The Predictive Index, an award-winning talent optimization platform that aligns business strategy with people strategy for optimal business results, and HR Dive's studioID jointly released a new survey that exposes major red flags in middle management holding organizations back from getting the most out of their middle managers.
In a survey of 346 people leaders (inclusive of both middle manager and executive participants), results show that:
- 99% of people leaders believe middle managers are stressed. (Of those, 44% said they’re “very” or “extremely stressed.”)
- 70% of middle managers would love to return to being independent contributors if they could keep the same pay.
- Only 7% of people leaders say middle managers in their organizations have total authority over the areas they manage.
The survey not only uncovers middle management’s concerns but also indicates that, while executives are aware of the problems, they are unaware or wrong about their causes — ranging from a lack of resources to a lack of support from senior leaders. When it came to their authority in particular, one survey respondent went as far as to say that being a middle manager often “feels like being a child asking for permission from a parent.” But the biggest disconnects were among four areas bugging middle managers, including:
- A lack of support from the top. 67% of executives believe that important issues brought up to them are resolved in a week or less vs. 51% of middle managers who say it can take anywhere from one month to one year for important issues to be resolved.
- An edging toward burnout. Where people leaders do agree is on well-being (or lack thereof) — 79% of middle managers report they’re at risk of burnout from the stress of managing people, and 81% of executives concur.
- A deficit of development. 58% of middle managers say a lack of time is the main factor that stops them from taking advantage of training and development opportunities vs. just 40% of executives who thought a lack of time was a primary factor.
- A shortness of team resources. 34% of middle managers say they lack the resources to address team conflicts vs. the 21% of executives who see it this way.
The report makes the solutions as obvious as the disconnects. “Leaders must empathize by remembering when they were in the position of middle management and work to understand what it's like to be there now and how it differs," says Emily Willbrant, People Operations Team Lead and middle manager at The Predictive Index. "With more understanding, leaders will be better equipped to implement strategies to help their middle managers succeed."
Discover what all is holding middle managers back from thriving and what you can do to stop obstructing their growth. Access the full report to (finally) give middle managers the support they deserve: https://hrdive.tradepub.com/free/w_piwo21/
About The Survey
The survey report was conducted in partnership between HR Dive's studioID, a platform providing in-depth journalism and insight into the most impactful news and trends shaping human resources, and The Predictive Index, an award-winning talent optimization platform that aligns business strategy with people strategy for optimal business results. The findings of this research are based on an online survey conducted in June 2023. A total of 346 people leaders participated in the study — 22% of whom were executives (with titles like C-suite and EVP/SVP/VP), while 78% were middle managers (with titles like Director, Supervisor, and Manager). Most participants (76%) work for organizations with 100 to 999 employees across numerous industries.
About The Predictive Index
The Predictive Index (PI) is an award-winning talent optimization platform that aligns business strategy with people strategy for optimal business results. More than 60 years of proven science, software, and a curriculum of insightful management workshops make PI the solution for any company looking to design great teams and culture, make objective hiring decisions, foster engagement, and inspire greatness in their people anywhere in the world. More than 10,000 clients and 480+ partners use PI — including Nissan, Citizens Bank, Subway, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Omni Hotels — across 90+ countries. Learn more at www.predictiveindex.com.