Around the globe, respected studies agree that the number one reason why professionals thrive in or quit a company is their direct supervisor. Despite this data, many business owners continue to operate as usual and then experience issues retaining top employees. As the economy continues to recover, Baby Boomers will retire and younger professionals will set their sights on entrepreneurial goals to safeguard against re-experiencing a layoff. In this climate, another battle for talent will begin, so how do you prepare your enterprise for the market’s inevitable shift? Reengage and empower your middle management.
Maintain Two Way Communication
Through tough economic times, it’s imperative to keep the line of communication between you and your team open. As you carefully allocate resources, you need to understand what your employees need to be effective. On the other hand, your employees need to understand you must prioritize and allocate accordingly. In this manner, both sides are heard and respected. Additionally, you want to use a form of communication that functions well within your enterprise and keeps up with the world of instantaneous updates. Retaining top employees isn’t just listening to their concerns. You must take it a step further and be responsive. However, it’ll be hard for you to do this if your paper memos continue to get lost under desks.
Define Clear Objectives
How can your middle management take appropriate command decisions if they don’t know what the company objectives are? For instance if your financial manager doesn’t know you are willing to pay a little more to maintain your green philosophy, he or she might budget for the cheapest paper products instead of recycled alternatives. Be sure your management knows not only the objectives of the company, but also what objectives they are individually responsible for. This way they understand how best to thrive with the company.
Give Your Managers Authority
Have you ever had an important sounding professional title, but little authority in the office? It’s as frustrating for your middle management as it is for you. If you are interested in retaining top employees, give them the space to make decisions. For example if your warehouse manager needs several signatures to approve the inventory order, cut the red tape and allow the manager to make a command decision. After all, ordering inventory is the warehouse manager’s expertise and they’ve had no issues before. When you empower your middle management in this way, they feel valued and become stronger leaders for their subordinates.
Be More Generous With Resources
The economy is recovering, which probably means you aren’t as tight with your budget as your were last year or the year before. If you can, start freeing up your managers and give them more room to breathe. Allow them to replace those old computers or give raises to those who gave extra effort in a tough economy. Consider giving a few people well-deserved promotions or hiring a couple extra staff to help with the workload. With the right support, your middle management will be encouraged to excel.
Trust Your Employees
One trick to retaining employees is letting them do their job. You’ve carefully vetted your hires, so trust that they have the know how to successfully manage their department. Once you are confident that your managers have sufficient training and resources, don’t micro manage them. Of course, you should check in and keep lines of communication open, but they don’t need close supervision when they’ve got expertise in their niche. Trust should be earned, and when employees feel they are trusted, they also feel valued.
In the past, you may have asked your managers to withhold information from their subordinates. For example, maybe you had to do another round of layoffs but your management wasn’t allowed to mention it outside of management meetings. When retaining top employees especially managers, you don’t want to establish inauthentic relationships. Your managers are a direct line to your entire employee network, but their departments won’t follow them if they don’t trust them. Don’t create an atmosphere that doesn’t allow for trusting relationships between middle management and their subordinates. Instead, make transparency part of your company culture. Your middle management is like the middle child. It deserves much more attention than it gets, so make sure you nurture this part of your infrastructure as much as everything else. If you want more information and useful middle management tips, look through the many Resume Builder resources and start devising a strategy that will work for your enterprise.