Recognize Frontline Employees! They are your Brand face to customers.

Do you routinely thank your customer service workers? Think about it – they are the face of your Brand to customers. File via Weblitz, Flickr

It’s critical to recognize frontline employees—servers, cashiers, delivery people, customer service representatives—they are truly the face of your company!

Ironically, frontline employees are often a company’s lowest paid staff and are treated as expendable, yet transactions between customers and frontline employees make or break your business’s image. They can affect your future relationships with customers.

In fact, Dennis Snow, president of Snow & Associates, Inc., writes that “The frontline equals the bottom line.” Treating frontline employees well, he says, is hugely important to a company’s success!

“We should honor [frontline employees] for the work that they do because they are the ones that make the world turn. All of our strategies, visions, and corporate goals are only as good as the execution of those plans, and execution ultimately comes down to frontline people doing things.”

To improve your company culture and customer relationships, remember to treat frontline employees well and express your appreciation often!

“When they do their jobs with pride and enthusiasm, the likelihood of company success is exponentially increased. When they do their jobs with boredom and skepticism, the greatest technology systems in the world won’t help,” Snow observes.

The way company leaders treat frontline employees has a huge impact on how these employees feel about their jobs. It can be as simple as saying hello when walking by work stations, and taking time to ask how things are going or thanking employees for their hard work. Frontline employees who feel valued communicate that in their interactions to customers – it’s easy to tell when people love what they do!

Recognize Frontline Employees – Its easy!

Luckily, it’s easy to show employees your appreciation. As Emergenetics International founder and CEO Geil Browning writes in “How to Thank Your Employees in Only 8 Words,” thanking frontline employees shows you’re paying attention and that you care.

Browning cites business guru Tom Peters’ succinct observation: “People don’t forget kindness.”

It’s that simple. When you recognize others’ contributions, you reinforce behaviors that support company goals. Empower your employees by encouraging them!

“Communicate your belief in your people, and watch them rise to meet your expectations,” Browning advises.

When thanking frontline employees, be prompt and spontaneous when you see behaviors you want to reinforce, and be specific about what you’re thanking employees for.

Emergenetics’ research finds most employees appreciate personal thank-you notes—especially if they’re customized and specifically mention the attitudes, successes, and behaviors you appreciate.

Who doesn’t like to be surprised with an unexpected treat or gesture of kindness and a sincere ‘thank you’? Being recognized for great work is empowering.

Here’s a summary of Emergenetics’ tips for thanking frontline employees in eight words or less, whether in-person or in a thank-you note:

  • Excellent Communicators:
    “I celebrate how you share your enthusiasm,” or “Thanks for keeping the customer informed.”
  • Problem solvers:
    “I prize your well-considered solutions.”
  • Assertive Staffers:
    “Thank you for keeping the momentum going!” or “I appreciate your decisive action.”
  • Those Who Adapt To Change:
    “I value your flexibility,” or “Thanks for how you handled that difficult situation.”
  • Analytical Thinkers:
    “I appreciate your well-thought-out questions,’”or “I respect the depth of your knowledge.”
  • Detail-Oriented Staffers:
    “Thank you for transferring all that data perfectly,” or ‘You always meet your deadlines—impressive!”
  • People-Pleasers:
    “I’m so grateful for your team-building skills,” or, ‘“I couldn’t have done it without you.”

Human resources firm Robert Half’s website also lists “Ways to Recognize Employees.” They suggest publicizing staff achievements in the company newsletter or announcing them in a staff meeting. Either way, it’s important to remember delivery when encouraging employees — sincere messages really stick!
Frontline employees are far more likely to stay with your company if they know you value their efforts and contributions. What are you waiting for? Start today.

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