Middle management is defined as the management level that reports to higher managers and manages at least one – two subordinate level of managers.
Its duties include supervising lower managers and carrying out the directives of upper managers. Middle management is responsible for running an organization instead of just handling the operational duties and decision makings.
This level of management is considered a senior position in the company as it commands a good salary with lots of additional benefits. Generally, the department and branch managers come under the heading of middle managers.
Middle management is involved in the setting of goals and making decisions at the department level. They encourage monthly, weekly or fortnightly reports from their junior managers.
Middle management is an important position as it is responsible for some special units and key departments like marketing, manufacturing, human resources, accounting, and research and development.
The middle manager accepts directives from the above station or top-level managers and then implements a specific strategy so that he can track the progress of low-level management.
To reach the organizational objectives, they have to be diligent and aware of all the happenings in the company. He creates an amiable working atmosphere where all the employees are happy and satisfied.
He also administers the work process and makes sure that it is in tandem with the company’s directives. He leads people from the front by keeping his fingers on the pulse of the lower-levels and reports to the highest level of authority in the organization.
Role of a middle manager
The middle manager plays a key role in every organization as he is the bridge that connects the senior leaders and the junior or frontline staff managers. His influence in the organization is powerful as it has a direct impact on most of the activities of the company.
He is accountable to the top-level management and occupies a significant and important position in the organization. The role of the middle manager includes the following
- Middle management makes sure that the lower management levels are working in tandem with the requirements of the organization by administering routine work and monitoring performances regularly.
- Middle management is charged with creating a friendly working environment and can make several changes for it.
- This is one of the most crucial levels of management as it has the additional responsibility of building a team that will take the company forward. The middle manager inspires, motivates, and supports the teams so that they can lead them to better efficiency and productivity.
- It is charged with the employment decision of the lower-level and also handles the necessary training programs.
- The middle management attends top-level discussions and meetings so that they can report about the happenings in the company.
- An important role of the middle manager is to create strategies that can improve the productivity of the employees as well as the company.
- The middle managers evaluate the performances of junior managers and inspire them to do better.
Importance of middle management
The middle management is an important position as the middle manager is the one who executes the plans that have been designed by top-level management. He understands the requirement of his superior and then implements plans by defining those plans to low-level managers.
High-quality and efficient middle managers are an asset to the company and often proves the key to success.
- Middle managers are the ones that recruit as well as retain employees. They repair, cultivate, refine, and rebuild the working atmosphere and relationship in the company. They are the ones that have to deal with people of different sensibilities and manage them accordingly.
- Middle management has the authority to make changes in the lower levels and thus implements strategies that can enable better work performance.
- They are the ones who get things done. They listen to the aspirations and dreams of higher authorities and turn them into realistic goals.
- They coordinate with both upper and lower levels and guide the workforce to achieve set targets. They are the ones who are entrusted with creating and implementing the necessary strategy.
- Middle managers are true embodiments of your culture as they encourage and implement proper values and behavioral pattern in the company.
- It is the middle management that controls the flow of information in a company. He is the one who gets to know important information and gossips firsthand. He then imparts the necessary and important information to the related person or department.
- Middle management is a vital position with a distinctive role. They are entrusted with important work that no one else can do. They think about the bigger picture and work in accordance to achieve optimal productivity.
- Relationship in a professional environment is as important as in personal one. It is the middle management that builds a relationship and develops trust between the upper and lower levels.
- The middle managers are equipped with an inherent skill that helps them to soothe troubled waters and repair any damage in the professional relationship.
Disadvantages of middle management
The position of middle management is sometimes considered an unnecessary one and is often criticized for the following reasons-
- The middle managers hold a powerful position in an organization as they are in direct contact with both the higher and lower levels in the company. This centric position gives them an additional advantage as they can influence the decisions both positively and negatively.
- They have direct access to important information and can interpret and forward it as per their directive.
- It is easy for them to promote self-interest and exploit their position.
- The middle management is reluctant to lose their hold in the company and can often show resistance to change. It can create a barrier for the growth, productivity, and efficiency of lower-level employees and ultimately, the organization.
- The middle managers command a good salary, as well as benefits, and they, are often considered a burden on an organization.
- As the world is moving towards further technological advances, the role of middle managers is considered unnecessary. Companies have started reconstruction by introducing latest technologies for better efficiency and productivity. Now the position of middle managers is not as beneficial for them as t was earlier.
Examples of middle management
The middle management yields a strong influence on the company as his main role is to execute strategies made by upper-level management most efficiently.
He is the one who strikes a balance between idealism and realities to create important pathways for the welfare of the company.
Middle managers are the ears and eyes of a company for example if there is discord between the lower-level employees and they are dissatisfied with any point then it becomes the duty of the middle management to understand the problem and offer a viable solution. This will help in the smooth and continuous running of the company.
The job title of a middle manager includes positions of divisional manager, regional manager, plant manager, and general manager.
They hold a key position in the organization and are accountable for every decision for example if a company is spread over a larger geographical area then it is the regional manager that will be making important decisions and handling all the related duties.
The top-brass cannot be expected to travel on a regular basis and handle them at different places.
Skills of Middle management
The middle managers need to have definite skills so that they can fulfill the required role in the company. Their characteristics and skills include-
- The middle manager must be an able leader because he has to handle both his superiors and juniors effectively.
- It is the inherent leadership qualities that will help him to make essential strategies for the welfare of his subordinates as well as the company. He must have the vision to create a strategy and the necessary creativity to implement them even in case of possible difficulties.
- He must have the power of persuasion so that he can handle his juniors admirably. He should set clear and precise goals and see that they are correctly implemented.
- The middle manager is a role model for low-level management and must demonstrate, guide, and influence them to do better.
- He must engage in the process of self-development so that he can grow as well with time.
- The middle manager must be quick on his feet and must be able to make decisions under pressure.
- He must be big enough to take responsibility for all his actions even if they prove adverse in certain conditions.
- The position of a middle manager is very delicate, and one of his admirable qualities must be handling his superiors and efficiently enacting their dictates.
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A middle-manager says
Not all middle managers are male, but your article refers to them as “he” throughout. It is difficult to take the rest of the article seriously when you have made that huge generalisation.
Middle manager says
I nearly switched off from reading what is otherwise a good article by the constant use of “he” – please bear in mind that women are middle managers too!