Your manager, or 69% of what that person does, will be automated, says Gartner

Bots, intelligent assistants and automation are going to take over most of what your manager currently does.

Learning to work with intelligent machines Tonya Hall talks to Dr. Matt Beane, assistant professor of technology management at the University of California at Santa Barbara, to learn more about ways that AI is helping individuals better understand how to work with intelligent machines.

Your manager--or 69% of what that person does--is going to be automated by 2024, according to Gartner. And you'll cheer or jeer depending on what side of the managerial fence you're on.

According to Gartner, the bulk of a manager's workload--manual tasks, forms, updating information and approving workflows--are going to go away. I saw this concept in action at PwC's Demo Day on Tuesday. PwC outlined a robotic process automation app that filed invoices and scanned statements in seconds where a human would have taken a few hours. That automation can certainly speed up audits.

Many workers may welcome most of our managers being automated. A survey by Oracle and Future Workplace found 64% of people are more likely to trust a robot over their manager. Why? Unbiased advice and judgements made on performance not politics.

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Where the debate begins is whether managers will become more effective when their routine work is automated or simply go away. Gartner argued in its research report that managers will spend more time on learning, performance management and goal setting.

Here's the rub. In your life you're lucky if you have one or two good coaches. Bosses are the same way. If you really hit the career lotto you've worked for a handful of good bosses. Simply put, many of these managers will be freed up from repetitive tasks but fall on their faces because they'll suck as coaches and are more likely to become a nuisance.

Managers can't cut it will go away quickly. Gartner said:

Assuming an average manager salary of $74,000, and an average manager to direct reports ratio of 1:10, technology replacing manager activities will save organizations an average of $5 million per 1,000 employees or 100 managers. The cost savings potential for automating manager tasks is significant.

Add it up and the state of work is going to change dramatically as these managerial tasks are automated. Some of the things to think about include:

  1. There will be fewer managers because they won't be able to evolve as administrative, project and team management and direct report development tasks are automated. On the latter, a bot will start interventions with a direct report instead of you.
  2. Yet AI may alleviate a talent crunch.
  3. But ultimately a lack of managers will cut another layer out of organizations and curtail upward mobility in positions.
  4. "By 2025, 47% of learning and development budgets will be wasted as AI eliminates 67% of on-the-
  5. job, task-based learning opportunities," says Gartner.
  6. After a period of turmoil in organizations as managerial tasks are automated, the state of work will have to change to value skills and competence over titles. That jarring change will bring along orgs that bring teams together based on necessary skills and objectives.  

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