The Trap of Thinking That Software is Management

Software can be very powerful for enabling what you need to do in your business.

But we have to be careful how and where it’s used. This is especially true when it comes to things that should be done by a manager, like the experience and engagement of employees.

These management touch points that are incredibly critical and high value.

Software matters

For growing and scaling most companies these days, it’s critical to automate menial, data-driven tasks or inefficient processes.

Of course, even for these processes, you have to do the ROI and test to see if it actually does the job better, faster or cheaper, first.

We’re massive believers in technology but software can’t manage people, and we can’t let it remove the humaneness of work.

People matter

We’ve seen software designed to automate meetings, recruitment and onboarding processes. While they may make the manager’s job easier, they simply can’t replace building relationships, coaching, accountability and teaching people about your culture.

As a new hire, the experience of sitting alone in a room, watching videos and reading documents, for the first day or two on the job, is less than ideal. And it can lead to disengagement and retention issues.

Software should never do jobs that people should do. It’s like going to a spectacular, five-star restaurant and typing your order on an iPad. People in that situation are looking for an experience.

And software simply can’t replace the human-to-human experience.

We still use an Excel spreadsheet to guide our 13-week onboarding process, and one of our newest people gave us feedback that it was the most incredible onboarding they had ever experienced – that they had never felt so supported, included and educated.

The key, when looking at software solutions, outside of ROI and efficiency, is to look where it might have negative impact on teams and customers, and potentially create bad habits.

The Challenge

  • Where might you have a system or software trying to do the job of a manager who should build connection, confidence or capability, with their customers or team members instead?
  • The easier question: Where could software cost-effectively manage something in your business in which a manager does not need to be involved?

Want to hear more? Listen to Episode 107 of The Growth Whisperers.

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