Mid-level management serves a critical function in an organisational structure. Unfortunately, we can describe this function similarly to the nature of today’s world of work, Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous and Disruption-prone.
The mid-level management role used to be the anchor, relaying information between upper management and frontline employees. Instead, with technological advancement, Artificial Intelligence takes care of these tasks in more advanced climes. As a result, the mid-level managers have transitioned into prominent roles in conflict resolution, people development, creating a positive team culture and translating strategy into tactics. In Nigeria, the increasing attrition rates and talent exodus have significantly affected the mid-level management cadre.
Regardless, the mid-level management role remains critical in the successful running of a business on a day-to-day basis. While the roles and responsibilities of middle management employees depend on an organisation’s size, structure and culture, certain functions remain common.
What Is Mid-Level Management?
The mid-level management role is a buffer between top-level management and frontline employees. They sit right in the middle and include all the management positions below the top management and above the non-management employees in an organisation’s hierarchical structure.
In other words, people in this position answer to top management and perform a downward support role. They’re typically positioned in charge of a specific office, branch or team and often hold titles such as; general manager, regional manager, branch manager or department manager.
Highly competent mid-level managers are important because they handle everyday issues in their specific departments. While top-level management focuses on the organisation’s overall strategy and long-term planning, mid-level managers concentrate on the daily interactions between employees and the functioning of their departments.
What Are the Roles of Middle Level Management Employees?
In filling the gap between top-level management and frontline employees, mid-level management employees have some vital responsibilities. They:
- Put your organisation’s vision, mission and core values into action. They also evaluate, hire and fire employees.
- Ensure frontline implementation of policies, procedures and new change initiatives.
- Develop their team by conducting reviews, providing feedback and coaching as well as creating and executing development plans
- Implement processes and improvements to reduce costs and increase profitability
- Drive a positive customer experience, regardless of whether the customer is external or internal
- Keep a close eye on competitors and potential disruptors.
Despite these fragile functions and the importance of the role, many organisations promote employees into mid-level management roles without providing the necessary training or an understanding of the competencies that will ensure they function effectively.
Why Is Mid-Level Management Important?
The mid-level function will benefit your organisation in taking care of the burden of employee management and the daily operations of top-level management. If your organisation has small staff strength, the individual responsible for running the organisation will likely handle most management tasks.
However, separating your management duties can help keep everything running as the business scales and gains new ground. As mentioned earlier, mid-level management also put the plans of upper management into action. They are responsible for ensuring employees buy into the overall organisation strategy and keep track of employee progress.
The mid-level management position can be exhausting. Sometimes, mid-level managers can get stuck translating information and implementing decisions from top management to frontline employees.
As a result, it is not surprising to see many mid-level managers experience a lack of job satisfaction. Gallup reiterated this on a global level in a survey showing a drop in managers’ engagement levels from 2021.
It’s impossible not to understand this. Imagine having to be slightly strategic and slightly tactical. Added to this, many organisations do a disservice to themselves and make the middle management function much harder by causing two significant issues;
- Promoting mid-level managers because they are great functional contributors, even though they do not have the leadership skills or access to the required training to develop them. Mid-level managers need a variety of new skill sets, such as conflict management, strategic leadership, effective communication, etc.
- Creating a disconnect between the mid-level managers who want to be great leaders for their people and the top-level management who seem to focus solely on the business numbers. This is especially common when mid-level managers are self-taught.
To overcome these challenges, your organisation needs to invest in learning interventions like Workforce Group’s Middle Management training programmes and support a culture of continuous learning. In addition, your executive team must drive the value of leadership development and align achievement and recognition to leadership performance and other metrics such as employee engagement and retention.
Middle Management Development Programmes Your Organisation Should Consider
You’ll end up not serving your organisation’s interests when you don’t provide your mid-level managers with the requisite skills. This may lead to declining employee engagement, as we mentioned earlier.
To avoid this, we’ve outlined five (5) training programmes we offer that would be most beneficial to both your mid-level managers and organisation:
Mid-Level Leadership Development Programme
Middle Management Leadership Development Programmes create priceless value, especially when they are professionally designed, developed and delivered. However, from countless research and experience working with diverse organisations in the area of Talent Management and Development, most organisations struggle to get this critical intervention right. The resulting effect is that organisations end up performing far below their potential or, worse still, are at the risk of failing outrightly.
As managers, the lack of strong leadership seriously affects an organisation’s top and bottom lines. These consequences include high turnover, lack of direction, lack of collaboration among team members, low team morale, and so on.
This mid-level manager training provides your middle management employees with the skills and insight needed to lead and communicate effectively across the board. Critically, it will improve them at existing levels and prepare them for subsequent management levels.
Do you want to fully equip your managers and future leaders with the leadership development they need to function effectively? Then check out our programme; leadership development for emerging leaders, specially designed to instill the practices and behaviours to help leaders and managers succeed now and in the future.
Line Manager as a Coach & Talent Developer Programme
Coaching is an essential leadership skill necessary for mitigating today’s biggest business challenges. Coaching and mentoring are tested and proven techniques for working with individuals, with the aim of facilitating professional and personal learning while encouraging self-responsibility. They provide a way of reflecting on and developing effectiveness and excellence at work and in living.
The role of the modern manager includes coaching, mentoring, developing and retaining talents. Effective coaching produces excellent results, and its benefits are too vital to be left to probability. It is important to note that for coaching and mentoring to realise their full potential, it requires that managers are trained, a well-defined formal process adopted, a support structure and valid tools to ensure consistency, reliability and sustainability.
Managers need to use a variety of tools and approaches as leaders to develop, inspire their people and deliver the desired organisational results. This is the most effective way to enable teams to deliver extraordinary business results. This programme is designed to equip your line managers with the competencies/capabilities required for attracting, motivating and driving, as well as retaining employees to deliver overall organisational results.
Do you want to equip your line managers as coaches and talent developers? Then enrol them in our line manager as a coach and talent developer programme.
Performance Management Programme
Managing performance and the daily operations of a business cannot be handled with levity. Thus, a business will often use metrics to evaluate employee performance and measure progress towards set goals. Employee performance goals must be clear and aligned with the overarching business strategy and should specify what measures will be used to evaluate and improve business outcomes. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) refer to metrics that assist in tracking the ability of employees to meet expectations as well as their impact on the business objectives.
Your mid-level managers should be able to develop a strategic approach to track and improve employee performance. This programme is aimed at equipping your mid-level managers with performance management skills, tools and techniques while also building their confidence to take on complex business decisions.
Business & Financial Acumen for Business Leaders
“Even if you have the right people in the right jobs unless you synchronise their efforts, link them to business priorities and develop their business acumen, you do not have an edge in execution, and the money-making doesn’t happen.” – Jack Welch.
Your organisation needs managers who are just as effective at making business or financial decisions for the benefit of the business as they are at engaging and developing their teams. Your managers need to understand what drives revenue and what activities are most important from a financial standpoint; they can then be much more strategic with their actions. Without this, it becomes nearly impossible for them to prioritise activities that would ultimately lead to greater gains for the organisation.
Workforce Group’s Business Acumen for Professionals Programme ensures your mid-level managers gain the speed and keenness to make high-level business decisions that impact the organisation’s bottom line.
Leading Your Teams for Maximum Productivity Programme
Productivity is a frequent topic of conversation. As such, mid-level managers need to learn how to create a motivational climate and develop an effective strategy so their teams can effectively execute required tasks.
Some other mid-level management training programmes are;
- Leadership Acceleration Programme
- Line Manager Capability Development Programme
- Strategic Business Leaders Programme
- Developing Managerial Effectiveness Programme
- HR for Non-HR Managers Programme
- Developing & Managing Teams Programme
- Project Management Programme
How to Create a Training and Development Programme for Your Mid-Level Managers
There are endless possibilities when creating a mid-level management development programme. However, here are five (5) considerations to keep at the top of your mind;
1. Always Rely on Your Competency Model as You Build Your Training
Build your development programmes around your competency model rather than choosing topics that will help with certain aspects. Workforce Learning helps organisations develop training programmes that devote specific periods to training a specific competency and the desired behaviours around such competency. This way, there’s 100 per cent time to train the exact behaviours your mid-level managers need to succeed.
2. Provide Intensive Training Before they Become Mid-Level Managers
Before becoming mid-level managers, you must provide the necessary training for them to succeed. Some organisations offer as much as a year-long programme to assist those ready to become mid-level managers. Such programmes ensure a deep dive into the critical strategies, decisions, mindsets and actions that will ensure success at that level.
3. Keep Middle Managers Together During Training
As an organisation, your reputation is defined by the quality of your services and employees’ abilities. External stakeholders see employees as a direct reflection of the organisation’s culture.
4. Incorporate Nudges that Managers Can Do in the Flow of Work
Due to the busy schedule of mid-level managers, “class time” will likely not be sufficient to make training effective. Like Workforce Learning helps organisations do, give your managers personalised nudges that will help them implement what they learn.
5. Measure Improvement
Ultimately, creating training programmes for your mid-level managers aims to make them better and perform effectively. When you set out to do this, it is important to measure progress. You can deploy the Workforce 360 assessment or other leadership assessment tools to measure the improvement of your mid-level managers.
We Can Help Train Your Mid-Level Managers
There have been many discussions about training top-level managers and preparing frontline employees for leadership positions, but little about mid-level managers; as a result of the disconnect and difficulty in understanding and implementing decisions from the top-down or bottom-up, the presence and influence of mid-level management is vital.
In addition to being a liaison between upper management and the frontline, those who succeed in mid-level management roles show the capacity to build and lead high-performing teams and create a culture of accountability and overall investment in developing their employees.
Workforce Learning can help your mid-level managers move from being attendance takers and simple human routers of information into coaches and facilitators that can leverage technology to share knowledge.
With our comprehensive training programmes on leadership, business acumen, communication, etc., and various leadership assessments, we provide the resources that will help put your organisation’s development plan into action and drive your mid-level managers to be the best version of themselves.
To get started, reach out to us here at email@example.com.