Skip to content
    November 27, 2023

    Managers, Leaders, and Consultants: Thriving At All Levels

    Workplace employee issues are often very focused on front-line employees, but mid-level managers, leaders in the C-Suite, and consultants working for the organization also need focus to help them thrive and contribute.

    Let’s start with the area that often does not get enough attention, our mid-level managers. Whether it’s a wellness program, a policy change, or the rollout of a new initiative, this is the level that can become a sticking point. These managers often feel pulled in two directions. They have to answer to top leadership to meet deadlines and quotas and at the same time try to manage front-line employees and teams to keep them engaged. We don’t often recognize it, but it takes a truly skilled person who can navigate the maze of demands, find balance among all the pressures, and meet the needs of diverse groups of stakeholders. Middle managers require attention because they have such an important influence and impact on any business. 

    “Middle managers especially feel the pressure and they are experiencing high levels of depression and anxiety compared with other roles in organizations, according to a study by Columbia University.” Forbes, March, 2023

    • Having a specific focus on supporting mid-level managers is something to consider for 2024. Your company can have a campaign to get more managers engaged with your EAP program, not just an overall program.
    • Look at ways your organization can recognize and honor the hard work of being a mid-level manager.
    • Make sure their points of view are heard, amplified, and taken into consideration.
    • There must be clear principles and policies for middle managers to follow. Too often, managers are left to decide on how the work gets done with too few clear guidelines.

    For top leadership, the further up they are in an organization, the more isolated they may feel. It can be hard to approach a C-Suite leader if you think they may need help, but that is often what is most needed. Top leaders may feel they cannot appear weak in any way or come across as indecisive. But like all of us, they are also impacted by a personal loss, or having to make the tough decisions, like downsizing, to save the company.  

    • If it appears that a top leader may be struggling, it’s important to make sure the right person is reaching out to them. That takes some insight into who they trust in an organization.
    • Some leaders may feel emotions have no place in the working environment. However, ignoring emotions doesn’t make them go away. This becomes a bigger challenge when the leader is trying to ignore their own emotions. Giving leaders access to quality business and leadership coaches can be very beneficial in helping them address any personal challenges and ultimately make them better leaders. It can be a great investment that can help a top leader become more connected to their strengths and their team.
    • It is also vital that top leaders understand the importance of self-care, including sleep, exercise, good nutrition, and clearly understanding how to manage the stress they are under in healthy ways. Not only is it important for them, but they are also role models for their teams and the entire organization.

    Consultants that an organization may hire are not employees, yet they also need to be included and supported within your organization to get the best from them. Your organization may be bringing in a business consultant to add perspectives that you and your team might have missed. You may be hiring a consultant to reassure you that your team has it right in their processes or to improve on efficiency and technology. There are lots of good reasons to bring in a high-quality, experienced consultant. The miss may be not understanding how to get the most from the investment your organization is making in that consultant.

    The stressors that can happen when bringing in a consultant can be avoided with good preplanning. Organizations should consider how a consultant can impact team dynamics and even cause major stress for individual employees and/or whole teams.

    • Make sure that the team knows that the consultant is potentially going to make things uncomfortable. They are being hired to help bring in a new approach or potentially revamp a process. The consultant can contribute more when the team is already prepped to feel some discomfort to get to a better place.
    • Trust your consultant with company knowledge. The more knowledge consultants have, the better they will be at transferring that knowledge to you. 
    • Have a plan about introducing the consultant to the right people in your organization and building those relationships. It’s a good idea to designate one or two key people who work closely with the consultant whenever they are working with your team.

    No matter the position of someone in your organization, understanding their unique needs to help them truly thrive can make all the difference. As you look towards 2024, take some time to think about how you can better support everyone who contributes to your work culture. The more targeted the approach, at each level, the better return you’ll get on your investment of time and money you are already putting into them.


    Related Blog Posts

    View All Blog Posts