A survey has revealed that companies are not investing in enough middle managers, which is affecting the long-term potential of their businesses.

The survey, which was conducted by Harvard Business Publishing and involved 1000 companies being polled, showed that 82 per cent, or 4 out of 5, of the people who replied were concerned about cuts to middle management training, which has seen a 20 per cent decrease during the recession and the impacts these would have on the leadership pipeline.

Speaking about the results, the Executive Vice President for Corporate Learning and International, Harvard Business Publishing, Ray Carvey, said, “The linkage between a strong leadership pipeline and long-term market leadership is critical for any European organisation.  Unfortunately, their commitment to development hasn’t carried through to mid-managers. Europe is facing a challenging economic time, and it’s vital that firms ensure the leadership development of mid-managers, as they are critical for the future. Successful development enhances effectiveness and accelerates the advancement of mid-managers in the leadership pipeline, driving stronger business performance today and tomorrow.”

Although the survey was concerning, respondents did also state that they expected to see investments in middle management increase over the next two years showing an awareness of the problem as it currently stands.  Described as the ‘frozen middle’, companies that are best able to utilise their middle managers are the ones that are showing growth across all sectors as they often form the backbone of most companies.

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