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The Importance of Training Middle Managers

This article is the first of a series all about middle managers, where we explore the impact of middle managers on organizations, the pain points they face, and the kinds of training to support them in managing effectively.

1- The Importance of Training Middle Managers [you are here]

Middle managers are vital for the success of a company. They oversee daily operations, execute strategies, allocate resources, make decisions on behalf of the organization, manage employees, and have direct impact on the employee experience and retention.

Simply put, they play an important role in both the performance and culture of the organization.

But they often face a number of challenges.

Middle managers are typically promoted based on skill, not for their leadership skills. They are promoted to these new roles without relevant training and upskilling to become effective leaders. As a matter of fact, 87% of middle managers wish they had received more management training when they first became a manager.

Because middle managers are responsible for both the people aspect of organizations and the performance one, training them must include both. In fact, training for middle managers can range from enhancing the overall health of the business and establishing a positive culture, to helping meet key objectives.

The impact of middle managers on an organization

They are key players in successful change management

70% of change initiatives fail to achieve their goals because of employee resistance.

Middle managers are responsible for reducing this resistance: they help employees realize the benefits of the change and their roles in implementing that change, creating an adoption mindset within the organization.

Additionally, executives often use middle managers as a channel to communicate the change to employees. Internal comms is a critical factor in successful change management, and so is the role of middle managers.

They impact employee attraction, retention, and engagement.

Managers contribute to a minimum of 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores across business units. That’s because middle managers are often the first to realize the needs of the employees, since they work closely with them. To keep people engaged, middle managers make sure to address their needs, keep them informed, have them take part in decision-making, and upskill them. According to Leading from the Middle by Scott Mautz, employees with a strong middle leader are 20% less likely to leave when offered a job elsewhere!

They handle upward, downward, and external communication

Middle managers communicate in all directions. They report to the leadership team, cascade news and strategy updates from top management to employees, and communicate with external parties (clients, vendors, etc).

They're on the frontline with employees and daily processes

Middle managers supervise daily operations; they identify problems related to frontline processes and resolve them. They evaluate employees' performance, and their proximity to the work gives them a valuable perspective on decision-making and strategy.

They shape the culture of the organization

Middle managers model behaviors and attitudes, and if they champion the values, then they role model how to espouse them and ensure their teams are living out the values. Middle managers influence the employee experience through culture.

Middle managers’ job is no easy feat, and yet their impact on the organization is immeasurable. Help your middle managers excel at their work and Book a one-on-one with us today to train them.


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