What Is People Management?

People management is the act of managing employees and building teams to boost overall business performance. Effective people management involves hiring and training the right employees, guiding and empowering employees to reach their potential, communicating well across all teams, and directing team members toward a common goal, usually aligned with business objectives.

Why Is People Management Important?

A poorly managed team can have a negative impact on many aspects of business. However, a properly managed team can boost morale, optimize efficiency, and provide a competitive advantage.

Improved Morale
Organizations that have low employee morale and engagement often have high turnover rates and burnout. By communicating expectations with team members, providing constructive feedback, and helping et and attain goals, managers can lower this rate and help improve job satisfaction.

Boosted Productivity and Efficiency
When the right people have been selected for a team and the right people are in the right jobs, productivity and efficiency grow. Add in proper training and collaboration, and any team is set up for success.

Competitive Advantage
Building strong teams and managing them well can give businesses a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Especially for smaller organizations that lack capital and resources, maximizing what they do have is crucial.

Skills Effective People Managers Have

Being an effective manager takes work. Not everyone is a natural-born leader, and that's okay. Being an effective manager means mastering many new soft skills and growing in others. Here are a few skills needed to manage people well.

Emotional Intelligence
Having emotional intelligence is critical for effective management. Being aware of, controlling, and expressing emotions in an appropriate way can help build trust within any team. Also, train your managers to be honest with employees about what's happening with the organization as a whole. This instills trust and fosters unity and growth.

Ethics and Integrity
Employees want to know that their leaders are doing the right thing. A great manager is honest with their team, is accountable for what happens on the team, and acts with integrity when tough situations arise. They are there for the team and support them however they can.

Strong leaders communicate clearly, frequently, and thoughtfully. They keep team members up to date on the business while also encouraging employees to feel free to speak up.

Everyone has tasks they enjoy more than others and then those they loathe and put off for as long as possible. Those dreaded tasks are where people management skills come in. Managers need to talk with employees about why those tasks are undesirable. It could be as simple as mismatched task to skill level. Instruct your managers to work with employees to assign tasks based on skillsets or frame projects in a new way.

Patience is a skill everyone thinks they have until the going gets tough and it can be more difficult when other personalities are in the mix. When a difficult situation arises or mistakes are made, consider these steps:

  1. Close your eyes.
  2. Take a deep breath in through the nose and out through the mouth to the count of 10.
  3. Repeat a few times.
This tactic can help managers stay calm and not react in a way that could be damaging or hurtful. This ability will have managers perceived as strong and employees will feel comfortable sharing problems.

Problem Solving
Solving problems is a critical people management skill as there will always be challenges that arise. Whether it’s a small hiccup, an employee issue, or another global pandemic, managers need to know how to solve problems quickly and effectively and even be open to working with employees to come to solutions.

Giving and Receiving Feedback
Good people management requires managers to give feedback but to also be open to receiving it as well. When giving feedback, sometimes it will be positive and other times negative, but it needs to be delivered in a timely way, immediately after or as close to the action as possible.

When receiving feedback, people managers should process what is said and determine if change is necessary. Hearing not only what your employees say but other stakeholders as well is important. Using feedback in the proper way results in better people management.

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