Why Executives Need To Work On The Ground With Employees


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Why Executives Need to Work on the Ground With Employees

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In today’s highly competitive business environment, executives are often preoccupied with their day-to-day responsibilities and lose sight of what’s really going on “in the trenches.” However, this lack of communication with the rest of the company can be detrimental to the success of the business. To stay ahead, leaders must work on the ground and in the trenches with the rest of the company, understand their challenges, and provide support and guidance to overcome them.


One prime example of executives working in the field is Starbucks, which has been hugely successful thanks to its CEO, Kevin Johnson, working in the company’s stores. In an article published in business insiderJohnson talked about the benefits of his hands-on approach and how it helped him better understand the needs of his customers and employees.

Another example Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, worked as a driver for several months. He was surprised to find out how many problems there were and how rude some riders can be. He also learned about the inefficiency of the company’s app and implemented improvements for drivers, including login features.

There is also a TV series that won two Emmy awards. undercover bosswhen top executives sneak into their business anonymously for weeks or months. Some of the key benefits of working in the trenches for executives and CEOs include:

  • Get a fresh perspective on the business, market, and health of your business

  • Improve team spirit

  • Understanding Customers

  • Become a better leader by breaking down the hierarchy

Related: What I’m learning by going undercover at my company

Why leaders need to climb into the trenches

One of the main benefits of working as leaders in the field is to create a culture of accountability. By being visible and interacting with employees, leaders set an example for others. This culture of accountability can help improve employee morale and productivity as they feel supported and valued. Moreover, when leaders are in the field, they can identify areas for improvement and make adjustments accordingly.

Another important benefit of being local leaders is that they encourage innovation. By interacting with employees and customers, executives can learn about current trends and ideas that can benefit the company. This approach encourages creativity and helps the company stay ahead of the competition. Because executives observe customer behavior and gain insight into customer preferences, they can better inform the company’s strategy.

Field leaders can also help build a stronger team. By collaborating with employees, leaders can build relationships and create a sense of camaraderie. This approach helps overcome barriers and encourages collaboration, which is critical in a rapidly changing and competitive environment. When employees see leaders cooperating with them, they feel appreciated and inspired to do their best.


Finally, field leaders can help improve the customer experience. By observing customer behavior and interacting directly, executives can better understand their needs and preferences. This approach can help a company create a more personalized customer experience, increase loyalty and repeat orders. When your customers feel they are valued, they are more likely to be loyal to your company and recommend it to others.

RELATED: 4 Lessons Every Manager Can Learn From Hourly Workers

How leaders can get the most out of their fieldwork

Here are a few key considerations for executives who want to start working in the field with the rest of the company:

  1. Set clear expectations: Managers must have clear goals and expectations for their time in the field. This methodology will help them stay focused and ensure that all parties get the most out of their experience.

  2. Interact with employees: Managers should take the time to communicate with employees and learn about their problems and successes. This approach will help build relationships and strengthen a culture of accountability.

  3. Listen to customers: Managers must listen carefully to what customers have to say and consider their feedback. This approach will help the company better understand its customers and create a more personalized experience.

  4. Create a formidable team: Leaders must work to build a determined team by encouraging collaboration and creating a sense of camaraderie. This approach will help improve morale and productivity.

  5. Stay flexible: Leaders must be prepared to adjust their strategy based on what they observe on the ground. This approach will help the company stay ahead of the competition and adapt to changing customer needs.

In conclusion, leaders in the field can have a significant impact on the success of a business. By creating a culture of accountability, fostering innovation, strengthening teams, and improving customer experience, leaders can help their companies stay ahead of the competition. To get the most out of this methodology, companies must set clear expectations, engage with employees, listen to customers, build a strong team, and remain flexible. By doing so, leaders can build a stronger and more successful company.


On the subject: Become better at your job by doing someone else’s


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