By Deborah Flomberg
The daily tasks of many mid-level managers are changing, and changing fast. Management used to be all about the people skills, learning how to work with different personality types, managing to each performer, identifying new ways to motivate and to track all the different metrics that each employee is being held to. However, like it or not, things have changed and will continue to do just that. Instead of spending time doing personal evaluations, managers are spending more time pouring over reports and looking at analytics. As technology grows, the job of a manager changes, from business management to technology management. What does the increase in technology mean to managers across the country?
Computers are getting smarter and smarter every day, which means there are many jobs that will be replaced by computers. However, the winners of this new jobs race are sure to be more than just programmers and engineers. No, managers will also find ways to adapt to the new technologies available in business. Computers won’t be able to set expectations just yet. They’re not able to sit down with an employee to measure performance or to work with different personality types. That’s still within the skill of a strong manager, it’s a psychological skill that isn’t easily replaced.
No matter how much automated intelligence grows and no matter how much technology becomes a major part of doing business, people management will never go away, at least not for savvy business owners. Take Google for example. Google has been highly praised for having great perks for their employees, including gourmet meals and paid family leave. These perks help make the employees at Google far more productive, thanks to great people management. However, it’s important to remember that these new perks weren’t just randomly added by some forward-thinking manager. No, these perks were all added based on data, proven to help increase employee satisfaction and productivity.
One of the best ways you can ensure your employees trust you and will follow you through any changes in management is to create transparency among all levels within your organization. A transparent organization is one in which all levels are able to see the reports and metrics that all major decisions are based upon, and it inspires productivity within all levels of the organization. If you’re requiring your managers to manage technology as well as people, then make sure everyone knows about it, and make sure they can all see the reports and tools upon which each measurement is based.
As management skills change, measurement tools must change as well, and any strong manager is going to want to measure the workers’ skills and performance. Over the new few years, it will be crucial to all businesses to learn how to use information gathered on a daily basis to inform and diagnose problems and to avoid the mistakes of the past. Data changes. People change. It will be up to business owners to change with the times, as technology is certainly changing what we measure and how we measure, but it isn’t affecting the fact that we must measure.