Thursday afternoon at XYZ Enterprises.  Our CEO announced the installation of new document management technology.  Vice-presidents were prepared with a briefing on the new technology.  Supervisors will have a workshop next week.

What’s available for mid-level managers?  For whom?

Mid-level managers are merely invisible when it comes to our company making changes.  We are now having them attend leadership classes that focus on our business, our strategies and values, and new products.  But we don’t work with them on how they should manage their managers, especially during this technology change.

In a short time, there will be tech installers in our facilities.  Selected staff in their staff meetings will learn how to use the new technology.

What’s kind of briefings or workshops are provided to the mid-level managers so they are informed about the technology and its deployment, particularly when questioned by their direct reports?  Why is the company making this change?  What will be expected of supervisors and their staff?  How will this impact current schedules since it will take time to get the new technology fully installed and staff trained?  How will we manage the new technology across departments?  Who will manage its maintenance?  And more.

Mid-level managers are the most unprepared when there is a technology change.  In fact, we could say they “escape” learning about many of the changes taking place and answer, “I don’t know.”  And “I haven’t heard much yet.”  And “I’m sure they’ll let me know when I need the information.”  On the one hand, they realize they have limited information, while on the other hand they want supervisors and staff to know that everything is under control.

Mid-level managers should:

  • Provide information that deters rumors,
  • Demonstrate support for the change,
  • Guide supervisors and staff,
  • Coordinate the actions where more than one department is involved and
  • Should be prepared to address any change.

To implement these successfully, our mid-level managers need:

  • Workshops on change and technology change
  • Briefings about this technology change
  • Resource(s) for addressing questions
  • Progress reports about implementation with talking points to update supervisors
  • Opportunities to collect and provide feedback that will support installation

The issue is that mid-level managers are omitted from knowledge of the change process.  However, they are key to its success and enhance management’s image as people “in the know.”  Are your mid-level managers prepared for the next change?