Think Of Your First-Line Leaders As Player-Coaches

The significance of first-line leaders cannot be overstated. By nurturing their development, companies can enhance overall employee engagement, create a strong leadership pipeline for future promotions, and stay connected with customer-facing operations. According to Fred Hassan, former Big Pharma CEO, frontline managers play a vital role in motivating and maintaining the morale of the workforce. 

Jessica Swank, Chief People Officer of Box, likens first-line leaders to player coaches and emphasizes the challenge of their role. To support these leaders, Box implements various initiatives, such as monthly Manager Power Hour sessions, bi-weekly newsletters, a dedicated Slack channel, and tailored development programs. 

Additionally, Box invests in a robust 6-month program called Accelerate for new managers. Swank also highlights the company's effort to customize manager training based on location-specific challenges.

Box's culture is driven by its co-founders and values such as "getting 'stuff' done," emphasis on culture, people, and communities and fostering a fun and transparent environment. Swank emphasizes the company's commitment to embedding its values in its hiring, development, and promotion processes, fostering a sense of belonging, and maintaining transparency, openness, and collaboration. 

To sustain and scale Box's culture, Swank recommends the book "Think Again" by Adam Grant, which encourages readers to question assumptions and biases, aligning with Box's approach to thoughtful and adaptable thinking.  

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