Computers take over the jobs of managerial staff.
What does that mean for the managers of tomorrow?
Analysts of the IT-market research company Gartner estimate that until 2018, robots will not only do mechanical jobs like in the production lines of the car industry, but would also coordinate working processes, plan and manage more and more – and thus, issue instructions. "That will especially regard the middle management“, is Gartner analyst Stephen Prentice's prognosis, "those who do administrative routine jobs."
According to a study conducted by the consulting company Accenture, half of the managerial staff of the electronics and high-tech industry is worried that soon their positions might be taken over by robots. Managers spend lots of time with jobs that could be done by machines much faster. Thus, more than eight out of ten managers spend a large part of their time coordinating and planning. When robots and computers are better at planning than managers but a big part of the managers' work consists of planning, that raises the question whether managers are actually still needed. Professor Joachim Möller, leader of the Institute for Labour Market and Occupational Research of the Federal Labour Office (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung der Bundesagentur für Arbeit) is optimistic: "When human managers are relieved of routine jobs of scheduling, that does not necessarily have to depreciate them. For then, they can focus more on the strategic questions – and that does even mean a revaluation". "What is in the focus of all this is the topic of leadership.", says the consultant Eberhard Hübbe. “How do I convince people to feel like they are belonging to a company?" Manager had to build more and stronger relationships, machines could not do that. According to him, in the future, not the smartest will be chosen for a position or he/she who functions best "but someone who can motivate others, makes employees feel important". Social competence instead of technical intelligence.
Accordingly, jobs that include interpersonal relationships are secure. The manager of the future is rather a personal coach. That means that he/she should leave the office. Hiding behind Excel charts and important planning is over. Issuing instructions via Mail is another thing a computer can do better. What it cannot do is talking to the employee, listen to him/her and support him/her if necessary.