Middle managers play critical roles in their organizations. Here are the skills they need.
June 1, 2016
The ability to hire well. “If a manager is not interviewing and selecting people well, he may be stuck with employees who don’t last or aren’t a good fit,” says Russ Elliot, founder of the Conscious Culture Group.
Excellent communication skills. “The best managers consistently engage every direct report in ongoing one-on-one dialogue about the work that needs to be done by that person,” says Bruce Tulgan, author of The 27 Challenges Managers Face.
The ability to delegate. It is ineffective and exhausting for a manager to try to do the work of every person who reports to him. “Sometimes it is difficult for managers to relinquish control,” says Barbara Moy, SHRM-CP, manager of people and culture at CaseWare International Inc.
Performance management proficiency. “Middle managers must have the ability to hold people accountable and also provide them with encouragement and incentives,” says organizational consultant Melinda Stallings, SHRM-SCP.
Collaboration skills. To be seen as team players, managers must be able to both lead people and work well with them, Stallings says.
Solid decision-making skills. “Teach individuals how to problem-solve and weigh the probabilities and outcomes of pursuing a decision strategy with regard to the overall organizational strategy,” Stallings says.
As artificial intelligence technology continues to develop, the demand for workers with the ability to work alongside and manage AI systems will increase. This means that workers who are not able to adapt and learn these new skills will be left behind in the job market.
A vast majority of U.S. professionals say students entering the workforce should have experience using AI and be prepared to use it in the workplace, and they expect higher education to play a critical role in that preparation.