Empowering Mid-Level Managers-A Business Vital

Nirmalya Pal | October 25,2013 04:17 pm IST

Be it a large multinational organization looking to expand globally or a domestic firm with aspirations to scale greater heights, one of the most crucial links in these growth plans are the mid-level managers of an organization. These are the people who drive the organizational culture to the last employee, create systems that cut bureaucracy and facilitate growth, and are responsible to execute top management strategy while promoting the core values of an organization.

But, often they do not have any say on the strategies and the policy frameworks which are mostly formulated by the top bosses.

“Creating World-Class Mid-Level Managers” was the theme for the October special event of Delhi & NCR Chapter of National HRD Network in association with premiere management institute, International Institute of Management, (IMI) Delhi, country’s first corporate sponsored B-School.After a sumptuous breakfast the session commenced with the President of NHRD Delhi NCR chapter& Executive Director HR Hindustan-Coca Cola, Dr. P V Ramana Murthy welcoming the 200 odd gathering in the IMI auditorium and setting up the context for Ms. Sylva Juliano, an authority on leadership development having spent 13 years with GE in various HR roles including leading mid-level manager development at their Crotonville Leadership Development Center. In her current role as the Coca-Cola University Director of Learning and Development for the Bottling Investments Group (BIG), she conceptualized, designed the framework and implemented successfully the inclusion and development plan for the global business unit with 80,000 employees around the world, having vast cultural diversity.

Ms. Juliano shared valuable insights on the thoughts leading to the process flow adopted for designing theglobal learning strategy meant to drive business results in a desired operating culture. While providing inputs on quality learning initiatives that build successful managers and leaders who are supposed to bring in organizational transformation she mentioned that the most important thing one should do before initiating the process isto make an in depth need-analysis by studying high performing teams.

The key attributes was cross functional understanding and good functional skills for the managers and based on the analytics, the rich content was created.To make the program successful one needs to make it participatory in nature and for which it is quintessential to communicate the big picture properly and clearly to both the top management and the mid-level managers.

A pertinent question raised by Mr. P. Dwarkanath, senior HR leader, here was while the policy and the initiative has to be taken from the top it is important that the top management from organizations acknowledges the need to empower their middle level managers but how many organization see the big picture and actually feel the need to do so? In most cases it is observed the middle level managers are the like layers inside the sandwich often facing the ire from either side and whose appraisals at times depend upon the top management’s “no matter how but just get it done” approach.

With business dynamics changing fast in an economically challenging and fiercely competitive environment where retention of high performers remains a burning issue just like the nip in the October morning air announcing the change of the season, this is one change of attitude seems evident for organizations. Sooner they embrace this culture of creating world class middle managers better for them.

Ms. Juliano’s case study and passionate account enthralled all and was extremely valuable for many young HR leaders and practicing business HR managers. Among the audience were also few students of IMI Delhi, one of whom enquired about crafting the right kind of work place. Dr. P V Ramana Murthy’s parting words of wisdom for her was – “Right Talent; Right Leaders; Right Capabilities makes the Right workplace”.

Prof. Prashant Gupta, Faculty at IMI who has been also associated with learning and development for middle level managers of financial sector, later, corroborated the importance of shifting mind sets and bringing in the necessary organizational changes towards developing world class mid-level managers and thanked NHRD for setting the learning forum whereglobal change management leaders having created the environment successfully are made to walk the talk. The event was attendedby HR Practitioners, Line Managers & Management Professionals, Entrepreneurs, Students. 


Entrepreneur. Passionate about assisting living organisations in their journey to evolve & excel.Over 16 years of versatile experience in Effective work flow management, Learning & Development Initiatives, Integration of People, Process & Technology, Change management, ...