For a lack of a better term, middle management is the level in a corporate structure that bridges the senior executives and the junior ranks. While most startups may have a leaner configuration of staff members and flatter organisational chart, those that expand and increase their people may see the need to manage and put an order in their teams through units and layers.
Not many may subscribe to the school of thought of putting a tier between upper management and low-ranking associates. However, there are those who see the difference between supervising 5 to 10 people from overseeing 30 or more members. For those who are contemplating hiring managers to streamline functions and improve corporate performance, it’s time to take a closer look at the role middle managers should portray within an organisation.
As industries and the workforce evolve and develop through changing times, middle managers are more empowered to create, conceptualise and make decisions for the good of the organisation. Gone are the days when they are perceived only as a go-between that accepts and carries out directives from the higher-ups. Entrepreneurs can stay on top of their business if they have self-sufficient managers that can help them realise their vision and bring the entire team towards the goal.
Managers provide directions, cascade the corporate thrust, and pay attention to details, which may be too burdensome for the business owner if it were a flat organisational structure. Delegate your role to leaders who can uphold your aspirations and improve productivity. Such leaders can help correct errors, fill in gaps and tighten loose ends, which may occupy so much time and energy of business owners.
Middle managers have closer interaction with frontline employees, which make their role as relationship builders crucial to the business. They have to be effective in communicating the vision and mission of the enterprise and translating the corporate culture to the day-to-day operations and activities of their team. Building cooperation and mutual trust between and among the senior management and the rank and file is one of the competencies managers should have that is significant to the growth and success of the company.
Accelerators and motivators
The advantage of having a middle management level in an organisation is that it loosens the bottleneck and ensures swift action to get things done. They have to be quick in solving problems and putting out fires, boosting the morale of the team, listening to the ideas and feedback of members, 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 of the capabilities that middle managers should possess is breaking long-term goals to short-term targets and turning plans into actionable items using strategies that yield positive results. They know how to navigate through a situation, mapping out methods even with limited resources. Having efficient managers can help you put together pieces of the puzzle in a most creative way as they imbibe your vision and employ tactics to achieve it.
Probably, you may be in a situation where there is still no need to put a middle manager for now. If you get to the point where you have to fill this position in your structure, be sure to revisit the qualities and roles that your manager should uphold in your organisation.
The vital aspect of making middle management an effective tool for human resource and employee engagement is finding the best candidate that suits the role. A person who embodies the right corporate culture, ethics, values and skills will be beneficial to your business. The middle management tier will only work if you have the perfect person for the job who will aid you in bringing your venture and the whole team towards your goals.