Developing front-line maintenance leaders at BC Transit
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Front-line maintenance supervisors play a key role at BC Transit, as this role directly interacts with and oversees front-line staff. These front-line leaders are responsible for overseeing most of the organization’s communications and change initiatives. This research investigates the front-line leadership role that organizations rely on as their main conduit for communication of organizational goals and change management initiatives to front-line staff. Front-line leadership roles are the roles in an organization that deal directly with the front-line staff daily. This research investigated the challenges a front-line leader can face while working in this role. This research study engaged BC Transit’s front-line maintenance supervisors and the front-line staff from two different sites within the greater Victoria, British Columbia area. The main research question asked was, “how can BC Transit assist in the development of front-line maintenance supervisors so that they develop the capabilities and skills to lead front-line staff effectively?” Based on this overarching research question, data was collected from a focus group and an online survey that revealed five themes: define and document roles and responsibilities, strengthen hiring processes, develop formal training, focus on team-building and resolve communication barriers. Recommendations offer strategies for the development of front-line leaders, including enhancing overall support for front-line leaders and relationships between front-line leaders and the front-line staff. Keywords: front-line leadership, communication, development, relationships, roles and responsibilities.
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