21 Sep Managers’ Effectiveness is Important to the Entire Organization
New managers, middle managers, and frontline managers can make or break an organization. They have positions of responsibility not just to get work done but for their people. They have some (albeit often limited) power and are tasked with driving larger organization initiatives. The problem? Many are thrust into managerial roles with limited training or guidance on how to do that. That lack of direction and training affects organizations of all sizes and creates job dissatisfaction among those managers, which in turn, creates job dissatisfaction among those managers’ direct reports.
Many managers find themselves caught between upper management and leadership, and their direct employees, resulting in frustration. Boss says one thing and direct reports ask for another thing. It can feel like a tug-of-war that causes significant strain in their day-to-day work. Juggling multiple tasks, dealing with team conflicts, and meeting organizational goals can lead to burnout and job dissatisfaction.
One way to address that problem is to ensure there is effective communication within all departments, top to bottom. Communication breakdowns between managers and senior leadership create unnecessary challenges and unproductive working environments. When managers have unclear expectations, or limited feedback on how they are doing in their role, that causes problems such as those managers either having their people to do unnecessary work or not completing projects as expected. Organizations need to make sure that communication between leadership and middle management is clear, with precise direction and clarity on where that manager can go for additional support or resources to bridge gaps (in people or equipment needs, etc) and improve overall team cohesion.
Managers may also feel overlooked when it comes to professional growth opportunities. They see no future at some companies, or a stagnant career path, which can lead to a decline in motivation and job satisfaction. Companies must create clear pathways for career advancement when possible. At minimum, they can recognize the contributions of their managers which can help rekindle their motivation and commitment.
Professional development opportunities can help here as well, whether the organization provides in-house training, book clubs, lunch-and-learns with their boss, online learning programs, or through curated training tailored to your organization. All are excellent ways to help address these needs. Investing in your people’s leadership and interpersonal skills as well as their technical skills is a great way to show your managers that they are valued. Business Results offers a comprehensive package of leadership training specifically designed with new and frontline managers in mind. Investing in leadership development programs can empower middle managers with the skills and tools they need to navigate their roles effectively.
One last note. Everyone needs work-life balance. People want to work at companies that support that value. Look at opportunities to promote a healthier work-life balance which can also mitigate the risk of burnout.
Managers’ job satisfaction, when high, serves as a valuable resource for organizations seeking to address the challenges faced by this critical segment of their workforce. Those engaged managers are effective people leaders. Companies can look at their managers’ job satisfaction through engagement surveys and then invest in ways to improve their working lives. Doing so will make them better leaders, and ultimately lead to a more engaged, effective, and motivated workforce.