Work-Bench Perspectives: AI for the Next Generation of People Managers

The other day I received an email from a CEO within our Work-Bench community:

“Even though we are still tiny, as we evolve our team and employees begin to grow into management roles for their first time, I’ve started to think a lot about management training. As a first time CEO, this is definitely new territory for me as well.”

This is one of the most common painpoints I hear, across the fastest growing VC-backed enterprise startups we work with and the globally distributed Fortune 1000 corporations in our corporate network: managing people is hard.

And yet there are still surprisingly few technology products that have served this people manager and leadership development training space, estimated to hit $13.8B in 2020 (here), which to date still revolves largely around in-person trainings and workshops.

Given the rise of AI across a range of verticals: financial services, life sciences, healthcare, energy, transportation, heavy industry, agriculture, and materials — we have yet to see AI broadly applied to the people manager training space (though there are some early startups tackling this space, as detailed in my slides above).

A few predictions:

  • We predict seeing a much-needed shift from in-person manager training to a technology-enabled solution, especially given the rise of millennials as managers.

  • The key for successful people manager tools will be collecting data: the more data you have, and the more proprietary it is, the more insights you can generate for people managers.

  • Furthermore, whoever is going to be the biggest player in this space will be able to take that data, deliver predictive actionable insights down to the line manager (vs. HR / C-Suite), and combine it with frictionless user experience on the front-end to help you be a more effective manager.

Given this opportunity, we’re excited to follow the application of AI to the management and training space, to support and enable the next generation of people managers. Are you a startup building in this manager training, employee engagement, and #futureofteams space? We'd love to hear from you.

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