Your employees are one of your company’s greatest assets and their performance has a major impact on your bottom line. However, it is not enough to hire qualified employees. How your business leaders handle them can have a huge impact on your overall business performance. Managers and business owners must understand the principles behind people management and develop specific skills to become successful managers and lead their teams and organizations to success.
What is People Management?
People management, a subset of human resource management, involves organizing employees and building teams to optimize business performance. Successful people management involves hiring and training the right employees, guiding and empowering each employee to reach their maximum potential, communicating effectively across all teams, and directing all team members toward a goal. commmon.
People Management vs Team Orchestration
Rather than acting in a dictatorial manner, an effective people manager strives to empower their employees, which can have a huge impact on a company’s bottom line and corporate culture.
Shelisa Bainbridge, Leadership Coach and Head of Human-Centered Delivery at Agile by design, recommended redefining people management as team orchestration. This shift in perception can lead managers to focus less on controlling people and more on designing the work environment to drive positive team and business outcomes.
“When we start thinking about people management in terms of team orchestration, there is an immediate shift in attitude, value, and impact in the leaders responsible for producing that team,” Bainbridge told business.com.
According to Bainbridge, when a company emphasizes team orchestration, it sees the approach and attitude of its managers change in three major and beneficial ways:
- Managers are moving from focusing too narrowly on the individual level to by focusing more holistically on the activities and results of the team as a whole.
- They move from telling and directing employees to support, empower and encourage the autonomy of the “team”.
- Rather than communicating rigid expectations, managers encourage exploration and experimentation.
Why is people management important?
A poorly managed team can have a negative impact on several aspects of your business; a well-managed team, however, can improve company morale, optimize your production levels and efficiency, and give your company a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Companies with low morale and engagement often have high rates of employee turnover and burnout. However, implementing optimal people management strategies can give your employees a strong sense of ownership of their work and improve their overall job satisfaction.
“Creating a strong environment in the workplace will lead to happier and more productive employees, and it shows in the quality of the outcome of their work,” said Ramesh Ramani, CEO of the digital learning platform . ExpertusONE. “It’s only when a company really takes care of its employees that it becomes successful.”
Productivity and efficiency
People management is all about organizing your team in a way that increases productivity and maximizes efficiency. When you have the right employees in place, train your team properly, and collaborate with employees to achieve their goals, you set your team up for success.
“[Successful people managers] are focused on helping the team to align around a common goal and mission, and are able to help the team isolate, prioritize, and focus on high-value work (eg. low-value or no-value busy work),” Bainbridge said.
Competitive advantage in the market
Understanding how to orchestrate teams can provide small businesses with an added competitive advantage in the marketplace. According to Bainbridge, since small businesses often lack the budget or market presence like their larger counterparts, maximizing a smaller pool of resources is crucial – this includes optimizing their human capital and prioritizing team orchestration.
What are people management skills?
There are several qualities an individual must possess to become an effective manager. Joe Mullings, Founder and CEO of The Mullings Groupranked integrity, communication, organization, and empowerment among the top four people management skills.
- Ethics and Integrity: Team members want to know that a leader is doing the right thing. A good manager is honest, responsible and acts with integrity. Lack of trust in a team is a culture killer.
- Clear communication: An effective leader communicates clearly, frequently, and thoughtfully, keeping team members informed of what’s going on in the business. Good managers encourage two-way communication and are receptive to feedback.
- Organization and rigour: Well-defined goals, objectives, processes, timelines and “what it looks like” are clearly defined by managers to their teams. Each goal is aligned with the overall mission and vision statement of the company.
- Accountability: Great leaders develop others. Leaders who encourage and coach employees can create high performing employees and improve retention within companies.
Other people management skills include empathy, patience, recognition of achievement, relativity, adaptability, conflict resolution, and decisiveness.
How to develop people management skills
Not everyone is a born leader, and that’s okay. People management skills are considered “soft skills” and can be learned and improved. There are several easy and organic ways to improve your people management skills.
Ask your team for frequent feedback.
Effective communication in business is a two-way street. Just as you want to provide your team with constructive feedback, you should frequently request feedback from your team. Ask employees to provide honest feedback, formally and informally, without fear of reprisal.
Bainbridge said that asking for (and accepting) feedback:
- Help you soften your ego
- Offer you valuable information that will help you grow
- Make you more likeable, approachable and respected
Find an experienced coach or mentor who can guide you.
Look for a qualified and experienced coach or mentor who can provide you with unbiased feedback and advice. They will show you where you need growth, offer experienced advice and ideas, and accelerate your development. This person can be inside or outside your organization, but your mentor should not be your direct boss.
Maintain a growth mindset.
Everyone, not just managers, should have a growth mindset. To grow (in business and in your personal life), you recognize that you don’t know everything and that you are willing to learn.
“Having a growth mindset means you fundamentally believe that everyone has the ability to adapt, learn, and become a better version of themselves,” Bainbridge said. “It eliminates (or at least controls) the impulse to blame and replaces it with a desire to grow.”
When you have a growth mindset, you set a powerful example for your team. Part of managing people is leading by example.
People Management Training Resources
There are countless resources online to help people managers develop their leadership skills. These resources can include both paid and free options like people management booksvideos, articles, courses, training calls and coaching lessons.
Consider one of the companies below, which offer people management training courses:
- Coursera: Coursera is an online learning platform that allows teams and companies to access online courses and degrees from various universities and companies.
- edX: edX, an online learning platform, offers a variety of free courses, with the option to pay for additional certificates.
- future learning: Managers can access courses from Future Learn, including a five-week course on managing people.
- LinkedIn Learning: LinkedIn Learning offers a plethora of business training options, including those for leadership and management, soft skills, and performance management.