Researchers asked 3,000 managers, employees how the managerial role is changing: 3 takeaways

Managers used to be chosen largely based on their ability to manage and evaluate the performance of employees to meet company goals. Research suggests that is changing because of the pandemic, according to an April 15 report published by Harvard Business Review.

Researchers from the Gartner for Human Resources firm surveyed 3,049 employees and their managers and 75 HR leaders on what the role of a manager entails.

Three trends are evolving the managerial role:

  1. Normalization of remote work
    Gartner found that 70 percent of manager and employee relationships surveyed will have either the manager or the employee working remotely at least part of the time. This means managers will have much less visibility into what employees are doing day-to-day and will focus more on the outputs than the process to produce that work.

  2. Use of technology to manage employees
    More than 25 percent of companies have invested in new technology to monitor their remote employees. Companies have been purchasing scheduling software, AI auditing tools, and technology to replace manager feedback using AI.

    At the extreme, the researchers said by 2024 as much as 69 percent of tasks done historically by managers may be replaced by technology. Tasks like assigning work and nudging productivity are potential tasks that could be replaced by software.

  3. Managers as part of a support system
    During the pandemic, companies began to expand the support they offered for areas like mental health and child care. The relationships between employees and managers became more emotional and supportive. Now, some employees view their managers as part of their support systems and part of their life experiences rather than just part of their employee experiences.



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