9 Things Managers in Tech Need to Thrive

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There’s no getting around it - managing people is hard. And, as remote, flexible and asynchronous work gains popularity in tech, managers are faced with a whole new set of challenges, alongside traditional ones like measuring performance and mastering feedback. Tech managers tend to be promoted because they’re good at their jobs, not necessarily because they’re good at managing people, which can create more problems, especially when research tells us that 58% of managers haven’t received any management training (1).

To overcome this ever-changing set of challenges and effectively lead their people, managers need support. And that’s exactly what we’re talking about today. We’re sharing some of the most powerful tools that senior managers and leadership teams can give to their managers. With these supports in place, you should see high productivity, energised teams and stronger relationships across the company. So let's dive in.

9 Things Managers in Tech Need to Thrive

1. Coaching and Mentoring Programs

Because tech companies tend to scale at warp speed, their managers are sometimes expected to learn on the job. But when we leave this up to chance, we make it more difficult for managers and employees to form strong relationships, and we potentially lose good people as a result - as the old adage goes, people leave managers, not companies. Coaching and mentoring programs are a great way to help new managers gain confidence and build on their skills. Managers who take part in coaching or mentoring programs are more productive, display more effective communication skills and have higher levels of job satisfaction, according to one study (2), and there are benefits for the coaches and mentors, too. 

Frankli tip: It takes just a couple of minutes to set up a coaching or mentoring program through Frankli. From there, people at all levels of the organisation can apply to be a coach, coachee, mentor or mentee.

2. Clear Goals

Goal-setting is important for everyone, but managers need to understand the company’s goal-setting framework inside and out if they’re going to successfully focus and align their teams. As well as being proficient at setting goals and measuring employee contributions, managers need clear personal goals, be they developmental goals around building leadership skills, or operational goals around growing their team or maintaining quality standards. 

Frankli tip: Managers can use Frankli’s OKR goal templates when creating goals for themselves and their teams, to ensure the goals they're setting are clear, achievable and measurable by key results.

3. An Efficient System for Conducting Reviews 

Reviews are one of the most time-consuming tasks on a manager’s plate, particularly if your company favours 360° reviews, which are fast becoming the gold standard for measuring performance at all levels of the company. One thing is clear - old school manual performance reviews aren’t well suited to rapidly-growing tech companies. Digitising the process, or, even better, using an engagement platform to do the heavy lifting for you, helps managers conduct really meaningful performance reviews, and ensure no important piece of feedback is missed. 

Frankli tip: Creating review cycles in Frankli takes just a couple of minutes, and frees teams of most of the administrative tasks associated with gathering 360° feedback.

4. Automation Tools

The role of manager in tech is changing. To be able to cope with the challenges of rapid growth and evolving working styles, managers will need to free themselves of some of the more traditional tasks associated with the role. A study by Gartner echoes this, predicting that 69% of managers' routine work will be completely automated by 2024 (3). By using tech to automate tasks around reviews, surveys, 1:1 meetings and reporting, managers can free up time for strategic thinking and other important leadership work. 

Frankli tip: Frankli can free up 20+ hours weekly for managers by automating goal reporting, 1:1 meetings, reviews, surveys and more.

5. Tech that Supports Remote, Hybrid and Asynchronous Work

Even the most proficient managers need help when it comes to connecting dispersed, hybrid and asynchronous teams. Supporting software, whether it be for messaging, video chat, task management, idea sharing or scheduling meetings, is crucial. If managers are to forge and sustain strong professional bonds with their people, and focus on outcomes rather than inputs, they need tools that help people collaborate and communicate as if they’re in the same room. 

Frankli tip: Frankli brings remote, hybrid and asynchronous teams together by providing digital channels for goal-setting, feedback and 1:1 meetings.

6. Progressive Company Policies

Attracting and retaining talent has never been more difficult, particularly in tech, but there’s only so much that managers can do to keep their people happy. They need progressive HR policies to offer their people the flexibility and autonomy we know employees are craving (4), and keep up with modern expectations of work, which include greater mental health, physical health and family supports. 

Frankli tip: Use Surveys to find out how your people are feeling about work, and what policies or initiatives are most important to them.

7. A Culture of Open Communication

Regular, focussed 1:1 Meetings are key to any team’s success, and, while these are often manager-led, their importance needs to be understood by everyone in the company. For managers to have the best possible conversations with their people, 1:1 meetings need to be woven into the company’s day-to-day operations, prioritised by senior leadership, and, even better, supported by automation. 

Frankli tip: When it comes to 1:1s, Frankli does the hard part for you, including scheduling recurring meetings and setting relevant talking points.

8. A Manageable Workload

None of the supports we’ve mentioned already are all that useful if managers are personally overloaded, stressed or at risk of burnout. The phrase “you can’t pour from an empty cup” springs to mind. The research on this is clear - managers need a healthy work-life balance to lead well (5). And that starts with a realistic, manageable workload. 

Frankli tip: Managers can use Unprompted Feedback to let their managers know when they’re struggling with their workload.

9. DEI Training

Every team on the planet could benefit from more diverse perspectives, and so every manager should be well versed in the diversity, equity and inclusion practices that make work a fairer place for everyone. It’s irresponsible to expect managers to pick this up on their own. Seeking out qualified DEI consultants to provide training for your managers will not only help you introduce those diverse perspectives and retain top talent, it’ll strengthen bonds across your teams. 

Frankli supports tech managers with a set of powerful performance and engagement tools to help align teams on goals, measure success, hold better 1:1 meetings, give, receive and request feedback, and plan career development. Learn more about Frankli

Frankli helps your managers have the right conversations with the right people.

60-Second Version: 9 Things Managers in Tech Need to Thrive

1. Coaching and Mentoring Programs. Coaching and mentoring programs are a great way to help new managers gain confidence and build on their skills. 

2. Clear Goals. Managers need to understand the company’s goal-setting framework so they can set personal goals, as well as focusing and aligning their teams.

3. An Efficient System for Conducting Reviews. Digitising the process helps managers conduct really meaningful performance reviews.

4. Automation Tools. By using tech to automate tasks around reviews, surveys, 1:1 meeting and reporting, managers can free up time for strategic thinking.

5. Tech that Supports Remote, Hybrid and Asynchronous Work. If managers are to forge and sustain strong professional bonds with their people, they need tools that help people collaborate and communicate as if they’re in the same room. 

6. Progressive Company Policies. Managers need progressive HR policies to offer their people the flexibility and autonomy we know employees are craving (4).

7. A Culture of Open Communication. For managers to have the best possible conversations with their people, 1:1 meetings need to be woven into the company’s day-to-day operations, prioritised by senior leadership, and, even better, supported by automation. 

8. A Manageable Workload. None of the other supports on this list are useful if managers are personally overloaded, stressed or at risk of burnout. Managers need a healthy work-life balance to lead well. 

9. DEI Training. It’s irresponsible to expect managers to learn about diversity, equity and inclusion practices on their own. Seeking out qualified DEI consultants to provide training can help you introduce diverse perspectives and retain top talent.

Frankli supports tech managers with a set of powerful performance and engagement tools to help align teams on goals, measure success, hold better 1:1 meetings, give, receive and request feedback, and plan career development. Learn more about Frankli. 

1. Forbes, 10 Shocking Workplace Stats You Need To Know. 2. Torch, 5 ways new managers benefit from coaching and mentoring. 3. Gartner, 69% of Routine Work Currently Done by Managers will Be Fully Automated by 2024. 4. Harvard Business Review. Forget Flexibility. Your Employees Want Autonomy. 5. Harvard Business Review, Beyond Burned Out.

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