Three Things You Should Be Doing Today To Support Your Middle Managers

They are the figurative – and sometimes literal – middle children in family and entrepreneurial businesses. Nestled between senior management and frontline team members, middle managers are often the peacemakers and pleasers of the organization (much like the middle children in a family.) Straddling both strategic decision-making and day-to-day operations can leave middle managers struggling to fulfill multiple roles and responsibilities, especially when operating with limited resources and staff. Here are three ways you can purposefully support the team members who often serve as the glue for your organization.

Nurture Their Growth

Team members are often promoted to middle managers because they are great at their job. But being great at performing a role doesn’t automatically translate to being great at managing a role. Support your middle managers as they take on these new responsibilities by offering regular training sessions or workshops focused on key areas such as active listening, having difficult conversations, providing actionable feedback, and problem-solving. A great place to start is EFBC’s The Art & Science of Executive Leadership Program, which aims to develop operational managers into strategic thinkers.

Give Them A Place To Belong

It can be isolating to suddenly be the supervisor of colleagues who used to be your peers, and often may also be your friends. Give your middle managers another peer group by forming an internal company Forum especially for them. Not only does a Forum give middle managers a safe place to share trials and triumphs, but it also has the added bonus of knocking down silos between departments.

Let Them Shine

Once you give them the professional development and community they need, take a step back and empower your middle managers with decision-making authority. By entrusting them within their areas of responsibility, you are fostering a culture of autonomy, accountability, and innovation. Together, set the boundaries within which they will operate and then expect them to act decisively and take ownership of their departments. And should they falter or fail? Support that too. Your middle managers need to feel empowered to take calculated risks and explore new ideas without the fear of harsh consequences. That is how they grow even more to some day take over your role!

Want more details on our Leadership Program or looking to launch a middle manager Forum at your organization? Contact Liz at