Are Your Training Programs Helping Middle Managers?

BY Kathy Crosett
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There’s no question that you need to develop your senior managers to carry out the long-​term vision for the company. In many organizations, the next level down – the middle managers – are often neglected. Ignoring skill development for these employees comes at a huge cost, warns Dana Theus, president and CEO of InPower Coaching.

Middle managers do not hold enviable positions in any organization. They are charged with running day-​to-​day operations, meeting goals, and maintaining the loyalty and productivity of their team members. All too often, middle managers have come into their positions because they did great work in the job they held before. While these folks may possess excellent technical skills, they’re sometimes clueless about what it takes to manage a team. Their lack of expertise increases the chance that they're going to bungle an important management problem. For example, middle managers often don’t know how to address situations that involve team members arguing with each other or with members of another department.

Theus correctly points out that middle managers are often younger employees who can benefit from training. They need practice with and the development of skills such as how to listen, how to identify the true source of the conflict, and how to generate solutions. They also need training on how to minimize emotion which often boils over during conflict.

Managers who can’t effectively use these skills end up feeling stressed out and undervalued. Before long, their productivity suffers. The same holds true for customer service relationships and for your bottom line.

A management development platform can improve your ability to help your middle managers. “Every employee is different and thus the way each one needs to be managed is different,” says SalesFuel CEO C. Lee Smith and creator of the TeamTrait hiring and retention platform. “Middle managers must adapt how they communicate, motivate and direct each employee to their behavioral traits, to the day and the situation.”

Make the commitment to invest in your middle managers and you’ll be rewarded with their increased loyalty and improved productivity across the organization.