Clearly, the role of front‐line leader (often known as supervisor, team leader, foreman and so on) is a critical, challenging and often unappreciated role. However, the role must be performed effectively if work teams are to optimise their effectiveness. This paper argues that four practices, easily stated but difficult to fully implement, are required in order to fully develop the front‐line leadership function. The practices are: implement a well‐focused system of goals and feedback; employ rigorous leadership selection processes (including the removal of ineffective leaders); maintain well‐developed and evolving human resource management systems; and implement training and development as an ongoing process. The rationale for each practice is provided as well as examples from experience.
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