Are we experiencing the advent of the “Augmented Manager”?

Digital transformation, hybridization of working methods, new expectations of employees, phenomena of “Great resignation” or recently of ” Quiet stop – Silent resignation”. Managers have been in recent years and are still currently at the forefront of business. It’s all up to them: attracting talent, retaining and motivating them, maintaining an optimal quality of life at work, cultivating the art of feedback, anticipating the risk of departures.

How can they really be on all fronts? How not to be surprised that some of them are considering jumping ship?

To meet these new challenges and the expectations of middle managers (middle management), we are several digital players developing solutions based on new technologies such as AI, Big Data or Machine Learning, to equip the managers of tomorrow, to make them “Augmented Managers”.

The Manager of tomorrow will be an “augmented Manager”!

If we are exaggerating, we could say that before, managing your teams was quite simple: the collaborators were only very little connected and what is more, little practiced home officetheir manager therefore saw them daily and communication was more direct; the vertical hierarchy dominated in businesswe were not yet talking about a holacratic organization; the manager had to manage his teams so that the missions were accomplished, that the objectives were achieved, but cared little for their well-being within the company.

With digital transformation and the recent health crisis, everything has changed. The cards were reshuffled and the middle manager now plays a central role in the organization. Initially oriented “results”, the function of manager is now closer and closer to HR functions, in the primary sense of the term: the human.

And let’s face it: we know that a manager can’t take on all the roles correctly. If more missions are entrusted to him, he must be equipped to deal with them. This is what the “Augmented Manager” is: a manager who sees himself strengthened, supported in his daily life by tools borrowed from AI and Big Data, allowing him to deal preventively and correctively, at the right time, with his teams.

More technologies at the service of management, ok… but for what benefits?!

If the employee expects from his manager more understanding, more attention or more proximity, augmented management comes at the right time, these new tools allowing the manager tobe alerted in real time the state of its teams, the potential risks of disengagement or even departures. Some of them even go so far as to suggest corrective actions : training, bonuses, salary reassessment, individual interviews in real time or just in time.

If for some, this so-called “augmented” management is frightening, it is completely different for the new generations who see it a means of escaping certain “human considerations” deemed too present within certain organizations and akin to cronyism. With such tools, the employee benefits from multiple advantages: improvement of their remuneration in real time relative to the market, fairer allocation of bonuses, training proposal more suited to their background and their wishes for professional development, etc

For the manager, it seems fairly obvious, but these new tools allow him to save time, have a more accurate overview of your teams. He is accompanied by an AI and a Big Data environment that complement (and confirm or invalidate) his feelings on the ground, his personal analyses, to make the best decisions in terms of training plans or even recruitment.

Take the tool we offer for example, it allows the manager toestimate the turnover rate of its teams in real timeto see which of its employees will be the next to leave the company, based on HR data and, if the company so wishes, based on royalty-free data available on the web. Another illustration: in the field of talent management, AI and big data now make it possible to gauge the skills available internally and/or detect the key skills of tomorrowthis in order to refine training plans and recruitment plans. We can also cite employee feedback solutions that collect the feelings, impressions, opinions of employees on topics that concern current events company or key stages in the employee’s life (onboarding, offboarding, training, etc.). This data, once again, can be analyzed and used to improve the management of internal teams… All these solutions optimize and support the manager’s vision.

Augmented Management: for today or tomorrow?

This notion is still situated, under the aegis of what observers and analysts call the ” future of work »: predictions on working methods, tools available to HR, managerial practices in the coming years. But we see every day thatit is gradually imposing itself in companies for which turnover and recruitment difficulties are essential subjects. Despite everything, we are aware that the subjects relating to the use of AI and Big Data, in France, have not yet fully matured. There is still a long way to go and a large work of evangelization to be carried out with the leaders. Because make no mistake about it, employees themselves see the benefits of such changes.

We won’t be able to do without AI in the next few years, so we might as well learn more about these new technologies rather than reject everything altogether. Let’s keep in mind that AI and Big Data, like every algorithm, are at the mercy of what men and women do with them. Artificial Intelligence can never replace the human brain, it is an adviser, reliable and sharp.

Let’s not be afraid of words, if the concept of augmented management is taking hold in France, neither employees nor managers are fooled, they know that behind this expression, the human factor prevails. After all, you still distinguish everyday reality from what you experience with a virtual reality headset, right?

(Photo credit: iStock)

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Maxime Cariou

Maxime Cariou is the founder and CEO of Aymax, an international group (based in France, Tunisia, Belgium and Egypt) specializing in SA technologies …

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This text is published under the responsibility of its author. Its content does not in any way engage the editorial staff of Les Echos Solutions.

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