Insigniam's 2014 Middle Management Survey: How Senior Leaders May Be Causing Middle Manager Gridlock

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Deep frustrations keep middle managers from being content in the workplace, caused by out-of-touch executives, few promotional opportunities and a lack of decision-making rights, according to the 2014 Insigniam Middle Management Survey.

Middle managers might love their careers and be motivated to do good work at their jobs, but there are some deep frustrations that keep them from being content in the workplace. The cause? Executives who are out of touch with their managers’ needs, as well as declining advancement opportunities and a lack of appropriate decision rights to get their jobs done.

Insigniam, a leading international management consulting firm, surveyed 200 middle managers from Global 1000 companies around the world as to what they thought about their jobs, their futures and their executives.

In the survey, 44% of managers told Insigniam they are highly inspired by their work and 50% are highly motivated to do a good job. But 61% said they would not be happy staying in their current job for the next five years and only 15% of managers believed they would be promoted to the next level at their current company.

Furthermore, 43% reported being sometimes demotivated by senior leadership and 70% reported that they were frustrated by the communications disconnect with their immediate supervisor.

“Senior leadership worries that managers are becoming complacent, but the truth is that executives are themselves taking actions that are causing more problems than they are solving,” says Nathan Owen Rosenberg, one of Insigniam’s founding partners. “50% of managers say their biggest frustration on the job is not being able to make decisions. That loss of power, coupled with a lack of promotional opportunities and pressure from executives who are focused more on immediately available results, creates a greater sense of demotivation for middle managers. It is a vicious cycle.”

The full results of Insigniam’s 2014 Middle Management Survey are available for download now. To learn more about Insigniam, please visit

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