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Just as the role of executive leadership is integral to culture and employee engagement, no organization leads the way without middle managers who are dedicated to the cause. Organizations must invest in training for middle managers to ensure that they understand the drivers of engagement and human motivation in the workplace.

This requires some work from senior leadership. Managers should be empowered and supported in providing honest, real-time feedback to their employees to promote mastery and autonomy. Furthermore, middle managers need trust and autonomy themselves in order to address the drivers of engagement.

“When managers provide meaningful feedback to employees, those employees are 3.5 times more likely to be engaged.” — Gallup

Managers who are micromanaged are at risk of becoming paralyzed by a stifling leadership style that doesn’t give them the permission they need to create meaningful jobs for their team members.

When a middle manager fails to cultivate engagement in his or her team members, solid senior leaders reflect on their own leadership style, asking, “Have I trained this manager adequately? Have I given this manager permission to be creative? Have I supported this manager? Have I given this manager meaningful feedback in real time?”

Middle Management Must Lead by Example

Effective leaders inspire and motivate, but most of all, they develop and nurture relationships. Middle managers that are empowered to lead by example are able to foster a sense of community through a shared vision, ultimately improving employee engagement as well as productivity.

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