In any organization, particularly ones that rely on a frontline workforce, the relationship between leadership and frontline employees plays a huge role in shaping the culture, productivity, and overall success of the workplace. 

With 70% of the variance in employee engagement attributed to management, it’s clear that leadership actions hold significant sway in driving employee satisfaction and commitment. If companies want to improve productivity and keep their employees happy, one of the best things they can do is focus on frontline leadership skills. 

That's where the goHappy Employee Engagement Model comes in, and it’s why a significant part of our proprietary model focuses on the relationship between leadership actions and employee engagement, offering a structured approach for leaders to boost both employee satisfaction and performance.


Frontline Leader Actions: The Four Pillars of the goHappy Model

To provide a roadmap for leaders, the goHappy Model breaks down into four actionable sets that influence employee experience directly. When executed with consistency, these actions create an environment where employees feel valued, connected, and fully engaged. Let's delve deeper into the core principles:

Pillar 1: Be Authentic

Being authentic really comes down to being yourself while maintaining the professional attitude and integrity you expect from your team members. 

  • Lead by Example: Embody the behaviors you expect from your team members, showcasing a positive and steadfast demeanor
  • Cultivate Self-awareness: Understand and be open about your strengths, weaknesses, and personal attributes
  • Be Vulnerable: Recognize your limits, admit mistakes, and seek help when needed. This openness fosters trust
  • Commit to Integrity: Stay true to your promises and commitments
  • Nurture Trust: Create a workspace where transparency and honesty thrive


Pillar 2: Actively Appreciate

You’d be surprised at just how far a “thank you” can go. If you show your team they’re valued, in thoughtful and inclusive ways, you’ll see better engagement and performance in return.

  • Inclusivity Matters: Cultivate an environment where every member feels valued for their unique skills and contributions
  • Give Regular Recognition: Acknowledge and celebrate the efforts and accomplishments of your team members
  • Empower with Tools: Equip your employees with the necessary tools and resources to maximize their efficiency and effectiveness. Responding to employee needs shows you care


Pillar 3: Purposefully Connect

A connected employee is an engaged employee. Frontline employees that feel in-the-loop demonstrate higher productivity, stay with the company longer, and are less likely to be absent for shifts. 

  • Mission-centric Approach: Regularly emphasize and realign your team with the organization’s mission and core values. This helps create purpose and commitment
  • Open Communication: Be proactive in sharing information and updates. An informed employee is an engaged employee
  • Seek & Respond to Feedback: Engage in meaningful dialogues. Listen to and value employee perspectives, concerns, and suggestions. Take action on what you hear
  • Team Spirit: Encourage camaraderie and collaborative efforts among team members


Pillar 4: Coach, not Boss

Effective leaders are coaches. The right actions let your team know you want them to succeed and are committed to helping them get there. 

  • Create Job Clarity: Set well-defined performance benchmarks and expectations from the very beginning
  • Set Meaningful Goals: Frame goals that not only challenge but also leverage the innate strengths of your employees
  • Give Autonomy and Feedback: Offer the freedom to innovate while providing consistent feedback and guidance
  • Provide Learning Opportunities: Carve out avenues for skill development, training, and overall growth


Employee engagement is a tangible metric influenced heavily by leadership actions, which also means it’s a strategic and operational choice. By adopting the goHappy Model’s 4 key frontline leadership pillars, leaders can enhance employee satisfaction and pave the way for a happy, productive, and successful workplace. Revolutionize your organization's culture, one leadership action at a time.

By the way, you’ll notice that all these pillars (but especially 2 through 4) get far easier if you have a reliable, easy, and efficient way to communicate with and gather feedback from your frontline workforce. Explore our goHappy messaging and goPowered feedback solutions to support your frontline leadership strategy and start improving frontline engagement and retention.