Mid-level leaders are the key members of an organization. They are the people that hold the organization together, especially in change and workforce disperses. Mid-level managers find themselves at crossroads and are often required to perform several functions at a go. They are expected to coach employees, make personnel decisions, complete detail-oriented tasks, provide leadership in emergencies, and much more. Because of the frequency and volume of workload, mid-level managers require certain training to carry out their jobs effectively. Wondering what those trainings are? We discuss them below.
Communication skills is a core leadership function. While every employee in an organization needs good communication skills, it is more necessary for middle managers. This is because they have to deal with additional responsibilities touching on every part of the business. For instance, they have to facilitate the flow of information up, down, and across organizations. They also have to communicate externally with customers, vendors, and partners. Meaning communication is the center of their work. Therefore, targeted development in this area is undeniably a welcomed move. Training in communication skills will enable a manager to know how to speak and when to speak. Also, they will know how to adopt different communication styles depending on the people and style.
Emotional Intelligence training
It is no brainer that emotional intelligence is a key predictor of success. Imagine being that manager who doesn’t appreciate the natural differences among people or is unaware of his actions and how they affect people. Sad, right? As a mid-level manager handling various functions in an organization, learning emotional intelligence concepts such as self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, social skills, and motivation will help you create more collaborative and authentic teams.
Note: Emotional intelligence training is aimed at helping mid-level managers improve their communication, handle conflicts well, and communicate better with their teams
Strategic Leadership Training
Leadership and management are two terms that seem similar but very different. As we noted, middle management is the cornerstone of an organization’s strategic initiatives. That said, effective execution of such initiatives requires more critical thinking. Strategic leadership gained through business administration training helps an individual transition from a manager to a strategic leader because of the different skills acquired. In essence, it takes a true leader to understand the significance of setting direction, aligning people, empowering and motivating them.
Takeaway: Success is only reached when a manager finds the ability to go beyond management and embrace leadership.
Every middle-level manager should understand his/her role and invest in practical training to help him/her carry the tasks effectively. They are required to handle different issues at every level of the organization and find solutions to them. Sadly, issues arrive in all sizes, ranging from daily nuisances to organizational crises. Having the ability to think through the facts, diagnose the situation, and find an accurate and workable solution will help the business prosper. A problem-solving training will help the manager know how to;
- Identify and define the problem
- Analyze the problem
- Develop solutions
- Plan and act
Diversity and inclusion
Diversity is increasingly regarded as an essential component for creating a thriving workplace. Some of the benefits of sustaining a diverse and inclusive organizational culture include enhanced productivity, employee retention, and enhanced brand/corporate image. Training mid-level managers on diversity and inclusion makes it possible to achieve these benefits. It allows them to create a rewarding work environment in which everyone’s voice is heard. They also develop the strength of their teams which helps the organization succeed.
Why a Diversity and inclusion training
- It helps mid-level managers that might be self-reflective develop new perspectives.
- Fosters self-reflection and helps them separate personal biases that hinder inclusion
- The manager can understand the individual behavior of an employee and the team’s diversity culture.
- Learn how to mitigate bias through the strategic hiring process
- Mitigate bias in decision making, i.e., favoritism, and break down any possible barriers that impede inclusive work culture
Conflict management training
Half the Job of a manager involves people’s leadership. While performance and results are often what gets most managers the corner office, handling people skills will help them keep the office. According to statistics, up to 97% of mid-level managers need more training to deal with professional development and conflict resolution issues. These statistics should warrant organizations to facilitate training in these areas. A manager who has skills in conflict management and managing emotions is set for success.
Retaining and Engaging Talent
Did you know that hiring and retaining talent has been deemed one of the major problems ailing organizations today? Seemingly, millennials who make up the largest workforce, otherwise known as the “Job hopping generation,” are not making it easy for employees. They are constantly moving from one job to another, leaving employers to deal with losses incurred in turnover. As an employer, your most significant role is working on employee retention, and what better way to do so than utilizing your mid-level managers. Invest in training that allows your managers to obtain knowledge on what defines top talent, how to scout for talent on different platforms, how to provide job autonomy, how to conduct job fairs, and how to onboard effectively. Equipping your mid-level managers with training that helps them attract and retain the best talent is good for business.
Any business that hopes to improve productivity, efficiency, and growth must invest in technology and innovation. According to a Gallup study, up to 87% of employees rate career growth and development opportunities as skills essential for them to consider a job. Therefore, as businesses open their doors for creative people, they should be prepared to handle them. What better way to do so than enhancing their manager’s creative and innovation skills? Additionally, since mid-level managers are the problem solvers and drivers of implementation, you need managers who can creatively solve problems and tasks across all business roles.
From our discussion, it is pretty evident that investing in training for mid-level managers is critical to the success of an organization. Neglecting to strengthen the middle of an organization is a precursor for failure. Training mid-level managers will equip them with skills to manage change and execute the organization’s strategic vision.