Katy Tynan, VP, Principal Analyst

Show Notes:

If you had a major challenge at work, would your first reaction be to ask your manager or turn to AI? According to at least one survey, 64% of workers trust AI more than their manager in those scenarios. Which raises a very interesting question for business leaders: Could AI be a more effective manager than a human?

Vice President and Principal Analyst Katy Tynan has been investigating this question in preparation for a session at the upcoming CX Summit North America and joins the podcast to discuss her insights. She starts by acknowledging that current management skills are often lacking because many organizations simply don’t invest enough in training managers. In some cases, managers (and even some very senior managers) make such poor decisions it makes headlines. And in other cases, employees don’t trust the way managers are using data to evaluate their performance. So, it may not be all that surprising that employee engagement surveys often show a lack of trust and satisfaction with managers, says Tynan.

So, how can AI help managers improve and avoid some negative interactions that erode employee trust? “It turns out genAI is pretty good at writing empathetic emails,” Tynan says. “And it turns out that managers, human managers, have not been so good at writing empathetic communication.” GenAI can also help managers monitor how often they communicate with their reports and indicate if certain teams or employees are receiving more communication than others so the manager can adapt behavior if needed.

While AI can be helpful to managers in some ways, there are certain manager traits and skills that it likely can’t replace. For example, AI may be able to provide data and feedback, but it can’t develop strategy and vision or inspire and connect with employees on an emotional level. And that emphasizes the importance of bringing authenticity and transparency to your role as a manager, Tynan points out.

The episode concludes with a call to action for managers to raise their AIQ (AI quotient) and embrace the opportunities that AI presents. Tynan advises managers to cultivate curiosity and be open to learning about AI. That means understanding how AI works, how it can benefit their work, and how to leverage AI tools effectively to be better managers.

“If I could make one wish for all managers in all of this, it’s that you spend more time doing the things that are most important and have the most value and less time spinning around in circles either being busy or looking busy for the sake of productivity theater,” she says. “That’s just not the way to get ahead as a leader or as an individual contributor.”

To learn more about this topic, be sure to catch Tynan’s session at the upcoming CX Summit North America entitled “Are You A Better Boss Than A Bot? Level Up Your Leadership Skills For An AI-Infused World.”