The front line employee is the one that does the work. The front line employee knows the job especially if it has been done for any length of time. This employee knows the rules and the boundaries that have been set up. And what becomes very helpful is this employee knows the other departments, knows where to find equipment, knows what is broken, what is not working well, and has made the relationships with others to get the work done. What an incredible resource.
Often though employees are not asked their opinions of what might work better or how a system could be smoother. Yet also often they can have incredible ideas. These can be talked about in a meeting or a survey can be given to them. Another way is to have a pilot program where the employees test equipment that may be purchased in the future and turn in their opinions of how it works. Ask them if it makes the job easier or not. But even go further ask them to explain why it would be good or why it does not work. This get their expertise of trying something out and gets them involved. They also now see their opinion is respected.
Ask them what problems they had during the day and what was done to solve these. Let them explain a couple of different things that occurred and how they handled them. This is a time to listen and maybe make suggestions but it’s very important to have them feel good that the work was handled. Praise them for their corrections. Give praise. This shows respect.
Smile and say hello, ask how they are doing. because you respect the job they do for you.