Managers seek AI tools amid burnout claims: Capterra

Managers seek AI tools amid burnout claims: Capterra

Australian middle managers are turning to new technology to navigate challenges. A recent survey by leading software research site Capterra found that 73% of respondents are overwhelmed, stressed or burnt out, with 77% aligning positively with Artificial Intelligence’s benefits in streamlining or automating tasks.

Laura Burgess, Content Analyst from Capterra Australia, said, “With the difficulties that come with the middle manager role, software or AI solutions prove helpful but need to be assessed if they’re the right fit for a middle manager’s responsibilities.”

The survey consulted with close to 100 middle managers across Australia.

Affordances provided by technology 

Based on the research, 22% agreed that Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions are impactful in helping them become better managers, and another 20% believe that tools and technology can help automate particular tasks and improve their workload. Of those with a positive attitude towards AI, 50% shared that automating administrative tasks is the top area in which AI could help them.

Middle managers spend 22% of their workweek doing direct people management. They seem to spend time otherwise contributing to staff-level tasks (11%) and administrative tasks (10%), including budget management and creating employee schedules. 70% shared that their company’s software makes it easier to do their job, but it could be useful to reassess and identify how it can help alleviate certain tasks.

However, despite the availability of AI solutions, other aspects prove to be challenging for middle managers. With the lack of training and support, new leadership roles for middle managers can make or break the employee experience, result in burnout and compromise their performance in the company.

Experiencing burnout in the workplace

Middle managers handle multiple responsibilities, including managing their direct reports, accomplishing their own assigned work, and, at the same time, reporting to the more senior team members. Over time, middle managers may feel stressed and overwhelmed at work, leading to burnout, as expressed by 73% who have had this experience.

Middle managers’ roles tend to be less noticed since they work behind the scenes. However, the responsibilities they carry impact them. Of those who have experienced burnout, 13% always feel it, while 60% said they do so sometimes. However, the use of effective training programs for middle managers can reduce the negative impact of workplace burnout.

Proper training and implementation 

An adequate amount of training for all management roles is crucial for employees not to feel stressed or overwhelmed. Many middle managers (80%) have rarely or never received managerial training after being hired or promoted. Furthermore, 55% have not experienced mentorship from their colleagues, including other managers or senior leaders. This position is overlooked in the workplace, forcing middle managers to figure things out independently.

According to the report, middle managers have expressed interest in receiving training on specific topics, including conflict resolution (43%), delegation (41%), communication (30%), time management (29%) and project management (28%). Honing their skills based on these aspects can help them manage their role effectively.

Given the importance of training, it is worth exploring which skills middle managers find most valuable. Middle managers are looking to switch jobs in the near future, indicating burnout, career progression and work-life balance as the main factors in their decision.

“The middle manager role can experience a lack of training, hence why many feel stressed and overwhelmed. With regular training and AI solutions, there can be a more harmonious environment in the workplace, especially for employees in their position,” said Burgess.