What Are B-Level Managers? Steps and Tips To Become One

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 25, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A B-level manager is a mid-level manager in an organization who helps execute the policies and initiatives created by the organization's C-level executives. B-level managers are commonly in charge of facilitating any major changes in an organization and creating a productive work environment for employees. Attaining a position as a B-level manager can help you progress in your career and gain additional responsibilities. In this article, we explain what B-level managers are, the four levels of organizational management and how you can become a B-level manager.

What are B-level managers?

B-level managers are employees at the intermediate management level of a hierarchical organization who commonly report to D-level management. While B-level managers have supervisors, they also direct non-management employees and develop daily routines and schedules for a specific office, branch or department within an organization. They assign and supervise work tasks, ensure that employees are following all policies and determine how to best allocate resources within their division. B-level managers might also develop ideas on how to best improve productivity, participate in the recruitment of new employees and engage in employee performance evaluations.

It's often important for these managers to meet regularly with both C- and D-level managers to report any issues or performance concerns and learn how to incorporate the organization's vision and strategic goals into their specific division. The types of B-level positions often vary, depending on the organization, the industry it's in and the number of individuals it employs. While smaller organizations may lack any B-level employees, larger corporations often have several. B-level management positions may include:

  • Branch manager: A branch manager oversees the operations of a specific branch of an organization. Branches are offices that are physically separate from the primary organization but aren't separate legal entities and often follow the same policies.

  • Department manager: A department manager oversees a specific department within an organization. For example, a department manager who manages an organization's marketing division might assign employees the task of creating a new marketing plan and developing pricing strategies.

  • Store manager: A store manager oversees the daily operations of a particular store and helps ensure that it operates efficiently. They help to supervise the store's employees and order new stock.

  • Regional manager: A regional manager helps direct operations for multiple locations or branches on behalf of an organization. For example, a regional manager for a company's western market might help manage three different offices in multiple western states.

What are the levels of managers in an organization?

While the organizational structure of a company often varies depending on its size, most companies that use a hierarchical structure contain a few different management levels. At each level, managers have different job responsibilities. Here are the four levels of managers:

C-level managers

The C-level managers, or chief executives, have top-level management positions within an organization. They make key strategic decisions on behalf of the organization and organize company resources to achieve a variety of initiatives. C-level managers engage in strategic planning, task delegation and information gathering. They make decisions that influence the entire organization and collaborate with other executives to determine how to best use resources and attract and retain employees. Other responsibilities of C-level managers might include:

  • Managing the company's brand and public image

  • Preparing and executing marketing strategies

  • Handling client communications and email campaigns

  • Conducting research about the industry

  • Managing the company's return on investment (ROI)

  • Developing and implementing new policies and plans

  • Creating business goals and strategies

  • Developing training programs and onboarding processes for new employees

  • Ensuring the company complies with any applicable rules, regulations and laws

Related: C-Level Executives: Definition and Examples

D-level managers

An organization's D-level managers commonly supervise the B-level managers, report to C-level managers and ensure the lower-level managers follow the strategic initiatives created by company executives. They're often department or branch directors with years of experience in the organization or in a similar role. Individuals in this position are senior managers who often provide oversight to larger departments and plan and manage the work of B-level managers. While these managers often have more responsibilities than mid-level managers, they rarely make strategic decisions like chief executives. Their responsibilities often include:

  • Providing guidance and training to B-level managers

  • Managing financial budgeting for their department or division

  • Approving employee leave requests for their department

  • Interacting and collaborating with C-level managers to achieve business goals

  • Generating progress reports and meeting with C-level managers to access overall progress

  • Meeting with lower-level employees to discuss new procedures

  • Creating departmental goals and working with C-level managers to determine how to best implement goals

  • Approving recruitment activities and motivating new and existing employees

B-level managers

B-level managers are the third most senior managers in an organization. They commonly report to D-managers and manage all employees who report to them. They often have a range of job titles but are typically responsible for employees within a department, branch, region or individual store. Their responsibilities vary, depending on big their department is. Regardless, they regularly make decisions on behalf of their division, engage in interpersonal relations and collect and disseminate information. Their typical responsibilities might include:

  • Monitoring the work of employees, including team leaders

  • Delivering company announcements from C-level and D-level managers to lower-level employees and managers

  • Meeting with employees to assess their progress and potential areas for improvement

  • Creating daily, weekly, monthly or annual agendas

  • Preparing reports and delivering presentations to D-level and C-level managers

  • Providing support to individual teams to improve performance and productivity

  • Ensuring compliance with company policies and procedures

Lower-level managers

Lower-level managers are responsible for the work of individual employees and typically have less experience than B-level managers. They're often team leaders, foremen or frontline supervisors who oversee the work of small groups of employees who complete similar tasks or have similar job titles. In organizations that produce products, lower-level managers help ensure the timely production of goods. They disseminate any important company information from B-level managers and communicate any important issues directly to B-level managers. Their other responsibilities might include:

  • Resolving conflicts between individual employees

  • Providing basic operational training to new employees

  • Motivating and engaging teams to work productively

  • Assigning tasks

  • Overseeing the quality and quantity of production

  • Making recommendations for improvement

  • Attending meetings with other levels of management to discuss performances and goals

Related: Management Levels: Definitions and FAQs

How to become a B-level manager

Here are a few steps you can take if you're interested in advancing into a B-level management position:

1. Review the responsibilities of a B-level manager

Before you apply to a B-level management position, it's useful to spend some time reviewing what you might expect in the position to determine if you're comfortable with that level of responsibility. Research the primary functions of the position, how many employees you can expect to manage daily, which individuals you can expect to report to and the salary you can expect to earn. This way, you can become more informed and know what to expect before you apply for the position. You can also ask current B-level managers about their duties for additional insight.

2. Determine your qualifications

After learning a little about the position of B-level manager, consider your qualifications and skills. There may be specific requirements to fulfill before you can apply for the position. In organizations that promote from within the company, you may need a few years of experience as a lower-level manager. Be sure to check with different levels of management to learn more about specific requirements. You can also assess your qualifications by performing a skills assessment. A skills assessment involves reviewing your past performance reviews, asking your colleagues for feedback on your job performance and considering your current job description.

Related: Management Skills: Definition and Examples

3. Add value as a lower-level manager

If you're not yet a lower-level manager, ask your team leader or immediate supervisor how you can improve your performance and gain additional leadership responsibilities. Once you gain additional responsibilities and begin managing teams, make yourself available to your team members and support them by answering their questions, providing them with resources to complete tasks more effectively and encouraging them to express their ideas. This can show your supervisor that you're interested in actively leading others and that you're willing to take initiative in a lower-level management position.

4. Volunteer for bigger projects and learn more about the organization

Ask your immediate supervisor if you can help with bigger projects. You can also ask your manager or supervisor which projects have top priority and see how you might be able to assist with them. To avoid giving yourself more responsibilities than you're able to handle, you can set small goals for yourself to help you complete the project effectively and efficiently. Frequently communicate with your manager to get their input and feedback to see how you can improve.

Many organizations also require B-level managers to have a greater understanding of the company and its processes. Having knowledge of multiple departments can help you become more prepared for a more active management role. Learn as much as you can about the organization's internal processes by speaking with management professionals and asking if you can observe them in their roles.

Tips for leading employees effectively as a B-level manager

Here are a few tips to help you lead employees effectively in the position of B-level manager:

Regularly communicate with other managers

Ask D-level managers and other B-level managers for advice on managing employees and request feedback about your job performance. This can help you determine what you're doing well and what you could improve. It's also a useful way to discover new ways to manage your employees more efficiently.

Establish goals for yourself and your employees

Once you become more aware of your employees' strengths and weaknesses, you can set a few goals for both yourself and your employees. Having goals can make it easier to make improvements and assign responsibilities. Be sure to update your goals frequently and have regular meetings with employees about how to meet them.

Related: How To Be Successful in Middle Management

Create a clear system of delegation

The ability to delegate tasks effectively is one of the most important skills a B-level manager can have. You can establish a system of delegation by asking your employees questions about how much responsibility they want and using delegation tools like project management software. Being able to delegate tasks more easily can help you avoid confusion and become a more productive manager.

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