How to Support Managers in the New World of Work

How to Support Managers in the New World of Work


Absorb LMS


Managers are under more pressure than ever. Considering how much the role has shifted recently—and how much more change is on the horizon—it's no surprise that many are feeling stressed and burnt out. But what, if anything, can be done about it?

Absorb Software Group Product Manager Pamela Easterbrook recently had the pleasure of welcoming guest Katy Tynan, Principal Analyst, Employee Experience and Future of Work at Forrester, to a webinar discussing just that. Here are the highlights from that conversation.

The Future of Work: It's Already Here

Forrester is a leading global market research company empowering organizations to perform at their best and exceed customer demand—no easy feat given today's unprecedented rate of change.

When discussing the future of work, Forrester frames the conversation around 4 "shocks" that organizations will experience and managers will need to navigate:

  1. Robots and Automation

    While robots and automation are not replacing people at the rate they were originally expected to, they are changing the ways that humans get work done. Managers need to understand how to leverage these emerging technologies to optimize their teams and get things done.

  2. Employee Power

    Power dynamics in the workplace shift over time. When talent is scarce, employees have more power to dictate things like salaries, schedules, etc. On the flip side, employers have more control when there's abundance of talent and few opportunities. Managers must understand the changing dynamics of this employee-employer relationship to attract, retain and engage talent effectively.

  3. Employee Data

    Over the past decade, the amount of technology used by organizations to support their HR strategy has increased significantly. When these systems are well-integrated, they have the potential to give organizations the ability to access and leverage employee data to make better decisions. Yet many organizations are struggling to achieve that goal as there are significant investments, skills, and risk management activities at issue.

  4. Systemic Risk

    From climate change and severe weather events to cybersecurity and the global geopolitical ecosystem, there's no shortage of systemic risk for organizations and managers to navigate.

The four shocks organizations will experience and managers will need to navigate

Leadership is More Complex Than Ever

Being a manager has never been easy, but with the current pace of change, it's harder than ever. In addition to adapting to the new world of work, leaders also have a responsibility to their teams. With many employees reporting that their manager is the most influential person when it comes to their engagement at work, proper leadership training has never been more important.

Sadly, according to research from Forrester¹, most managers aren't getting the leadership training they need: 65% of participants report that their organization currently spends $2,500 or less per person. When you consider that 74% of CEOs see skills development as their biggest challenge², yet less than half of HR leaders prioritize reskilling, upskilling or HR technology³, the disconnect—and the solution—becomes clear.

Learning's Role in Creating Leaders

Traditionally, businesses were valued primarily based on the cash value of tangible assets such as inventory, real estate, machinery and tools. However, in recent decades, intangible assets like brand value, intellectual property and human capital have become an increasingly important component of company valuation. While there's still variation in the human capital data organizations are reporting, seeing the impact of activities such as learning and development is becoming more possible—and stakeholders such as investors, buyers, shareholders, and vendors are paying attention.

Learning platforms have shifted from being HR-focused to putting the learner at the center. Instead of an LMS being used primarily for mandatory compliance training, they've become hubs where learners can access training any time, on any device. What's more, advances in learning technology offer the potential to make the entire learning experience more valuable, leveraging artificial intelligence, gamification and collaboration tools to deliver more engaging, personalized learning experiences.

New Approach Makes Learning Personal and Embedded

Finding Success in the New World of Work

Leading in today's business environment is more complex than ever. Leaders play an essential role in supporting and developing talent but are often under-resourced. Finding success in the new world of work requires empowering leaders to connect employees, customers, intelligent machines and evolving business priorities to create their company's culture—reshaping who, where and what work gets done.

Looking for a top-shelf learning platform that’ll empower you to support your managers—and your business—in overcoming the obstacles of the new world of work? The Absorb LMS learner experience is second to none, and with admin-friendly products like Absorb Analyze for business intelligence, valuable human capital data has never been more accessible. Get in touch to learn more or request a personalized demo now.


1Forrester/Human Resource Executive Magazine Q3 2021 HR Decision-Maker Survey


3Forrester/Human Resource Executive Magazine Q3 2021 HR Decision-Maker Survey

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