The functional efficiency of any organisation is rooted in the core strength of its middle management operations. Any system that one can think of needs a solid mid-management structure to support both the roots and the head of the system.
This is the role of middle managers in our organisations: They serve as support systems to employees as well as top-level managers. Their roles and responsibilities may vary, based on the managerial department in which they work, but on the face of it they serve the same purposes.
While there may be challenges within middle management, there are many ways to solve these, which will not be too daunting for companies. There is also an even greater plethora of reasons and benefits for investing in and strengthening middle management within organisations.
Day-to-day challenges which are bound to arise among employees with any organisation, challenges which CEOs and CFOs will not be able to attend to on a daily or hourly basis, call for careful and strategic supervision by middle managers. The role of these individuals goes beyond mere supervision, but includes meticulous planning and conceptualisation, which propels the business forward. It includes thorough processes of in-depth evaluation and assessment at all levels, and taking the initiative to implement and execute plans to overcome challenges within the organisation, as well as encourage growth and stability.
Middle managers strike a perfect balance between micro and macro managing — a balance, which is essential, as it creates a healthy atmosphere for employees to receive all the guidance they may need, while at the same time being trusted to get their jobs done.
Middle managers essentially serve as that bridge between the other two levels within the organisation. They ensure that the directives and mandates of the directors and company are being carried out and upheld by the employees.
Yes, it is true that problems may arise, and this is not uncommon in any aspect of business management. Middle managers may sometimes feel burdened with the constant task of supervising operations, liaising with the top managers, identifying, and dissolving problems among the lower level on a day-to-day basis, among other challenges. There are, however, a few strategies that can be employed as a step to resolving these issues. It is important that network audits be conducted. This fosters a greater level of communication among employees and managers, so that problem areas may be addressed, and long-term solutions be conceptualised. In an era where technology plays a key part in most, if not all businesses, managers may use these mediums to share documents with workers, specifying weekly targets or other important addendums.
Oftentimes, middle managers may find themselves burdened and overworked by all the managerial responsibilities, but it is crucial that they find the balance between micro and macro managing to safeguard against overexerting themselves daily. Companies can invest in short courses to better equip middle managers with these and other skills that will guarantee maximum success. Needless to say, leadership is one of the most important skills one needs to have in order to succeed in such a position. Additionally, middle managers require an advanced level of communication and interpersonal skills as they will need to solve disputes among workers, communicate business plans and goals, among many other things.
Team management is by nature one of the most important skills middle managers must possess. Supervision must be effective and should inspire employees to work towards the company’s goals.
All that I have said brings me to the most important conclusion of this discourse: It is most important that organisations make a deliberate attempt to substantially invest in middle management operations. Middle managers share the workload of both the employees and top-level managers, allowing for an equal distribution of work and greater efficiency within the organisation.
For businesses that are actively trying to grow and expand, middle managers are even more important as they create that level ground within organisations at which conversations can be had and messages can be communicated. They are crucial in the implementation of expansion plans and other large-scale developmental strategies for the company, as they are ones who mobilise workers and actively delegate tasks for completion. They can break down large- scale strategies into different areas for different departments, according to employees’ skill sets. As they are the ones who put these plans into action, they can sift through plans to make necessary adjustments to meet the company’s needs.
At the end of the day, middle managers play arguably the biggest role in an organisation, as they foster healthy communication among employers and all levels of workers. We can understand and agree that challenges may arise, but this is quickly rectified by strategic planning, communication, and training. It is therefore, any company’s best interest to invest in its middle managers as they are the driving force behind substantial and sustainable growth within organisations.