5 Essentials for a Middle-Level Manager
Since 2009, I started worked in different companies and for various middle-level managers. I consider every manager as unique one, for I myself also had the opportunity to become one. My experience was not easy, but I got to learn a lot from my observations. This has led me to enumerate in this blogpost the five essential things a middle-level manager should have.
Competence in the job is most basic requirement such that a middle managers know what and how to do things from the simple to the complicated tasks. This expects that a manager has worked from the lower levels first before assuming the position. Experience helps, but not necessarily dependent on age or length of service, but on the quality of experience one has. The dilemma however exists when the direct subordinates questions the capacity of the middle-level manager both in quality and the amount of tasks accomplished. Most of my direct heads are efficient enough in their work and this has resulted me to respect and follow them, although I must admit there were few, who worked languidly such that goal attainment is compromised, worse the organization in its entirety.
2. Communication and social skills
This is something I need to learn further in the personal level, but I realized that most of my heads also have the same difficulty. Some have the communication skills, but somehow are misinterpreted and worse unable to facilitate camarederie among subordinates, thereby this group lacks in social skills. There were also managers, who seems friendly and sociable but technically having problems in communication, but I think these leaders are better than the first one. These so-called people skills are necessary for the head not to be alienated. I observed this in one of my head, who seems to utilize all ways to connect with people, but it seems all attempts failed such that nobody really trusted and cared for her.
3. Ability to ensure employee satisfaction
I guess this criteria is the most challenging among middle-level managers because this is usually the one compromised, when resources become limited. Leaders think that the employees must deliver and sacrificed first before the whole organization make changes. Employee satisfaction encourages cooperation and creativity among employees, so it is crucial to protect and nurture this. In my personal experience, most of supervisors tend to neglect this part. Most of them are either/both busier in pleasing the administration, or/and in attaining the most essential goals. Moreover, I admit this is my usual reason why I leave a job or decide to change employer.
4. Ability to attain goals
A manager is not a manager if he or she does not do things right. The currency in management is efficiency and it is the litmus paper of an effective leader. Although there are leaders, who are good in achieving company goals; most of them lack on other aspects such as communication skills and in ensuring employee satisfaction. Furthermore, it is noteworthy that a manager's efficiency is proportional to his or her competence. This is because a person who knows what and how to do tasks, also know why those tasks need to be done in relation to the goals set by the organization.
This is an extra criteria for good middle-level managers. A clear and realistic vision must be presented and embodied by the manager. This shows that the middle-level manager does not barely act as a puppet of the administration, rather has the independent mind and courage to decide what is better and best for his or her clientele and subordinates as well. With this last essential, a manager not just becomes an efficienct implementor, but also a good leader. In my experience, there are very few managers, who innately acquired or learned this characteristic. It is difficult I admit, but it is possible.
Lastly, no manager is perfect but the expectation to be an effective manager is there. A person will not be entrusted a position that requires one not just to be responsible but also efficient. This efficiency does not just relate to tasks, but also includes efficiency in human resource management and in improving and developing one's capabilities and the organization, as well.