Middle management roles are often tough to fulfill within an organisational structure. Middle managers often find themselves pulled in two different directions; on one end, they are executing the decisions following directions from the top management, while on the other, they need to be a guidance figure to their subordinates. All in all, a middle management role is no walk in the park.
What Are the Middle Management Responsibilities?
Knowing the duties and responsibilities as a middle manager will enable the organisation to address the skills and development needed for this position to become effective.
By definition, middle managers are in charge of facilitating the changes or policies that would help create an effective working environment. In doing so, they are responsible for the day-to-day routine within the workplace.
It is also their responsibility to monitor performance to ensure that everyone is in compliance with the needs and standards set by the organisation.
The middle management roles have a significant impact on the overall performance of the organisation. To perform these roles, it is important to possess the required middle management skills and knowledge.
Middle Management Challenges and How to Overcome Them
There are lots of challenges that confront middle managers as part of their daily responsibility. It is a difficult balancing act as the opposing forces can make any middle manager feel like they are constantly caught in the middle. Learn about these challenges in order to find ways in which to overcome them:
1. Getting the superiors and subordinates to work together – It is the role of the middle manager to manage both ends of the hierarchy. Achieving the perfect balance can be difficult, and clear communication can do wonders on this front.
2. Facilitating a collaborative effort among different groups in the organisation – It is important that middle managers are able to foster the same level of shared commitment among all involved parties to succeed.
3. Taking on too much workload – Most middle managers can find themselves in a position where they can’t and won’t say ‘no’. For competitive reasons, middle managers may take up more than they can, and they need to find that balance between what to accept and resist.
5 Ideas for Middle Management Development Programme
A good middle management training programme, or targetted training programmes, can be helpful for middle managers to grasp a clearer focus of their roles. With their hand in ensuring the success of the company, they need to develop middle management leadership skills that will enable them to perform their responsibilities well whilst making sure everyone in their team does, too.
Here are some training ideas that can lend middle managers a hand in taking on middle management problems:
1. Formal leadership and development training: Middle managers must have foundational knowledge and training with regards to performing their duties. They are likely to benefit from senior managers who were once in their shoes and have tackled managerial challenges in their day. Learning from experience and from the experienced is a good move forward.
2. Peer-to-peer coaching: Social learning enables managers to learn from other managers. This method of training is effective because managers can gain insight into how other managers lead their teams. They can develop techniques on decision making and problem-solving based by broadening their perspective on various ways to handle challenges.
3. Job shadowing: This method is a great way for middle managers to pick up techniques from other more experienced managers in a different department. It is more hands-on and offers an in-depth view into how one can apply certain measures or scenarios in their team.
4. External workshops and seminars: It is not uncommon for middle managers to participate in training programmes organised by external parties. In these occasions, they are able to get a wider view beyond their own organisation, and see what goes on in other company structures. A workshop with a focus on multi-layered communication can be particularly helpful.
5. Team building: Possibly the most common (and effective) programme in the organisational training handbook, team building spans company-wide, and benefits more than just middle managers. It fosters better working relationships within teams and hierarchal levels by opening up a more relaxed channel of communication that is not confined within the office environment. It’s not only healthy for interpersonal relationships, but also a great way to relieve stress, and simply, to have a good time.
There is definitely more depth to middle management training than what is listed. Middle managers need an avenue to safely continue to learn and develop as they meet new challenges. As with any training programmes, many will emphasise on the importance of communication; to hone better managerial skills, communication is a great place to start.