Middle managers are an essential part of strategic planning success, as they are typically the employees who communicate the company's vision on the ground.
However, recent analysis from the Australian Institute of Management showed these professionals are "significantly underperforming", with many feeling under-appreciated and overworked. Here are four ways to ensure your middle managers are a fundamental part of your strategy execution.
1/ Build change management skills early
Middle managers are often given a lot of responsibility, but may not have received the right leadership development to fulfil their potential.
Emphasising change management skills early in the leadership process can enhance strategic planning efforts and ensure your employees have the confidence and motivation to tackle large-scale projects.
2/ Create time for development
Most of the stress associated with middle management positions is due to time constraints. This can make leadership development a challenge.
It may be difficult for managers to fully commit and engage with training when they know it is taking vital minutes away from their day-to-day responsibilities. Find ways of alleviating this burden or provide more on-the-job training.
3/ Empower your managers
Middle managers can be in an unenviable position where they have little power or influence over their teams, yet are culpable for any shortcomings.
Empowering middle management means giving them the tools and knowledge that will help them drive performance. Allow them to provide incentives and rewards, as well as the abilities to develop their staff and offer meaningful training opportunities.
4/ Use the right technology to reach middle managers
Technology can help to bridge the gap between senior executives, middle management and employees.
Business strategy software such as StrategyBlocks, for example, can break down time and communication barriers to ensure strategic vision is accurately relayed to middle managers across your organisation, optimising performance and boosting staff morale.