Middle managers want you to meet their needs and offer more opportunities. You should understand why upskilling middle managers continuously benefits your business.
Businesses always want to improve and grow, but they don’t always put their focus on the right areas. If you find the standard approaches don’t work for your situation, you should consider upskilling middle managers and helping them grow, leading to business improvements.
As you understand why you should upskill middle managers, you’ll notice various benefits arise, encouraging you to keep doing it. That way, you’ll improve, help your middle managers succeed, and watch those efforts grow further.
Teach them work-relevant skills
You can teach them skills that relate to the business. For example, if your managers work in the IT department, you can teach them how to use new programs. They’ll then work with others in the business and help them complete tasks while guiding them to do the same.
You can also use work-relevant soft skills, such as listening to employees and critical thinking. Encourage them to look over the employees, identify strengths and weaknesses, and create plans accordingly.
Consider their situations and remember which skills your middle managers could learn. Their skills should allow them to work better with their employees and upper management, so they’ll connect and help the business succeed.
Improve your management presence
If you look into army leadership attributes, you’ll notice they emphasise presence. Presence means they present themselves effectively to work with others. Doing so requires them to adjust their approaches based on the situation.
For example, your middle managers can dress similarly to their employees if they want to feel connected with them. That way, the employees can relate to the managers and see them as equals, so they can trust the managers.
They’ll want to dress nicely if they need to build credibility and authority with their employees. You’ll also want them to dress well while meeting with higher management, so they’ll leave good impressions and have the management take them seriously.
Presence also applies to how they talk and interact with others. If they know how to say the right words and address situations, they’ll help everyone work through the details and improve at their jobs.
Boost employee engagement
If you plan to boost employee engagement, you must upskill middle managers. Doing so teaches the managers new skills, and they become more involved with your business and feel invested in it, wanting it to succeed.
For example, you can show them how to interact with customers, allowing them to apply those skills and feel engaged with their work. As they become more involved, they have a reason to work hard and improve, allowing them to tackle more tasks and help your business.
Remember that you can boost employee engagement without focusing on skills directly involved with it. For instance, if your managers learn how to use new software, they can become engaged with the work while using a more efficient system to help the business.
Helping them balance their lives
As your middle management learns more skills, they’ll know how to handle their jobs properly and focus on their personal lives while leaving the job. They can accomplish it by figuring out how to relax while tackling work responsibilities when possible.
They’ll do better with their jobs if they know how to achieve work-life balance. If people bring work home, they’ll face burnout, struggle with focusing, and may want to quit. If you want your managers to remain strong, they must learn these balancing skills.
These skills work well since they’ll learn how to balance them naturally, so they won’t worry about work while at home. Doing so will help them boost their performance at work while passing that information to the employees, so they’ll do the same.
If they can relax at home, they’ll rest and become energised. Ensure you incorporate these concepts into your training and skills, so they’ll learn how to naturally apply them, balance their lives, and feel good about their job.
Increase your revenue
If you have middle managers that perform better, you’ll naturally increase your revenue. In addition, since they know how to handle various tasks, you don’t have to outsource the work to others, and your managers can even train your employees to perform different tasks.
As they keep working and identifying new approaches through their training, they can apply what they learn to the business. Of course, doing so requires you to teach them soft skills rather than hard skills, so they can use them in various circumstances.
Soft skills refer to generalised ones people can use, like communication or teamwork. Hard skills refer to specific skills people can apply to different cases, such as sending an email or using a program.
Not only will they increase your business’s revenue, but if they grow and improve, they can get raises and new positions. They then feel like they can contribute more to the business, improve their situation, and watch as their skills bring them great opportunities at work.
Improve Management Retention
You’ll naturally increase your management retention if you help managers learn new skills. You’ll notice a few significant reasons why managers leave positions for new ones.
- They become bored with the job
- The job doesn’t offer opportunities
- They have negative experiences
You want to retain your middle managers since training and seeking new ones costs money and time. However, if you keep teaching them new skills, you make the job more enjoyable while providing them with opportunities to learn and grow.
Since they feel like your business benefits and can help them in the future, they become willing to stick with your business for longer, with some staying their entire careers. You can go further by giving them opportunities to move up and stick with your business.
However, if you work on upskilling middle managers, they won’t feel those negative emotions and will have positive experiences. From there, they’ll keep working with your business, seek raises, and even move to new management positions while they help employees do the same.
Form great leaders
You want to upskill middle managers to improve your leadership. The better leaders you have, the better your business will do. Middle managers work with your employees, guiding and assisting them, so if you train them properly, they’ll help your employees succeed.
If you notice your middle managers fall short anywhere, you don’t have to get mad at them. Instead, you should train them based on their shortcomings, so they’ll understand how to handle various situations, apply the training, and improve.
While your middle managers may struggle initially, they’ll become better if you consistently work with them and offer training. You can even offer training for their strengths so they become better overall and help the business.
Build the next generation of leaders
As you upskill middle managers, you’ll notice they learn the necessary tools to seek promotions or raises from your company. They become better at their jobs and can fill new roles in the industry.
Since finding talent outside of your business can pose challenges, you can prepare your middle managers to take those new positions. Doing so not only makes filling those roles easier but also benefits those managers by allowing them to make more money.
Ensure you identify what skills help middle managers move up the corporate ladder to spread that knowledge. You should hire specific people to train your middle managers or get your upper leadership to teach them.
Help with communication
Middle managers must rely on communication to work effectively. Since they work with the employees and the higher-ups, they must know how to communicate to get messages across to each party so they avoid miscommunication and problems.
Miscommunication leads to losses and a slowdown in the business world, so you must show your middle managers how they can communicate. Offer them practical communication tools while going over how to keep in contact with people, so they’ll minimise those issues.
You should also listen to your middle managers as they make suggestions. They may notice shortcomings in the communication sector, so see what they suggest to streamline communication and make work easier for everyone involved.
If they know how to communicate with others, they’ll point people in the right direction and help them realise what to do while they work. Ensure you communicate with them and have your higher-ups do the same, so they’ll learn from their example and work on their communication.
You can have your middle managers develop empathy in the workplace as a way to handle criticism. For example, they can empathise with the employees and identify the best ways to go over criticism without hurting feelings or offending them.
However, the same goes both ways, so your managers must know how to take criticism from their employees. The employees and upper managers will bring complaints and make suggestions, so a manager must handle it well and maintain their emotions.
Middle managers should also know how to present criticism and pass messages between the employees and the higher-ups. If they know how to do that, they’ll maintain peace in the workplace while encouraging others to improve and try various approaches.
They can even use those skills outside of the workplace with others, so they’ll take criticism from friends and family. Even if the lessons don’t specifically talk about criticism, teaching and offering advice will help them develop those skills through their efforts.
If you work with your middle managers and get them to learn new skills, you’ll improve the efficiency of your business. Managers see how work plays out and the processes employees use and communicate with their leaders, so they have the most business knowledge.
Since they directly see what happens, they understand when the business lacks efficiency. For example, if they notice some processes the employees use don’t work as efficiently as another option, they can point out those details to their leaders to make a change.
While it takes time and planning to improve efficiency, the time you put into it will make a difference and help your business. Ensure your managers understand the importance of efficiency, balancing work speed and quality.
While they could go through the work as fast as possible, doing so could drop the work’s quality. As they effectively make content and release it consistently, they’ll help the business perform well. They’ll also feel like they can perform well, making them feel important while they work.
Ensure you work on upskilling middle managers to help your business succeed. As you help and offer them new skills, you’ll watch your business improve as your middle managers develop and become better leaders.
Doing so requires you to keep looking into new skills to teach them, but the benefits make an effort worth it. Since middle managers work with the employees and those above them in the chain of command, they can make a noticeable difference in your business.
About the Author
Melissa Stewart is a community outreach manager at Criterion. She is passionate about workforce management and leadership development. Outside of work, Melissa loves to play tennis and spend time with family and friends.