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News » Red Hat launches ‘manager club’ to foster top talent

Red Hat launches ‘manager club’ to foster top talent

Photo from Red Hat

NORTH CAROLINA, UNITED STATES — Red Hat, the open-source software giant owned by IBM, is launching an innovative “manager club” to recognize and develop its highest-performing people managers

In an exclusive interview with HR Dive, Jennifer Dudeck, Red Hat’s Chief People Officer, explained that the program aims to elevate the importance of great leadership within the company.

“We’re creating a manager club, where we take our top managers, like top sellers, and have a special recognition and a special place on a special trip to really say, ‘This is important to us. It’s important enough that we will put it on the same level as we do our top salespeople,'” said Dudeck.

‘Manager club’ initiatives at Red Hat

The company celebrated its first “manager day” last year for its 3,000 managers globally. This year, Red Hat will focus on change management and decision-making. They plan to enhance these sessions with real-world applications and accountability measures, including a new index tracking qualitative and quantitative data. 

“You have to have data. We’re actually working on an index that includes both qualitative and quantitative data, tracking things like if they are having conversations with their associates. We can look at attrition,” Dudeck noted, emphasizing the aim to balance performance metrics with genuine leadership qualities.

AI integration at Red Hat

Dudeck also discussed the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) at Red Hat, which is being explored both internally and externally. The goal is to prepare employees for future changes that AI might bring to their roles. 

“If you think of it on a continuum, everyone’s role will be assisted by AI in some way. There’s going to be an evolution probably for a good majority of our folks, and then there will be a small set that AI maybe could replace a good percent of what they do,” she said.

At the same time, Dudeck assured that Red Hat “will not leave anyone behind with AI” as the company will provide opportunities to move their employees’ careers along in a way that benefits both them and the employer.

Aside from her leadership role, Dudeck is also a vocal advocate for cancer awareness, drawing from her battle with stage four breast cancer diagnosed last year. “It is now a big part of my personal life, and I’m really starting to branch out into more advocacy and awareness.

Millennial managers burned out, eye career exits

Seventy-five percent of millennial middle managers feel overwhelmed, stressed, or burned out, with nearly half considering leaving their roles as a result, according to a survey by productivity software provider Capterra.

The data from middle managers—defined as those under 35—in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom show that the less experience a middle manager has, the more likely they are to be burned out. 

Over 40% of managers with less than two years of experience are looking for jobs, compared to just 20% of those who have been managers for over a decade.

This comes as German multinational pharmaceutical and life sciences giant Bayer slashes middle managers to save $2.15 billion, and tech giants like Meta and Google have been flattening management hierarchies and laying off thousands of middle managers over the past year, seeing them as unnecessary bureaucracy. 

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