I was pleased to see the pressing issue of middle manager development addressed in your Careerwise article ‘Lead from the middle’ (Personnel Today, 9 May). However, it overlooked one key point – the role of the employer in the development, satisfaction and retention of middle managers.
Employers need to recognise that middle managers set the tone for the workforce they oversee, which makes them a powerful influence in overall workforce engagement and performance.
If middle managers are not positive and engaged, it will ripple down to those who report to them.
Demonstrating a stronger commitment to middle managers will reinforce their sense of value and their level of engagement.
Organisations should, for example, provide training and support to middle managers to help them develop more leadership and people management skills, and include middle managers more in establishing the strategy and supporting them in their roles in managing the programmes of change.
As the key connection between top management and the broader workforce who ultimately execute the business strategy, middle managers are the backbone of an organisation and critical to its future.
An organisation that fails to properly support its middle managers, and to address their issues and concerns, will find itself in trouble.
Peter Cheese, managing partner, Accenture’s Human Performance Practice