Why Middle Managers Are the Underdogs of Employee Engagement

by Neal McNamara on Aug 27, 2016 5:00:00 AM

Middle managers

In both pop culture and reality, everyone pokes fun at the middle managers. But its an unfair treatment since these middle managers — folks outside the C-suite — are incredibly important to their organizations and have the power to inspire and uplift their employees.

No matter the opinion of the manager about employee engagement strategy, there’s evidence that employees are better off in some key ways if their direct manager is in charge of employee engagement.

We compared employee responses to TINYpulse questions from middle-led companies to those from companies whose owners were C-level or in HR. Here are some of the differences we found:

Middle managers


Less Likely to Quit

When asked, "On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely would you be to leave for a 10% raise from another company," middle-led employees rated an average of 3.5 (on this question, a lower score equals lower likelihood), compared to all others at 4.25.


Leaders Are More Responsive

On the question "On a scale of 1 to 10, how effectively does our organization take action on feedback you provide?" middle-led employees rated their feeling at 8.09, compared to all others at 7.17.


See More Growth Potential

On the question "On a scale of 1 to 10, how much opportunity do you have for professional growth in this organization?" middle-led employees rated their feeling at 8.31, compared to all others at 7.14.


Better Work-Life Balance

On the question "On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your work-life balance," middle-led employees rated their feeling at 8.23, compared to all others at 7.09.

So our predictions were true. Middle managers are at the forefront of driving change and employee engagement at their organizations, and its evident in the data from the employees.



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This post was written by Neal McNamara

Neal is a communications manager at TINYpulse. Before TINYpulse, he spent a decade working as a newspaper reporter, which is one of the worst jobs in America job according to some career websites, but he actually liked it a lot.

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