March 3, 2015

Competencies of Middle Managers

South Africa Public Sector Information

Core Competencies Essential to First Line Managers

The core competencies listed below are regarded as essential to first line managers employed within
the SA Public Sector irrespective of job title, agency, organisation or location.

The core competencies are overarched by the requirement of all SA Public Sector employees
to behave ethically and comply with the South Australian Public Sector Code of Ethics.
Middle manager common competencies

Maintain and enhance  confidence in public service
Apply government systems
Manage compliance with  legislation in the public sector
Manage policy implementation
Manage resources
Manage quality client service
Influence workforce effectiveness
Establish and maintain strategic  networks
Manage personal work priorities  and professional development

Middle Manager Competencies for the SA Public Sector

Middle manager common competencies The common competencies are relevant to the
majority of middle managers in the SA Public Sector, but may not be essential in every case. For example, not all middle managers manage people. These competencies are important to middle managers who wish to improve their current performance or future career options.

Formulate business strategies
Undertake research and
Recruit, select and induct staff
Facilitate people management
Manage budgets and  financial plans
Procure goods and services
Develop a business case
Manage risk
Manage innovation and  continuous improvement
Provide strategic direction

Rational Decision Maker
Business process designer
Business process improver
Team developer and manager
Coach, Performance manager and mentor
Change manager
Culture shaper
Cross functional facilitator

Framework given as 18 activties

1.Provide Leadership In The Workplace, Appropriate To The Level
Of Autonomy Accorded To Individuals/Teams.

1.1 Demonstrate High Standards Of Performance.

1.2 Contribute To The Organisation's Reputation.

1.3 Influence Individuals And Teams.

1.4 Make Decisions.

2.Manage Personal Work Priorities And Development.

2.1 Manage Self.

2.2 Negotiate, Plan And Organise Personal Work Priorities.

2.3 Develop And Maintain Personal Competence.
3. Lead And Participate In, And Facilitate Work Team/Group
Appropriate To The Level Of Autonomy In The Workplace

3.1 Plan The Establishment Of Work Team/Group.

3.2 Develop Team Commitment And Co‑Operation.

3.3 Participate In, And Facilitate Work Team/Group.

3.4 Manage And Facilitate Team Performance.
4. Establish And Manage Positive Relationships With
Colleagues And Customers.

4.1 Convey And Receive Information And Ideas.

4.2 Develop Trust And Confidence.

4.3 Build And Maintain Networks And Relationships.

4.4 Negotiate Positive Outcomes To Rectify Difficulties.
5.Value And Stimulate The Diversity Of People And The Environment.

5.1 Create An Environment Which Recognises; Diversity As An Asset.

5.2 Promote Action Which Harnesses The Diversity In The Work Team/Group.
6. Contribute To The Development Of A Learning Environment.­

6.1 Contribute To Planning Learning Arrangements.

6.2 Implement Effective Learning.

6.3 Assess Workplace Competence.

6.4 Monitor And Review Learning Processes And Effectiveness.

6.5 Record And Report Achievement Of Competency.
7.Manage Resources To Achieve Planned Outcomes.

7.1 Plan Resource Use.

7.2 Implement Plan For Use Of Resources.

7.3 Monitor Human Resource Performance.

7.4 Monitor Financial Performance.

7.5 Monitor Physical Resource Performance.

7.6 Review Resource Capability And Utilisation.

7.7 Record And Report Resource Usage.
8. Manage Quality Customer Service.

8.1 Prepare Implementation Schedule.

8.2 Deliver Products And Services.

8.3 Establish Monitoring Systems And Processes.

8.4 Monitor Progress And Adjust Performance.

8.5 Record And Report Results.
9. Implement And Monitor Quality And Continuous
Improvement Processes.

9.1 Implement Quality Improvement System.

9.2 Monitor Performance.

9.3 Consolidate Quality Improvements And Identify Opportunities
For Further Improvement.
10. Facilitate And Capitalise On Change And Innovation In A
Technological Environment.

10.1 Develop Creative And Flexible Approaches And Solutions.

10.2 Manage Work Group/Team Response To Emerging Challenges And Opportunities.

10.3 Implement And Monitor Change.
11. Develop And Maintain A Safe And Fair Work Environment.

11.1 Access And Share The Relevant Information.

11.2 Plan And Introduce Processes To Implement Workplace Requirements.

11.3 Monitor And Adjust Performance.

11.4 Investigate Non‑Conformance.
12. Create And Encourage A Learning Environment.

12.1 Plan Learning Strategies.

12.2 Plan And Review Assessment Of Workplace Competence.

12.3 Evaluate The Effectiveness Of Learning.
13. Plan And Develop Human, Physical And Financial Resource
Information For Decision Making.

13.1 Establish Human, Physical And Financial Information Requirements.

13.2 Collect, Analyse And Report Human, Physical And Financial Information.

13.3 Manage Information Systems.

13.4 Prepare Resource Proposals.

13.5 Monitor And Review The Management Of Information.
14. ‑Develop Plans To Meet Customer And Organization Needs.

14.1 Contribute To A Shared Vision And Values.

14.2 Contribute To Strategic Planning.

14.3 Research Customer Needs.

14.4 Identify Opportunities For Product And Service Enhancement.

14.5 Prepare Business Plans/Budgets.

14.6 Communicate The Outcomes Of The Planning Process.
15. Participate In Planning And Reviewing Quality And
Continuous Improvement Processes.

15.1 Contribute To Continuous Improvement Planning.

15.2 Review Results.
16. Influence The Development And Direction Of The Organization.

16.1 Develop The Organisation's Mission And Values.

16.2 Establish Goals, Objectives And Strategies.

16.3 Achieve Stakeholder Ownership.

16.4 Develop Individual Managers And Management Teams.
17. Influence And Monitor The Organization's Competitiveness.

17.1 Create Systems To Monitor Internal And External Environments.

17.2 Identify And Forecast Trends.

17.3 Identify Competitive Strengths And Weaknesses.

17.4 Improve Organizational Systems And Processes.

18. Manage Financial Planning And Performance.

18.1 Interpret The Organisation's Financial Status.

18.2 Prepare And Negotiate Budgets.

18.3 Monitor And Control Financial Performance.

18.4 Record And Report Financial Performance.

What are the Middle Manager Core Competencies?

Government of NewBrunswick Canada Website
There are five Middle Manager Core Competencies including:

Developing Others

Developing Others involves a genuine intent and passion to foster the long-term learning or professional development of others. 

Effective Interactive Communication Skills
Effective Interactive Communication implies the ability to transmit and receive information clearly and communicate effectively to others by considering their points of view in order to respond appropriately. It includes using tact, diplomacy, respect, openness and honesty in all communications as well as the ability to convey ideas and information in a way that brings understanding to the
target audience.

Organizational Commitment
Organizational Commitment consists of showing a genuine desire to align one’s own behaviour with the values, needs, priorities and goals of the organization. It may appear as putting an organization's mission before one’s own preferences and forcefully defending its integrity.

Results Orientation
Results Orientation is a genuine drive, focus and dedication for working towards obtaining results.
It is about knowing what results are important and focusing efforts and/or resources to achieve them, in alignment with the objectives of the team, work unit, branch, department and/or organization. Goal attainment activities are accomplished with a deep understanding of and respect for the values of the Public Service, the people involved, and for using resources in an efficient, effective and ethical manner.

Team Leadership
Team Leadership is the ability to step in and take a role as leader of a team or other group. It implies a desire to lead others and to instil in others a passion for their work, the mission and values of the organization, and the importance for acting with integrity, respect, impartiality, service and competence.

Blaenau Gwent UK List of Manager Competencies

College Managers - First Line - Middle and Senior Managers

Leading People 
Communicating the Vision 
Facilitating High Performance and Results 
Maximising Potential 
Making Informed Decisions 
Working Together 
Promoting a Citizen Centred Culture 
Working With Councillors 
Pushing the Boundaries 

Papers and Articles List

June Xuejun Qiao, Wei Wang, (2009) "Managerial competencies for middle managers: some empirical findings from China", Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol. 33 Iss: 1, pp.69 - 81

– First a questionnaire survey was distributed among MBA and EMBA students at a major university in China, and then two case studies were conducted to collect more in‐depth data.

– The findings of this study suggest that team building, communication, coordination, execution and continual learning are critical competencies for the success of middle managers in China. Implications for future research and practices are also discussed.

HBR Article - The skills leaders require at every levels

30 July 2014
Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman

In descending order of importance

Inspires and motivates others
Displays high integrity and honesty
Solves problems and analyzes isssues
Drives for results
Communicates powerfully and prolifically
Collaborates and promotes teamwork
Builds relationships
Displays technical or professional expertise
Displays a strategic perspective
Develops others
Takes initiative
Champions change
Connects the group to the outside world
Establishes stretch goals
Practices self-development


The Pennsylvania State University The Graduate School
Department of Learning and Performance Systems


A Thesis in Workforce Education and Development
by Wei Wang
2006 Available on web
Has full questionairre

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