeavor that occupies the majority of waking time for most people, so frontline employees need the opportunity to exercise their individual thought and creativity and invest their own personality in their work.

The concern and trust that senior leaders exhibit for all team members in a front-line focused organization translates into strong culture and improved work environments.

That’s something both sides can agree on!

Trust helps you move quickly. It increases your speed. When it’s absent, you can see it – more checks, controls, and processes. That’s bureaucracy.

Randall Stephenson, Chairman and CEO, AT&T

ChurchWorld Frontline Facts

Front Line Teams are uniquely positioned to create value in your organization

  • Generating value – your team can offer new ideas based on first-hand dialogue with Guests about their needs
  • Solve problems – when your frontline team is free to exercise its judgment to make good decisions for the Guest, they can solve problems on the spot
  • Avert crises – frontline teams know where the trouble spots are, and can help your organization avoid disasters by providing early warnings


Part of an occasional series translating the best of Customer Experience in the Corporate World into Guest Experiences for ChurchWorld

Adapted from Judgment on the Front Line, Chris DeRose and Noel Tichy


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