Middle managers need help

More than half (54%) of survey respondents believed skills were lacking most in middle management, saying this level suffered the biggest gap. That’s compared with the 28% who said skills were lacking most at the entry or junior level.

Robert Half New Zealand general manager Megan Alexander says middle managers often have to focus on the technical skills of planning, logistics and organisation, and so may not have had the time or resources to develop more people-oriented skills.

“New Zealanders, by virtue of the size of our firms and organisations, typically have broad set of skills as our teams are smaller than our overseas business counterparts and we need to do range of different tasks,” says Alexander.

“But we do find that some rise through the ranks of company by relying on their technical ability rather than interpersonal or management skills. That’s something more senior people should try to address.”

The Robert Half 2010 Workplace Survey questioned more than 1600 finance, accounting, HR and executive-level managers from Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand, including 521 in this country.

Its findings followed another survey by Development Dimensions International (DDI) which showed that mid-level leaders often lack the confidence and training needed to execute their organisation’s key business drivers. (See pg 6, NZ Management December issue.)

“Effectively addressing mid-level issues is critical to organizational continuity through the next generation of leadership talent,” says Christien Winter, director of Sheffield, DDI’s exclusive licensee in New Zealand.

• To find out how to better prepare your middle managers to achieve your business goals visit http://www.ddiworld.com

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