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Leveraging technical skills and professional experience is not all that managers need to do to keep an organization going. They have one very crucial role to play– people management– which determines how successful and progressive the workplace is. Let’s dig deeper into this role of managers here.

What is people management?

People management is a part of human resource management that encapsulates all the processes of acquisition, optimization, and retention of talent in the organization. It involves training, directing, and motivating team members to maximize the productivity of the workplace and enhance overall professional growth.

Leaders in a company, namely the team lead, department heads, and managers, leverage people management practices to oversee the flow of tasks and increase the performance of employees on a daily basis. The process looks into how employees work, engage, behave, and attain growth in the business. It is the job of a people manager to provide continual support and lead the way for employees towards success.

A people management system leveraged to manage team members have a significant influence on the overall working of the company. As such, people managers need to adhere to these practices as a holistic puzzle without deviating from the main objective of the business. Effective people management involves providing support for the following:

  • Recruitment,
  • Employer branding,
  • Performance management,
  • Compensation,
  • Wellness and safety,
  • Employee benefits
  • Communication
  • Employee engagement and
  • Training.

Also, these aspects make up the culture within the workplace—something that can potentially lead the organization in attracting and retaining the right talent.

Leaders and managers use people management, mostly in the following situations:

  1. Resolving conflicts between employees to promote better collaboration and mutual respect between team members.
  2. Meeting deadlines for tasks by directing a company’s human resources towards set business goals.
  3. Providing adequate training to existing employees and new team members so that they can fulfil their roles and responsibilities better.
  4. Creating a workplace culture that supports continuous feedback, which, in turn, can help the company make actionable changes.

Key components of people management

From the above people management definition, it becomes clear that the function is pretty broad and crucial. To be able to manage team members better, people managers need to have a clear understanding of the different components that make up the role. Let’s discuss these components here:

Creating the workforce of the future

The end-to-end people management system starts with acquiring the right talent and building an effective team. People practices involve knowing and setting the purpose for all teams and each team member within the department. While building teams, managers need to leverage the necessary, modern-day tools to achieve greater success.

When it comes to recruiting, they can use a predictive talent acquisition platform like Talenx that can uphold workforce diversity, promote automation, and ensure high-level productivity. It’s essential for a manager to create a company image that new candidates can trust and would love to associate with. Once they find the best candidate, they need to take proactive measures to up their skills for creating a highly adaptable workforce that keeps pace with changing business needs. By promoting their overall development, managers will be able to boost commitment and loyalty—something that makes employees want to stay around in the company for long.

Understanding people who make up the organization

Effective people management requires managers to develop a clear understanding of the people who constitute various teams. The process requires them to have their fingers on the pulse of employees, their personal goals, motivating factors, and career interests. A rewarding person management system is based on an empathetic, people-first approach that takes into consideration people’s different skills and personality traits.

Managers need to comprehend each individual in an organization that is different and has different predispositions. This is the era when they have to develop a deep understanding of people’s varied natures and gauge specific insights to understand how each individual behaves in an organization. Once they get a clear idea of who their people are, they will be in a better position to judge where they fit and how to get the best out of them and for them.

Establishing effective communication

To achieve the synergy of efforts, there has to be a proper flow of communication between team members. As such, managers need to establish appropriate channels of communication that provide continual feedback. These channels should be open and free-flowing so that people understand the bigger picture of which they are an integral part of.

Communication is a useful tool to understand how people within teams feel and perform. So, organizations of all natures and sizes should make sure that their employees have the right channels of communication to make people management a more rewarding exercise. This would give managers a better idea of their sentiments and address the grievances of employees more proactively.

Setting the ground for better, more reliable and faster collaboration

Establishing an effective people management system is about bringing team members together on one platform. Managers in an organization need to understand that processes and the business at large do not function in silos. It’s not just about the goals of a single employee, but of all team members. Success comes from teamwork, and not from each member working disparately from the rest.

There is a vast marketplace of business collaboration tools that allows team members to delegate and share tasks. It’s important for managers to assign responsibilities through these tools to add more value to the work they create and enrich the working experience of employees. Also, with the help of these collaboration tools, employees are better able to realize the roles they collectively play to accomplish different tasks ad achieve the vision and mission of the business.

Making the best use of healthy differences

As mentioned earlier, each member of an organization comes with key differences. It’s natural for conflicts to arise amidst such differences because people look at situations differently and have their own unique opinions about things. The key to success lies in embracing these differences and confronting rather than antagonizing people positively. Conflicts can be extremely detrimental to teams since they may create resentment among team members. It’s only when managers identify the root cause of these conflicts and resolve them on time that a team can flourish.

Conflict resolution brings us back to the importance of having proper communication channels in the organization. Through effective communication, managers should bring diverse and differing opinions to the table and turn them into valuable opportunities to glean insights. This makes the team feel more cohesive and take the situation as a learning experience. Managers need to stay calm and let go of aggression when dealing with team members. But, at the same time, it’s also important to enlighten them in a way that they can learn.

People management skills in 2020

As 2020 comes with a new set of challenges for businesses globally, the people management role is becoming all the more essential than ever before. To implement an effective people management strategy, the manager should have the following skills:

1. Communication

A people manager in an organization should be an excellent communicator. He or she should be able to get along with all team members, persuade them, and also listen to them with an open mind. Good communication helps a manager to resolve issues, come up with new ideas, and clarifying changes. They should be conscious of how effectively they deliver their message to team members and how intently they listen to them.

2. Active listening

As a people manager, it’s not only enough for a person to be able to speak clearly. It’s equally important to be a good listener, meaning they should be able to listen to everything employees have to say. They shouldn’t just stand there and dictate how to go about with processes. Instead, they should also listen to different problems that employees may be facing at work and then come up with an appropriate response.

3. Empathy

Emotional intelligence is what makes a manager a good people’s person. It is the ability to put themselves in the shoes of others and feel what they feel. A manager should be able to relate to all team members on a deeper level and look at situations from their perspective. It’s all about letting go of their biased thinking and know precisely what the other person is meaning to say.

4. Trust

For becoming a good people manager, a person should be able to win the trust of all team members. At the same time, he or she should trust others and believe that they have the best interest of the business in their mind. They should be able to rely on employees’ abilities and believe in their potential to achieve big goals. This would help them delegate certain tasks and worry less about it getting completed on time.

5. Flexibility

Effective people management requires a manager to have a flexible management style. They should be able to accommodate the personal and professional needs of team members. It can be demonstrated in the form of remote working options or adjustable office schedules. They should know the different ways to complete tasks and which way provides the maximum comfort to employees while boosting their efficiency and productivity at the same time.

6. Motivator

Motivation is what drives people to work, and that’s what an effective people manager should be able to provide to team members. They should be skilled at mapping different motivating factors of team members and leverage them to the best advantage. They should have an in-depth understanding of various drivers of motivation and use them to create stronger bonds within teams and make better decisions.

7. Conflict resolution

As mentioned earlier, conflicts and differences in opinions are inevitable in an organization. A people manager should have excellent conflict-resolution abilities to navigate challenging interpersonal situations. They should be able to understand different viewpoints, analyze them, and come up with the best decision to maintain peace and harmony within teams. They should be able to mediate between various stakeholders and parties and reach a consensus. They should also ensure that such conflicts don’t arise again in the future.

8. Problem-solving

Just like they have to deal with conflicts between team members, people managers are also required to deal with a slew of problems on a daily basis. Without having strong problem-solving abilities, a people manager would fail to achieve his or her goals. They need to be proactive in identifying problems and taking appropriate measures to solve them.

9. Patience

One of the most crucial people management skills is patience—something that uses mutual respect and kindness while helping team members overcome workplace challenges. A people manager should be patient while training new recruits and resolving conflicts. It’s natural for them to feel burnt out and stressed in the face of adversity, but they should be able to navigate the situation calmly.

10. Organization

There are several tasks that people managers have to juggle at a time. Managing a team is all about ensuring these tasks get done on time and in the right order. As such, the organization becomes a very crucial skill of a people manager because that’s what is doing to determine how productive and efficient the entire team is. From promptly responding to calls and emails to delegating tasks to the right person, a people manager has to maintain order in everything that the team does.

11. Leadership

The ability to lead team members towards success and progress is what makes a person an effective people manager. They should be able to motivate their team and boost their performance to deliver desired business results. They need to be optimistic, confident and decisive at all times so that they can set an example for their team members.

12. Accountability

A good people manager should be able to take responsibility for his or her work and also for the work of all other team members. They should be able to account for everything that’s done and not done. They should take responsibility for both success and failure so that the team looks at them as a role model.

13. Adaptability

Being adaptable means being able to keep pace with dynamic circumstances. They should be able to change their opinions and perspectives and look at new challenges and new opportunities. It can be revising corporate or business strategies, but people managers have to be adaptable in their actions.

14. Empowering

If a people manager is empowering, then employees would find great help in developing new skills ad being more productive at work. This is particularly true when training new employees and providing them with the resources they need to accomplish their tasks. As such, a people manager should build skills by providing constructive feedback and learning opportunities as well as supporting employees through challenging projects.

15. Ability to appreciate

Last but not least, the soft skill to be able to appreciate people for the work they do is something that can make a people manager rise to the top. As a people manager, he or she should praise and reward team members for the good job that they do. This can positively impact how employees perceive their work and make them feel grateful for the experience they are getting in the organization.

Conclusion

People management is a vital function that all leaders and managers in an organization should perform delicately. They need to adhere to people’s practices to create the best place to work. This is the era of data, and they need to leverage it with modern-day tools like Talenx to establish a people management system that ensures they acquire, manage, and retain the best-fit talent in the organization.

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