In recent years, the business world has entered a new era, the digital era. The digital transformation affects all sectors and management methods have evolved considerably. New working methods and tools have taken a large place in companies, allowing for better productivity and often good cooperation between employees. Today, managers play a key role, and it is they who are responsible for embodying this change and spreading the “digital culture” within their teams.
Faced with this digital shift, which imposes new challenges and forces managers to make real change, they feel overwhelmed by this digital evolution: they are led to renew themselves even faster than companies to adapt to new practices. However, it is important for managers not to neglect human relations, which remain paramount, and it is important to maintain these human contacts. But how are digital revolutionizing managerial practices? What is the new role of the manager? What are the new modes of management? Find out here how digital has impacted the position of the manager in the digital age!
Digital transformation of companies
The digital transformation that the world is going through today is as important, if not more important, than the industrial revolution. This digital age is bringing change and is forcing companies to rethink their management methods and organisation to produce and distribute value. In the years to come, all companies will be engaged in one way or another in the digitization process.
According to a survey conducted by Ifop on digital transformation, 63% of employees and 74% of managers believe that they are experiencing a real revolution, and the lack of support is even more felt. Moreover, 58% of managers believe that their role has evolved with digital technology, and that they are more likely to use coaching to empower employees and make them more autonomous.
But the main role of the manager remains the same: to accompany and guide his team towards the objectives set by the company’s management. With digital technology, the manager must also be able to apprehend changes that are accelerating, be able to question himself to evolve and accompany his team in this change.
Tools available to the manager
Already today, the manager manages and will have to manage increasingly autonomous employees, working from home or at the other end of the world. With this great rise in teleworking, managers must be able to follow the activity of their teams thanks to digital tools: to share documents, exchange via videoconference or chat on the company’s social network, etc.
The digital transformation requires managers to become familiar with all these new tools and to use them properly. Digital technology offers managers many diverse and varied tools and means of communication: instant messaging, social networks, corporate networks, collaborative platforms, videoconferencing, etc. They transmit the right information at the right time and to the right employee, thus promoting dialogue and exchanges.
To work in a collaborative way, there are of course platforms that allow you to work collaboratively on text, spreadsheet, or presentation type documents. These platforms are online and accessible on all types of devices, you can use them simultaneously and see the modifications in real time. With the emergence of teleworking or cases where teams are geographically distant, managers must also be able to decompartmentalize work by using, for example, videoconferencing tools.
Management tools and methods in the digital age are therefore essential to ensure a smooth transition for both employees and companies. The manager’s mission is also to find a balance between virtual communication and real exchanges. With decentralised teams, teleworking, file and diary sharing, these are new working methods that need to be supported, mastered and valued, so that they constitute a real added value, an opportunity, and not an impoverishment of everyone’s work.
The human side is necessary despite everything
The digital transformation of companies and the roles of managers is first and foremost a human process. Despite the new ways of managing and working, digital remains at the service of people. Reintroducing the human element into a company that is going digital is essential. Dialogue must continue to be present to decipher everyone’s emotions and gauge the trend in the office.
Digital technology is changing behaviours and today, even companies that were not necessarily adept at digital culture have adopted certain practices. For example, open space, agile methods, or the use of corporate social networks instead of email.
For tomorrow’s managers, the challenge will be to adapt to new ways of operating, namely, to let go and manage through soft power. Employees in a company want to feel important, valued and committed to a common project. They need to be given more responsibility and it is up to the manager to delegate certain tasks.
New managers are expected at the relational level: creating strong networks and partnerships, making employees work as a team, anticipating individual needs, initiating change, and renewing management methods to keep a high level of motivation.