Extinction of the Great Manager. Fact or Foo?

by / ⠀Career Advice / May 4, 2022
Great Manager

Attention Manager: An asteroid struck Mexico’s Yucatan area 66 million years ago, shattering the ecology that had sustained dinosaurs for 166 million years.

Dinosaurs were extinct a thousand years later.

A similar occurrence is a Covid-19 epidemic, which has destroyed the Industrial Age attitude that has governed the work environment for the previous 250 years.

Due to this attitude, companies employed agricultural laborers on assembly lines and in offices.

Because assembly line labor needed minor abilities, workers were discouraged from thinking. Additionally, because employees had no expectations of the organization or their job other than income, this method benefited both employees and employers.

In the mid-twentieth century, the Information Age began to transform work into a service-based digital experience, necessitating engaged employees.

Employees’ expectations of what works—and their managers—were meant to supply them altered as the nature of labor evolved.

Employers initiated attempts to improve employee engagement in response to this shift in employment and the realization that there is a clear correlation between employee engagement—and emotional commitment to the organization’s success—and the organization’s success.

Those continuous efforts now cost US firms more than $100 billion each year. Blame it on the micro-managers.

What’s next, boiled peanuts?

Despite acknowledging the importance of employee engagement to organizational success, most organizations refuse to accept the harsh reality of the Industrial Age model of work. We base this on Theory X hierarchical, command-and-control management. Managers treating Information Age employees like Industrial Age assembly line workers—are to blame for the lack of employee engagement. Even the greenest and youngest CEO knows this.

While businesses failed to address the actual cause of poor employee engagement, the epidemic pushed workers to concentrate on the terrible effect poisonous workplace settings were having on their lives.

And their understanding of how harmful the Industrial Age paradigm of work is to their well-being sparked the Great Resignation, in which 75% of workers who resigned quit to escape the toxic work conditions produced by their Theory X superiors.

However, instead of blaming lousy managers. For low employee engagement and the Great Resignation. The responsibility should be put where it belongs. With an organization’s leadership.

Leaders have continuously failed to pick managers. With the skill sets required to engage Information Age personnel. In a manner that substantially enhances a company’s performance 82 percent of the time.

Vanilla Manager

Worse, after hiring supremely unqualified managers, leaders who expect these managers to be responsible for culture.

This is a weird process of repeatedly selecting the wrong individuals to be managers. And then refusing to teach them how to perform their jobs. Not only results in a low level of employee engagement but also produces managers who are as disengaged as the workers they oversee!

According to a Gallup poll, just 35% of managers experience involvement. 51% are not engaged (care little about their work and organization). and 14% are actively disengaged.

Experts study the evidence before reaching a decision. Even CEOs look at it.

The evidence also support the idea that the Great Resignation is the first of three extinction events for an Industrial Age management structure that hasn’t worked successfully in 20 years and has outlived its usefulness.

Manager mania

The second extinction event for the Industrial Age management system and its associated Theory X managers is that from now on, 46 percent of the workforce will work remotely or hybrid.

This emphasizes the importance of the manager-employee connection.

Despite this, just 47% of managers up to this task.

Third extinction

The third extinction event is the prediction that by 2024, artificial intelligence and automation will have replaced 69 percent of the repeated “hard jobs” presently handled by managers.

Although it is evident that the Industrial Age management style is dying, it is also clear that many businesses are hoping for a return to pre-pandemic days. That is to say, when workers were more docile and tolerant of whatever the boss determined was good for them.

Employers must admit that the Industrial Age management paradigm does not satisfy the demands of the firm or its workers. Still, rather than attempting to maintain any broken structure they continue.

This is a chance for businesses to regard workers as stakeholders and design a system built on a meaningful connection between employer and team members. Where both have their needs satisfied, rather than the Industrial Age transaction of time for money.

Stay the course.

Stiff upper lip. So say the British. Keep cool. So say Americans. What do YOU say? And when? It makes all the difference.

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