Digitization and remote work have changed the requirements not only on ordinary workers but also for managers who face new challenges in connection with these trends. Emphasis is placed on new methods of management, development, and motivation of remote teams, as well as the ability to think strategically and implement innovations. However, many companies are not able to meet the new training needs of managers on their own and must provide them externally. To support its members in this area, the ABSL association, in cooperation with the University of New York in Prague (UNYP), is opening specialized MBA studies starting November this year, and a next cohort of ABSL Fusion educational programs starting January 2022.
The pandemic has significantly accelerated digital transformation and related innovations, and also stimulated changes in the way we work and the need to retrain people. According to the World Economic Forum, by 2025, it will affect up to 50% of all current employees, who will have to be able to operate new technologies and work with them in normal operation. “New skills will not only have to be acquired by ordinary employees; on the contrary, the need for training increasingly extends to managers and company executives,” said Jonathan Appleton, director of ABSL, an association that puts together Czech business services centers that typically stand at the heart of digitalization of their parent companies. The responsibility for the development and education of their employees in this sector is generally taken over by the companies themselves, but not all of them manage to cover new areas internally.
“Even though employers in our sector are still expanding training programs and providing people with an average of 46 hours of training per year, a fifth more than four years ago, it is still not enough. Especially for the educational needs of managers, companies must increasingly turn to external trainers and training providers,” points out Jonathan Appleton.
Distributed teams, innovations and robots as colleagues
The role of managers is changing significantly in connection with the rise of new technologies and remote work. Being a good manager today means being able to lead, develop and motivate people working remotely, support mutual cooperation and strengthen a team that is spread across several countries and works in other time zones, support creative thinking and innovation abilities of the team, teach people how to work with robots and be able to take care of their mental health. These are new challenges that require completely different methods, procedures, and skills than managers needed before.
The ABSL survey showed that it is managerial education that the companies most often solve with the help of external education providers and coaches. The largest share of the companies participating in the survey listed resistance to stress and development and motivation of remote teams as those educational needs of their managers, which they cannot cover internally.
TOP 5 educational needs of managers and executives, which according to the ABSL surveyed companies most often have to address externally:
- Resistance to stress and well-being – 81%
- Development and motivation of remote teams – 76%
- Working with data / data analytics – 68%
- Managerial skills in the digital age – 52%
- Development of analytical thinking – 48%
Fusion, as well as MBA program, respond to market needs
To support its members and their educational needs in this area, ABSL, in cooperation with the global provider of certified education The Hackett Institute, has created the six-months and one-year Fusion study programs as well as specialized MBA studies, the academic part of which is covered by the University of New York in Prague.
„Fusion education programs have already had three successful years and over 100 satisfied graduates. In response to the interest, we have prepared their continuation from January next year. Each graduate will receive a globally recognized certification, either at the Professional or Leader level. The MBA program, on the other hand, is a novelty, not only in the Czech environment but all over the world. This is the very first MBA program focused on business services. The first run starts in November this year,“ says Jonathan Appleton, and adds:
„By offering education, we want to support the Czech Republic’s reputation as one of the most attractive destinations for building and operating business service centers in Europe. Thanks to this, new investors will be sure that we have capable managers with comprehensive knowledge for building new modern organizations. Existing centers can count on us to develop the knowledge and skills they need to move their services forward.“