Over the last few years, society has paid a lot of focus on”the “future of work.” Experts have spent hours formulating predictions on what the future might look like, both for employees and business leaders.
Businesses are currently transitioning to the new norm as working’s future is a reality. However, this doesn’t mean that the managers have worked out every single detail. Some still have to navigate the world of virtual work, while many have adopted a hybrid strategy that has some work completed online while other tasks are carried out in the physical location.
This is an entirely new frontier for many. If businesses are online, hybrid, or returned to the office, The environment has changed. The way we work has changed. Our work methods have changed.
Leaders are responsible for providing the highest level of assistance to the individuals they manage in this new time, especially the managers at the mid-level. The latter are accountable for directly providing support to employees. If these mid-level managers receive the assistance they require, they will give that same assistance in return. This will result in happier, more committed workers all-around.
I spoke with four managers to find out what they are doing to help their mid-level managers as the future of work is here.
1. Sheldon Yellen, CEO of BELFOR Property Restoration
BELFOR Property Restoration CEO Sheldon Yellen believes that connections are always the main driving factor in his business. They’re how he can best support the employees he supervises. According to Yellen, connecting with people by being a good listener and encouraging person is crucial for mid-level managers to help: “Being able to listen to their needs and offer the assurance that tomorrow is going to be good than the previous day does not just benefit the individual, but also flows down to everyone else in the company. If employees feel valued and supported at the executive level, they can offer the same level of support for their staff, which enables them to perform their best work.”
Yellen is also adamant about how important it is to express appreciation to mid-level managers. Everyone wants to sense that their job is appreciated and part of something greater than them. This is why people feel valued when they realize that you are their boss and their coworker, and they can share this feeling with those they supervise. In the end, there will never be a perfect day. However, Yellen thinks that encouraging positive thinking can be the most effective way of helping employees.
2. Kara Hertzog, President of IES
IES, the President of IES Kara Hertzog, argues that midlevel managers are the primary aspect of any business’s performance; they are crucial in pushing strategic initiatives forward and implementing those initiatives successfully. However, she also notes that it’s impossible to accomplish this without a supportive leader. Giving them the proper tools and formulating the best processes is essential to a company’s success, and investing in performance should be an integral part of every company’s strategic plan.
“Rallying a team behind you has become even more crucial for success, yet much harder with a new distributed workforce,” Hertzog states. “Ensuring that your employees have the right coaching and have the tools that can make this simpler for both the manager and the team is essential. Instead of adding just one more big project to the already stressed-out managers, assist them to automate tasks like reporting or measuring performance. Reduce the time-consuming tasks they can focus on spending more time developing relationships between their teams and colleagues.”
3. Gus Cicala, Founder and CEO of Project Assistants
Project Assistants, Founder, and Chief Executive Officer Gus Cicala say supporting midlevel managers effectively requires knowing that this is an era of change for the separation of work. “The best way to support middle managers right now is through structure,” Cicala states. “Put objectives in place and keep everyone up to speed. Now is the ideal opportunity to dissect, create, implement, and define different roles between the various members of your company. In some ways, remote work can make some tasks redundant (e.g., brick and mortar workplace management). In other cases, additional roles are required (e.g., more coordination and technology). In other cases, the deck is completely reshuffled.”
Cicala says that teams are most effective when duties are shared between employees clearly and strategically. Instead of segregating people into their tasks, having the correct assignment of tasks encourages more involvement and integration as employees can draw on their skills. Helping middle managers define roles and functions in this new work environment is vital to fostering their success. Cicala describes it as a valuable opportunity to promote an environment that encourages healthy engagement and boosts satisfaction.
4. Sue Bingham, Founder and Principal of HPWP Group
Then, HPWP Group Founder and Principal Sue Bingham say successfully supporting mid-level managers and the employees they supervise in this new working method boils down to soliciting feedback from them, taking that feedback seriously, and then putting the insights into it the right direction.
“This hybrid work model covers the place, but companies need to start paying more attention to process and, most important, people,” Bingham states. “No matter the hybrid work configurations they end up favoring, employers must get serious about adapting to employees’ needs by soliciting their input along the way.” Once they’ve got this information, the most important thing is to make use of it to improve processes, operations, and policies to help managers.
We are in the midst of a variation in our workforce, and we have to help mid-level managers to help the employees they manage. This may appear like a daunting duty, but it’s accomplished. By engaging team members, making sure that they can concentrate on the things that matter most, gathering their feedback, and converting the input into action, managers can ensure that mid-level managers can perform their job to the greatest of their capabilities.