Let's hear it for the Middle Manager

Let’s hear it for the Middle Manager

Middle managers always seem to get a bad rap. As the face of the company leadership with limited decision-making power, workers see them as inflexible, bureaucratic taskmasters. Meanwhile, their leaders find them a convenient scapegoat should things not go the way they should.

The fact, though, is that middle managers are the cornerstones of any company and have great potential for growth. Keep reading as we will talk about this oft-maligned strata and how companies can nurture them into indispensable assets.

The middle manager defined

As mentioned, middle managers fit in between the company’s leadership and its workforce. In this position, they are responsible for facilitating any change needed to grow the organisation. This, in turn, requires them to ensure that their teams are efficient, productive and aligned with the company’s goals.

The significance of the middle manager

Despite advances in AI and automation, Harvard Business Review strongly suggests firms do not eliminate the middle manager. That would create a sizeable human gap between the leadership and workers, mainly because middle managers:

  • Serve as a communication channel. They communicate the leadership’s strategic decisions to their employees and relay the latter’s feedback and ideas to the company’s upper echelons.
  • Implement organisation-level strategy. Middle managers break down strategic directives into tasks and projects, essentially turning them into actionable and achievable plans.
  • Oversee day-to-day operations. They supervise their team’s work and, using the resources and authority at their disposal, ensure everything goes without a hitch.
  • Handle resource allocation. They distribute company resources where appropriate, assign personnel to tasks based on their skills and talent, and schedule tasks and projects in accordance with the time frame provided by the leadership.
  • Lead their respective teams. They provide their employees with much-needed motivation through feedback, support and recognition. At the same time, they encourage productivity and foster a healthy workplace where their team can thrive.

How can companies support their middle managers?

Middle managers have great potential for growth, and effective ones are always good for any organisation. That said, supporting and nurturing these key personnel will give any company a good boost, and here’s how leaders can do it:

  • Offer continuous development opportunities
    Training and mentorship programmes will help middle managers enhance their leadership skills.
  • Foster and support growth
    Company leadership should clearly communicate growth opportunities and career paths within their organisation to help support middle managers in terms of career development. Recognising and rewarding achievements will also motivate them to excel in their roles.
  • Provide regular feedback
    Constructive feedback acknowledges the middle manager’s skills and discusses areas where they can further improve, allowing them to understand their overall impact on the organisation and how they can further develop.
  • Encourage innovation and initiative
    A workplace culture that values, recognises and rewards innovation and initiative breeds proactive managers who can greatly contribute to their company’s growth.
  • Provide adequate support
    Tools, resources, and technology relevant to their roles can help middle managers perform more effectively, increasing productivity and overall job satisfaction.
  • Facilitate a healthy work-life balance
    An emotionally and mentally healthy middle manager has great potential for growth.

About Sam P

EnterpriseZone Staff Writer

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