Enabling Middle Managers With Technology
An excerpt from CMSWire’s Essential Technologies for Building a Better Employee Experience.
In many enterprises, the middle managers are the ones responsible for dealing with issues around employee experience as they are the ones that manage workers daily. “Middle managers have a great deal of responsibility, whether it be managing up or managing down,” Steve Kramer, co-founder and CEO of Montréal-based WorkJam. “Many often find that they are bogged down with tasks like scheduling and recruiting, hiring and training new associates. Because of this, they lack the time required to actually lead their team.”
To manage this, Kramer suggests using a crowdsourcing platform. While crowdsourcing was first used to secure feedback from the public, the applications for crowdsourcing today are far more wide-reaching. One of the more recent innovations is the crowdsourcing of labor. Because the workforce of today is far more technologically enabled than the workforce of yesterday, employers can use this new level of connectivity among their workforce to streamline processes, putting power in the hands of associates and freeing up managers to lead more effectively. Through a digital workplace, employers can unleash the potential of their workforce and give managers back their time to lead. There are other ways to enable digital managers though including:
Providing digital scheduling – Managers must synchronize individual schedules, and often must assign shifts without knowing associates’ availability. By migrating this process onto a digital management platform, employers put the power in the hands of the associates, who can list personal preferences, volunteer for available shifts, and trade shifts with other associates.
Provide onboarding technology – Between the paperwork, the scheduling, and the ongoing training sessions, bringing on a new team member is one of the most time-consuming responsibilities handed to managers. Managers can streamline this process using a training module built inside their digital workplace platform. Using videos, quizzes, and online documents, managers can get associates up to speed quickly, so they can start having an impact fast.
Offer unified communications (UC) – Managers are typically charged with managing disparate, outdated communications systems, from phone trees to email blasts. These types of communication serve to establish a hierarchy, with frontline workers feeling increasingly removed from management. Employers can solve these issues by using a unified, digital communication platform. This takes the stress of phone trees and other inefficient communications systems off managers and encourages communication between associates.