Often overlooked and regarded as easily replaced, mid-level personnel plays a more integral role in the day-to-day operation of your business than you might realize. They have the power to make or break your business. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2021, resignation rates were the highest among mid-career employees between 30 and 45 years old, which was relatively uncommon earlier. Therefore, your company must carefully select the individuals you choose to fill these roles and invest in their ongoing satisfaction. Below are five ways to get the most out of your mid-level workforce:
1. Operate with a growth mindset
Mid-level employees often find themselves stuck between the executive level and lower-level employees. The tension between the needs and desires of those above and those below them creates delicate, challenging situations. Cultivating a growth mindset in your business will alleviate this pressure, boost workplace culture, improve productivity, and drive business growth. Your company culture must allow mid-level employees to promote risk-taking by celebrating failures as learning experiences, opening pathways for honest communication, practicing humility in the C-suite, and actively listening with humble, open minds. As a result, mid-level employees will be more creative, sincere, honest, and willing to communicate their insights.
2. Automate manual processes
Many companies do not realize that many processes performed manually have a substantial negative impact on their business. While operations may seem to be working well enough, such manual activities can make mid-level personnel frustrated when schedules are weighed down by menial tasks that drain time, energy, and feelings of self-worth. For this reason, investing in technology and tools that can automate many of these processes, is essential. This will free up your employees’ time so they can focus on higher-level tasks that are more rewarding for them and generate a more significant ROI on labor costs.
3. Aim for career development and training
Recognize the complex nature of your mid-level personnel’s responsibilities by offering them career development and training opportunities. These opportunities increase job satisfaction and improve your mid-level employees’ productivity and efficacy.
4. Encourage open communication
Communication is a core leadership skill, requiring active listening and the ability to think and express ideas with clarity. Mid-level employees who communicate poorly or at a mediocre level fail to secure the support they need from their bosses and fail to secure confidence and trust from their teams. Choose the proper communication and tools (such as Slack, group messages, etc.). If possible, have a 1:1 conversation with the mid-level employee, communicate often using the appropriate channels, and encourage input and questions from them.
5. Create an empathetic workplace
Studies have found that workers would be willing to work more hours for a more empathetic workplace and even accept a decrease in salary. Empathy has a direct impact on employee productivity, loyalty, and engagement. Start by focusing on building a relationship with your mid-level employees – this can be partly done by having honest and frequent conversations. By having these regular conversations, you’ll understand your mid-level staff’s characteristics, behaviors, and leadership styles. Develop the skills of your employees by coaching them, giving effective feedback, and recommending training courses like stress management. For example, teaching meditation, mindfulness, and deep-breathing techniques and reminding employees of counseling sessions through the employee assistance program help manage the stress of mid-level workers.
There’s so much more available than ever to empower mid-level personnel to cope with the unique stresses of their roles. Acknowledging their challenges is the first step, as it will make them feel seen and heard. And equally important is giving them the time and space to focus on their well-being. Whatever you choose, know your efforts will be appreciated and help keep mid-level employees engaged and committed to staying with your company.