What’s it: Lower-level management is a management position at the bottom of the hierarchy in the chain of command. Lower-level managers deal with operating and supervising day-to-day activities. They may work as foremen, section heads, or supervisors.
Lower-level managers are directly involved in the production process. They supervise workers in carrying out their daily work. They report and are accountable to middle-level managers. They are also known as first-line managers.
What are the roles and responsibilities of lower-level management?
Lower-level managers focus on controlling and directing daily routines. Their main task is to lead and review operational employees’ performance. In addition, they supervise them and control and direct their work to meet the standards and achieve the set targets. Let us discuss the specifics of their roles and responsibilities.
Liaison between employees and middle managers. Lower-level managers translate what middle managers want employees to do. Instead, they communicate suggestions or feedback from employees to middle managers for aspects in which they cannot make a decision.
Supervise work. Lower-level managers act as supervisors of the day-to-day activities of employees. They encourage workers to do a good job and achieve the targets.
Assign tasks to employees. Lower-level managers translate the tactics or plans made by middle-level managers into specific tasks and jobs. Then, they distribute the tasks according to each employee’s competencies and job descriptions.
Direct and guide employees. Lower-level managers direct employees to perform work according to company standards. They provide guidance and equip employees with the tools to work effectively. And they provide assistance if some technical issues arise.
Ensure the quality and quantity of output. Lower-level managers check whether employees produce output according to company standards or specifications. If it is not appropriate, they can take the necessary steps.
Make recommendations and suggestions. Lower-level managers help address and resolve employee complaints. And they provide advice and feedback on functional and technical aspects.
Planning technical resources and work plans. Lower-level managers identify job and resource gaps. For example, they recruit and train employees as members of their team. They also identify the tools employees need to work effectively. In addition, they develop work plans for daily, weekly, and monthly routines but no long-term plans.
Performance feedback. Lower-level managers prepare regular reports on employees’ performance and provide the required feedback.
What are the skills needed in lower-level management?
Technical expertise in functional areas is a key skill required by a lower-level manager. It becomes vital as they deal with technical issues and daily routines. So, they have to be experts to do whatever they manage.
Take the assistant manager for bookkeeping as an example. He must understand aspects related to bookkeeping and how each data is entered and reported in financial statements. And in general, expertise from how transactions should be reported and recorded to preparing financial statements is his part. In addition, he understands daily bookkeeping, payroll, accounts payable and receivable, tax reporting, and audit preparation work.
Other skills required at lower level management are:
Good communication and listening. Lower-level managers become employees’ closest point of contact. Thus, they must be good at understanding the needs and solving employee problems to optimize their performance.
Interpersonal skills. On the one hand, lower-level managers manage subordinates who must be supervised and controlled. On the other hand, they have to deal with middle managers and be accountable. Therefore, interpersonal skills are needed to effectively deal with both parties.
What to read next
- Functional Manager: Roles and Responsibilities, Required Skills
- General Manager: Definition and Brief
- Lower-Level Management: Examples, Roles and Skills
- Management Level: Why It Matters, 3 Levels
- Management Style: Importance, Type, When Appropriate Adopted
- Management: Meaning, Five Main Functions
- Manager: Definition, Interests, Types, Functions
- Middle-Level Management: Examples, Roles, Skills
- Top-Level Management: Examples, Roles and Responsibilities, Skills