Seven ways leaders can better support middle managers

Within every hospital, middle managers play an integral role for the success of the organization. However, it is often middle managers who feel the pinch when there is friction between upper management and staff as they are uniquely responsible for communication between the two. Below are seven strategies leaders can utilize to create an environment of growth for their managers:

  • Allow freedom for decision making and avoid micromanagement. By giving them the room to draw their own conclusions, leaders will gain buy-in from managers as well as help them grow and gain confidence when making decisions. Having discussions with managers and asking intentional questions to help guide the decision-making process if necessary, allows room for growth while also maintaining open lines of communication.
  • Create an environment where they feel supported. Give praise when due and discuss opportunities for growth when things do not go as planned rather than reacting negatively.
  • Support them as a mentor. Find out what their professional goals are and create a plan to help them get there. This will help create an environment of growth for both managers and the organization.
  • Be accountable as a leader and let your managers know you will go to bat for them. In organizations where there is a strong team dynamic, managers are more likely to make their own decisions if they know you will be there to support them if something goes awry rather than point fingers when speaking with the C-suite.
  • Give them visibility. By creating opportunities for them to present their own ideas, managers will be able to grow professionally and other leaders will see the leadership you are providing for your teams.
  • Encourage them to engage in community service. When managers are actively engaged with non-profits such as the Red Cross, they are gaining opportunities to network with healthcare providers outside of their organization’s network. This creates an opportunity for them to gain new perspectives and have a finger on the pulse of the ever-changing healthcare industry.

It is the responsibility of leaders to foster an environment of growth within organizations. Not only does this allow managers the opportunity to grow professionally, but also strengthens teams from the top down which benefits the organization as a whole. Leading by example is a great way to create strong leaders for tomorrow.
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