From EO Melbourne, we share the skills of a great middle manager.
“Middle management” is the level in a corporate structure that bridges the senior executives and the junior ranks. While most startups are working with a lean configuration of staff members and flatter organizational chart, many larger organizations find benefits in layers and hierarchy. Still others will make the case for a flat organizational structure even as they grow.
For business leaders who are weighing the benefits of hiring managers, let’s review what these middle roles can bring to your team.
Middle managers have a closer relationship with frontline employees, which makes their role as relationship builders crucial to the business.
These individuals must be effective in translating the vision and mission of the enterprise to the day-to-day operations and activities of their team. Likewise, competent middle managers will communicate to senior staff any rumblings of dissatisfaction among entry-level employees.
Building cooperation and mutual trust between the senior management and the rank and file is one of the skills managers should have in order to contribute to the growth and success of the company.
ACCELERATORS AND MOTIVATORS
The advantage of having a middle management level in an organization is that it can prevent potential bottlenecks. They can support leadership in strategic and sales efforts, while also mentor less-experienced staff and chip in on day-to-day tasks during busier times.
The best middle managers are agile—quick to solve problems and put out fires, while also boosting the morale of the team, listening to the ideas and feedback of staff, and accelerating growth to bring the venture closer to its destination at the shortest time possible. Managers provide the needed energy and force to thrust the business forward as they encourage their people and inspire them to carry out their functions effectively.
One key skill that middle managers should possess is being able to break down long-term goals into short-term targets, turning plans into actionable items using strategies that yield positive results. They know the available staffing and resources and can navigate toward goals or mapping out a path forward even with limited resources.
Managers provide direction, motivate team members, and pay attention to details—tasks which may be too draining or distracting for business owners. Learning to delegate to these direct reports will benefit you, your business and to the managers.
Identify managers who can uphold your aspirations and improve productivity, who may even balance your strengths with their own. Such leaders can help correct errors, fill in gaps and tighten loose ends.
Finding the right middle manager for your organizations means finding the person who embodies your corporate culture, ethics and values. It means identifying the person who can pick up your communication style quickly and translate your goals into action.