Middle managers have numerous general and functional job titles, including departmental manager, team leader, production manager and marketing manager. They play a critical role in small businesses by putting into action the decisions that senior managers make. They achieve this through their visible presence in the company, supervising and motivating employees on a day-to-day basis. By developing employees, middle managers play a critical role in helping to improve productivity, efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Middle managers form a critical and visible link between your senior managers and your employees. They understand the corporate strategy and communicate it to employees in a way that relates to workers’ everyday jobs. They are closely involved in employees’ day-to-day activities and recognize any problems or issues that the senior management team needs to be aware of. In that sense, they play an important part in maintaining good employee relations.
By acting as mentors to their teams, middle managers help to develop the skills and knowledge that are essential to the success of your business. They do this by carrying out regular employee appraisals and arranging training or development to align individual employees’ skills with the company’s current and future needs.
Middle managers play a critical role in helping your company achieve its overall objectives by organizing their team’s resources and work loads to meet individual departmental objectives. If your company’s overall objective is to grow the business by, say, 20 percent, marketing managers must develop campaigns and allocate their budgets to winning more business. The production manager must ensure that he has the manufacturing capacity to meet higher production targets. The human resources manager must develop recruitment and training programs to build a workforce that can meet your strategic goals.
Despite the apparent importance of middle managers, many companies are reducing the size and scope of their middle management teams, according to the "Harvard Business Review." "The Review" notes that younger employees no longer treat middle managers as expert mentors, preferring to obtain their knowledge and skills through the Internet or social media. Companies also tend to cut layers of middle management in difficult economic circumstances, according to the Wharton Business School.