How does your company select its managers? If your company is like most, they select employees for middle management positions because they have been at their job a long time or because they have very good at their current job, which upper management hopes will translate into being a good manager.
Unfortunately, time has proven that creating a middle management team in this fashion can lead to poor outcomes for the company.
Recent Gallup research reveals the effects of middle management extend not only to the operations of the company but also to recruiting and retaining the best employees. A great management team acquires, develops, and keeps the best talent. A poor management team, even a single weak manager, can cause significant and long-lasting damage to a company’s profit and reputation.
The Importance of Strong Middle Management
According to research done by Gallup, 50% of the people leaving a company cite poor management as a reason or even the main cause for their departure. As well as driving away their subordinates, poor middle management can negatively affect the culture of the remaining employees. Working in an office environment with poor culture causes employees stress and unhappiness both in and outside of the office, which can even translate into medical problems. Poor employee well-being can drive up company insurance costs as well as costs associated with recruiting new employees.
Other common problems associated with inferior management include:
Poor customer service
Lack of engagement with the company
Poor customer ratings
The consequences of poor middle management impact more than the manager’s direct reports. These issues can lead to lower profits company wide and a poor reputation in the marketplace.
The Secret To Choosing The Right Managers
Gallup’s research shows that only 1 in 10 people have the necessary skills to become good managers. So where and how do you find and retain the right people to fill these managerial jobs?
First, decide what you need and want out of your middle management team – with an eye towards supporting the company mission, vision, and goals, and then choose people based on that criteria. The Gallup study showed that great managers possessed the following attributes:
They build trust with those they are managing
They make decisions based on productivity
They carefully evaluate and place the right people in the right positions
They motivate employees individually
They focus on people’s strengths
You may already employ people with the ability to be strong middle managers, or you may need to recruit them from outside of your company. Make sure to evaluate relationship-building skills and emotional intelligence when making hiring decisions.
Once you build a strong management team, advertise it to prospective employees. Demonstrate how your company chooses the right managers, how they are trained, and why they are valuable to the company. Afterall, if poor management is one of the most significant causes of employees leaving, it can only help to show people how your company works to retain people.
Equal Parts works with numerous companies to help them design and implement middle management selection and training programs.
We welcome the opportunity to sit down with you and discuss the options available to your company. Feel free to schedule a free initial consultation with one of the experts on our team.