As business owners and executives are striving to make their organizations more efficient and profitable in an increasingly competitive environment, they are recognizing now more than ever that middle managers play a key leadership role. Middle management is responsible not only for the implementation of an organization’s vision and strategy, but also for the assessment and resolution of issues and challenges that can make a critical difference in the effective execution of company initiatives.
In a recent article entitled 3 People-Management Trends That Will Impact the Workplace In 2017, management blogger and executive coach Victor Lipman says that middle managers will gain more of the attention they deserve because of the key role they play in promoting employee engagement. Lipman cites a report compiled from a large employee survey conducted by employee engagement firm TINYpulse that indicated 53% of employees want their own direct manager involved in employee engagement activities. Lipman concluded that the more organizations support “sorely overworked and chronically underappreciated” middle managers with the resources they need, the better off those organizations will be.
Middle managers are increasingly becoming not only the leaders in introducing employee engagement strategies in the workplace but also the drivers of performance management. Motivating employees to feel more engaged in their daily tasks and guiding them to align their individual goals and development plans with the larger organizational objectives are emerging as fundamental components of the middle manager’s role. As the primary link between upper management and the rest of the organization, middle managers can take the lead in creating workplaces where employees want to do their best work and develop the skills required to achieve both personal and organizational success.
The best managers demonstrate their leadership qualities by caring about the issues and challenges their employees face and by understanding that the success of the organization relies on the motivation and accomplishments of their teams. They strive to maximize each employee’s current strengths while supporting the development of new skills. Effective managers lead their teams by empowering them, recognizing and valuing their contributions and actively seeking their ideas and opinions.
Business owners and executives who recognize the crucial leadership role of middle managers in driving employee engagement and performance are willing to provide opportunities for leadership development to their managers. By understanding the unique skills and qualities required to effectively lead and motivate employees and by providing the training and support middle managers need to be effective leaders, owners and executives are investing in the future success of their employees and their organizations.