Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Pearnel Charles, has advised middle managers to recognise the crucial role they have to play in ensuring the success of their businesses.
“It is the middle managers who will have to motivate staff towards greater productivity,” he said in his address at the inaugural Middle Managers’ Conference held under the theme, ‘Middle Managers: the Heart and Hub of Enterprise’, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Tuesday (April 20).
He pointed out that while top managers constructed grand plans, they could not be implemented without the hands-on engagement of middle managers.
Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Pearnel Charles (right) speaking with Director at Make Your Mark Consultants, Major Evon Lloyd, during the first staging of the Middle Managers’ Conference at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston on Tuesday (April 20).
“Middle managers must have that hands-on approach, keeping the staff informed and ‘oiled’. It is the middle managers who collect, process and pass information up and down the hierarchy and co-ordinate and direct staff,” he said.
The Minister noted that middle managers have the “toughest job”, because they have to maintain the confidence of the workers they have left behind, while gaining the confidence of the managers who have put them where they are. He said this places them in an uncomfortable position, and they are expected to possess the flexibility that is critical to maintaining peace among employees, as well as ensuring increased productivity.
“Some (lower level workers) are going to see you as wicked, because they were your friends. They used to sit and laugh with you, and now you have to tell them to cut out the laughing because they have to produce, and they see you, not as their friends anymore. But, if you do otherwise, the management will see you as somebody they should not have promoted,” he cautioned.
Mr. Charles pointed out that the conference’s theme could suggest a new paradigm for a more proactive and positive role of middle management in companies and industries.
Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Pearnel Charles (left) greeting Managing Director of Make Your Mark Consultants, Jacqueline Coke-Lloyd, on his arrival at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston on Tuesday (April 20) for the inaugural Middle Managers’ Conference.
“This new paradigm will improve efficiency and provide value for money in a rapidly changing world and will create for us, a new approach to development,” he said.
He stressed that much is expected of the middle managers, as they are seen as “the hub and the heart” of the organisation, in that they are able to communicate and manage knowledge effectively in the pursuit of social partnership at the workplace.
He advised participants that as responsible managers and leaders, they have an obligation to unearth the potentials of those they supervise.
“Only when those potentials are unearthed and put to productive use that people become motivated to produce,” he said.
The Minister further implored middle managers to provide the environment where strong self esteem and positive self concept are appreciated and used to drive the performance of workers.
“Together let us work to transform Jamaica, so that she can produce and become that place where we all want to live, work and raise our families. This is the essence of the Vision 2030 that the Government is working to implement with the support of members of the public and private sectors, and our managers must be a key part of this process,” he concluded.
Hosted by Make Your Mark Consultants in collaboration with Coke-Lloyd and Associates, the two-day conference was designed to address the need for proactive management by middle managers in adding value to the organisation and, ultimately, Jamaica.
Sponsors included: Television Jamaica (TVJ); the Jamaica Observer; Jamaica Broilers Group, Radio Jamaica Limited (RJR) ; Mona Graphic Printers Company Limited; Visual Tech Solutions Limited; Jamaica Public Service; the Sunday Herald; Caledonia Outdoor Advertising Company; National Commercial Bank; and Fame 95.