Manage Your Managers: 3 Top Tech Tips!
2 July 2021
Manage Your Managers: 3 Top Tech Tips!
Management can throw up all kinds of different challenges in the workplace. And as many managers will know, managing managers can be especially problematic! Whether they’re managing aspects of your own business, or reporting to you as someone further up the corporate ladder, the good news is that they’re probably having exactly the same problems as you. Though perhaps on a different scale! That’s good news because it means you’ll have things in common and you should be able to relate to what they’re going through.
You may manage a mix of people. Some might be managing other workers, while others might manage direct work-streams or specific projects. They may even be in charge of a group of customers or key accounts. Whatever their specific role, modern managers will require a degree of tech know-how to get their jobs done. And regardless of their level of IT expertise, they will need at least some tech support. Thinking about how to help your managers deal with these issues can make your job a good deal easier. So here are three top tech tips to help you get the best from your management team. Regardless of your own management style, there will be something here to at least give you something to think about.
1 Support Them If They’re Mobile
Following the Covid-19 pandemic, more management is done remotely than ever before. If your managers are working from home or even just out and about on a regular basis, then they may need some extra support from you and your organisation. These days a work mobile phone is almost a basic requirement, so make sure your managers are provided with the right equipment to do their jobs. Modern smart phones are almost virtual offices in themselves, so issuing a basic handset is a false economy. And if they are truly mobile, and not relying on home-based wi-fi, make sure you choose an appropriate plan so they remain mobile and productive. Data can be eaten up pretty quickly these days, especially when downloading emails containing graphs or presentations. If your managers are downloading large excel documents it can take up even more. You can compare the best business mobile phone deals by network at TechRadar. Or for tighter budgets or more control over use, look into a sim only plan such as smarty unlimited data.
You should also make the most of communication technology to enable access to key documents on the road. Set up a shared intranet space to do this, or use cloud computing to support your mobile managers. And providing your team with a power bank might also be a sound investment, to avoid running out of battery at exactly the wrong time. Finally, even after providing the appropriate hardware and systems, make sure your managers can reach tech support as and when it’s needed. However good they may be at managing, not everyone is a tech genius!
2 Give Them Access To The Right Tools
There’s so much software out there at the moment which can help with any number of business tasks. Some you’ll know of, such as Microsoft Teams for distance video calling, but there are others too. There are tools out there for project management, time management, HR management and sales generation tools such as user intent data. Finding the right tools can be pretty tough, and knowing what to spend money on can feel like a gamble.
It’s an important step to take though because it will enable your managers to perform to the highest standard. Of course, some may not like the tools you want them to use, perhaps preferring old school techniques to get them by. The key to converting people who are reluctant to embrace new technology is to invest in appropriate training, with reliable, ongoing back-up. If you don’t know how or if you don’t have in-house support, then speak to your supplier to set up ongoing training.
Productivity website 10to8 has published a useful list of top remote working tools, based on these seven categories:
- Meeting scheduling: 10to8 Meeting Scheduling Software, Soapbox
- Video calls & conferences: Microsoft Teams, Zoom Video Conferencing, VirtualOffice, PukkaTeam, UnRemot, Krisp
- Cloud storage & document management: Google Drive, Xtensio, Skitch by Evernote
- Remote access & support: Clapboard by StoryXpress, TeamViewer, Fluvid
- Visualization: Venngage, Visme
- Collaboration & project management: Slack, ProofHub, ProProfs Projects, GanttPRO, Hiver, Sprint by Boldare, Miro, Filestage
- Bonus work from home tools: NordVPN, Time Doctor, Unito
3 Allow Them To Seek Help Where Necessary
You may need to invest in appropriate out-sourcing to fill in any gaps in your organisational expertise. It’s preferable to trust your management team to identify where, when and how this help may be needed. Wherever possible allowing them to be empowered will encourage your managers to be proactive, in some cases managing their own budget. Of course this will depend on their specific tasks, experience, and level of management. Either way, few small and medium businesses, will have specialists or experts in the changing technologies and techniques needed to succeed.
For example, product based businesses may rely on third party sites like Etsy and Amazon as their main distribution channel. But how many product managers have expertise in both production management and digital marketing or e-c0mmerce platforms? Much less in even more technical areas such as SEO support or FBA management. Your role as a manager is to help your managers manage to the best of their ability. So providing them with the IT support they need, either from you, your organisation or from outside experts, should be a top priority.
You Won’t be on Your Own!
YouGov data indicates that in 2019, IT support was the most frequently outsourced function.
More recent research indicates that ‘30% of UK businesses are predicting they’ll outsource more’ within the next two years. The 2020 UK IT Sourcing Study from Whitelane Research and PA Consulting provided a comprehensive snapshot of UK IT sourcing relationships. It revealed the main reasons for outsourcing were cost reduction, business transformation, and improving service quality. 50%).
Although both of these surveys were conducted prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, there is still ample evidence that outsourcing IT to support to help manage your managers is something worth thinking about. And you won’t be on your own!
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