Layoffs, burnout, return-to-office wars: There’s never been a worse time to be a middle manager

Middle managers are facing unprecedented challenges in the workplace, including enforcing unpopular policies and managing hybrid work arrangements. Despite being essential to the organization's success, middle managers often feel unsupported and suffer from burnout. According to recent research, leaders' sentiment about company culture is becoming increasingly negative, especially among middle managers. These managers often internalize their struggles and have been given more responsibilities since the pandemic began. However, they lack the same level of access to support and resources as senior leaders. As a result, it's essential that companies prioritize the employee experience for middle managers and provide them with the necessary resources to succeed.

As per research, creating a sense of community among managers and their teams increases the chances of a thriving organizational culture by 18 times. To achieve this, a retail bank in Europe implemented a certification process that offered credits to managers for participating in workshops on subjects such as building trust and aligning teams. This approach strengthened their managerial skills and fostered a sense of connectedness. 

Managers are more likely to support initiatives, policies, and programs when they have a say in developing them rather than just implementing them. Therefore, companies should involve managers in decision-making to achieve greater buy-in. For instance, a North American accounting and professional services firm increased its managers' engagement by 10% when it invited input on an online recognition program from leaders before launching it. 

Leaders generally downplay the need for recognition, citing their salaries as sufficient compensation. However, research shows that recognition reduces leaders' anxiety by 67%, demonstrating that financial compensation isn't a substitute for appreciation. Middle managers play a critical role in recognizing their team members and should also receive thoughtful appreciation for their efforts or accomplishments. 

Since 2020, mid-level and entry-level leaders have struggled more than senior leaders to practice "modern leadership," which involves a collaborative, democratized approach that can ultimately reduce managers' workloads. Providing targeted support to develop the necessary skills and techniques for modern leadership will benefit companies in the long run. Companies that prioritize the employee experience must broaden their focus to include middle managers since they, too, are employees.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post