Unleash Your Middle Managers

The role of the middle manager is to help the senior management team implement the company strategy: they are the oil that keeps everything working. However, this management developmentimportant level of management is often taken for granted and left under trained. Unleashing the potential in your middle managers can inspire them to raise their game, so making a real difference to your company’s performance and productivity and so take the business to new levels of achievement.

A study published by Sheffield Business School identified middle managers as the most in need of training and development. There are three ways in which middle managers can be helped to reach their full potential:

1. Raise the bar
Middle managers can become stuck in what they think it is possible to accomplish. Senior managers need to work hard to raise their awareness on what the vision and goals are so inspiring them to be bolder.

2. Encourage open challenge
Middle managers can get bogged down in traditional ways of doing things. Senior managers should encourage their middle managers, through holding open discussions, to challenge conventional wisdom and assumptions. By doing this, middle managers will start to view things through a fresh pair of eyes and innovative work methods can emerge.

3. Empower them
Middle managers know they are accountable for delivering on things that have been identified, but often fail to recognise that they can, and should, deliver on things that they identify as missing and essential. Empowering them to act to resolve these things increases their engagement and commitment.

The role of the senior management team in releasing the potential in their middle managers can not be underestimated. If the senior team’s attitude is that they are there to control and manage the middle managers, then little improvement is likely to occur. A genuine commitment and a significant investment of senior management time and energy is required. But if the right middle management training environment is created, then the business will ultimately benefit from the productive challenge of the status quo. By developing a skilled middle management team the company’s vision and goals can be turned into reality.