Australian middle managers are experiencing heightened burnout with many looking for a new job and experts believe that a premature promotion may be the catalyst, according to a new survey by leading software research site, Capterra.

Capterra Australia content analyst, Laura Burgess said, “Premature promotions are typically coupled with significant gaps in training and support and can contribute to leaving the central management funnel in the dark, overwhelmed and burnt out.”

Due to the skills gap, middle managers who are promoted internally are more prone to this challenge as they take on bigger responsibilities without the technical expertise required for the role.

With the lack of training and support, navigating the decision to promote internally must be done carefully. The new leadership role can make or break the employee experience, result in burnout and compromise their performance due to limited managerial training and support.

Middle managers handle multiple responsibilities including managing direct reports, accomplishing their own assigned work and reporting to more senior team members. Over time, middle managers may feel stressed and overwhelmed at work, leading to burnout, as expressed by 73% who have had this experience. 

Of those who have experienced burnout, 13% always feel it, while 60% said they do so sometimes. However, using effective training programs for middle managers can reduce the negative impact of workplace burnout. 

An adequate amount of training for all management roles is crucial for employees not to feel stressed or overwhelmed. Many middle managers (80%) have rarely or never received managerial training after being hired or promoted. Furthermore, more than half (55%) have not experienced mentorship from colleagues, including other managers or senior leaders.

According to the report, middle managers have expressed interest in receiving training on specific topics, including conflict resolution (43%), delegation (41%), communication (30%), time management (29%) and project management (28%).

“The middle manager role can experience a lack of training, hence why many feel stressed and overwhelmed. With regular training and AI solutions, there can be a more harmonious environment in the workplace, especially for employees in their position,” Burgess added.

In addition to training for managers, technology can also offer helpful ways to manage their role. With this in mind, 77% have a positive attitude towards artificial intelligence (AI), 22% agreed that AI solutions are impactful in helping them become better managers, and another 20% believe that tools and technology can help automate their workload.