Frontline Heroes Deserve Thanks: 5 Ways to Show Your Appreciation

The backbone of your service brand, otherwise known as frontline employees, take on the colossal role of providing experiences to customers that keep them coming back for more. They are the touchpoint between your brand and your customers, and often determine how big the smile (or frown) of the customer is. Yet unfortunately, the large majority of frontline employees feel underappreciated for their work. This feeling ripples directly onto the experiences of your customers, and is not only bad for your company and employees, but has the potential to significantly damage your customer satisfaction and brand reputation. On the flip side, employees who feel valued, appreciated, recognized and seen for their work, pass on their high-vibe to their fellow employees and customers. But how do you get to this place? How do you show genuine appreciation to your frontline heroes? Read on to find out. 

1. Celebrate Wins in the Moment

One of the most effective ways to show genuine appreciation to frontline heroes is by catching them in the moments of awesome work. This not only makes the appreciation more genuine (generic thank yous can only go so far) but provides a learning opportunity for employees, encouraging them to repeat the rewarded behavior. If you are thinking, but I have hundreds of employees spread across multiple locations, it’s physically impossible for my managers to catch every little moment! The answer; technology. Utilizing technology enables you to scale appreciation and send employees praise when a customer drops some positive feedback, for example. 

How to do it:

  • Utilize technology to help you recognize wins (e.g through customer feedback), and scale appreciation to large teams. 
  • Encourage managers to give in-person and digital shoutouts to employees when they witness someone going out of their way to make an experience awesome. 
  • Host regular team meetings highlight individual and team accomplishments – what happened and why it rocked. 
  • Use team and location NPS leaderboards to showcase real-time efforts of individuals and teams. 

You can read more about the art of catching people doing things right in habit #2 of the Frontline Coaching Playbook.

2. Personalized Thank-You Messages

A personal touch can go a long way in conveying your appreciation. Take the time to write personalized thank-you messages to your frontline heroes. Make it a point to mention their specific contributions and how they've positively influenced the customer experience.

How to do it:

  • Craft heartfelt thank-you notes or emails addressing each individual.
  • Highlight instances where their dedication has led to satisfied customers or resolved challenging situations.
  • Mention specific customer feedback that praises their efforts, reinforcing the connection between their work and positive outcomes.

3. Offer Professional Development Opportunities

Show your commitment to your frontline heroes' growth and well-being by offering professional development opportunities. This not only demonstrates your appreciation but also helps them enhance their skills and contribute even more effectively to your organization.

How to do it:

  • Identify training programs, workshops, or certifications that align with their roles and career goals.
  • Discuss these opportunities with your frontline heroes, and encourage them to take part.
  • Highlight how improving their skills can lead to even better customer interactions and more positive feedback.
  • Investing in their professional development not only shows appreciation but also helps them excel in their roles.

4. Flexible Work Arrangements

Frontline heroes often work in demanding and sometimes stressful environments. Offering flexible work arrangements can be a powerful way to show appreciation and provide them with a better work-life balance.

How to do it:

  • Explore options for flexible scheduling, such as compressed workweeks or remote work when feasible.
  • Encourage open communication with your frontline heroes to understand their needs and preferences.
  • Emphasize that these arrangements are a token of your appreciation for their dedication to their roles.
  • Flexible work arrangements can reduce stress and improve job satisfaction, ultimately contributing to a positive customer experience.

5. Create a Culture of Appreciation

Last but not least, create a culture of appreciation within your organization. Make expressing gratitude a regular practice, not just a one-time event. Encourage team members to recognize and appreciate each other's efforts.

How to do it:

  • Implement peer recognition programs where team members can acknowledge each other's contributions.
  • Provide a platform for employees to share their success stories and customer feedback related to positive interactions.
  • Lead by example by regularly expressing your appreciation for the hard work of your frontline heroes.
  • A culture of appreciation not only boosts morale but also reinforces the importance of each team member's role in delivering exceptional customer experiences.

Wrapping Up

As a manager, your frontline heroes are your most valuable assets. Showing your appreciation through recognition, personalized messages, professional development opportunities, flexible work arrangements, and a culture of appreciation can go a long way in motivating and retaining these dedicated individuals.

Remember that connecting their efforts to positive customer feedback not only highlights their impact but also reinforces the importance of their roles in creating memorable customer experiences. By expressing your gratitude in these creative ways, you're not only showing appreciation but also contributing to a more motivated and satisfied frontline team, ultimately creating magic for your customers.

Up Next: Your Guide to Customer Experience Metrics

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