No matter if you are the head of an organization, the part time employee, or a new team leader, being a cooperative team player is important at every work place. In order to be successful at work, whether you are just starting your management career or are a seasoned CEO, having the skills to manage people at work and being able to work with various types of personalities and motivators will help you and your business thrive.
Fortunately, the skills you need for people management, which includes coaching those reporting to you to be successful is easily learned, regardless of your leadership position in the company. Some of the skills are quick to learn, while others take more time to cultivate, but improvements can start immediately.
People Management – What Is It?
Answering the question, “What is people management?” is a vast one. It mainly focuses on how an organization develops, organizes, creates proactive solutions for issues, and it’s used to help staff grow. People management skills includes the capability to intervene if there is a personality-based conflict between employees, and fuels a high-functioning human resource department.
Workplaces have a personnel structure that allows for those in leadership to guide employees. The same reasoning goes for employee support when management develops new ideas and procedures that they would not be able to complete otherwise.
Knowing how to manage people, whether holding meetings or deploying effective onboarding, is a vital skillset. Building your skills for managing people at work requires slowly implementing changes to how you think and shifting perspectives on issues. Answering the following questions on how to be a good manager will help you develop success at work.
1. How do I manage people at work with active listening?
When we think of someone being a good listener, we think of the connection that happens between the start and finish of the conversation. This includes attentiveness, making eye contact, making note of significant conversation points, and not talking over the speaker. Each aspect of listening is a skill that constantly needs to be practiced for results with managing people.
Being a good listener begins before you even meet an employee for the first time. One of the most important listening tips for managing people is to not hold any prejudices, to be open to differences, and not assuming anything.
You can learn to let go of any prejudices, such as an employee’s thoughts, personal issues they are dealing with, or questioning their skill, by speaking with them directly. Managing people at work requires active listening to what people are actually saying so you can respond accordingly. Being prepared for meetings is important, but it is also important to go in with an open mind that others may have better solutions.
2. How do I differentiate personal issues from workplace issues?
One of the most important aspects of managing people is helping your employees solve problems that they are encountering. There are two types of problems at work, personal or organizational issues. Even though both types of issues are similar, they need a different approach. If you treat a personal problem in the same way as a workplace problem, it may get worse.
Examples of personal issues include:
- The amount of work a single employee has to complete
- Problems with an employee’s ability to follow procedure
- Frustrations with their own or their colleague’s work performance
- Employee displays low levels of satisfaction and drive
When these types of issues present themselves in one or many employees, it is important to remember your people management skills and use them to solve these issues, without affecting the business. Alternatively, when we think of issues with the workplace, they are not often solved single-handedly.
Examples of organizational issues include:
- Employees struggling to effectively handle the pressures of the workload as a team
- Delays and mistakes made because of issues with the workflow
- Aggression or fighting between employees because of low team performance
- Employees showing disinterest in the company due to lack of growth opportunity
The root of these types of problems often are caused by issues with the structure of the organization or business. It is important to remember these tips to be a good manager, which includes understanding any issues within the organization, while encouraging your employees to do good work.
3. What do I need to know to manage people effectively?
Knowing how to manage people means being able to effectively understand each employee, and what motivates them at work. You can leverage empathy to learn what brings them happiness at work. By doing this, you will reveal what an employee believes their purpose to be. Understanding a person’s purpose will help you to create a working environment that creates satisfaction, allowing them to work more effectively and happily.
Understanding how an employee feels about their work and what motivates them to be a good worker, allows you to succeed as a manager. You will know how to manage that employee better, while also helping the business to succeed.
Employees feel more connected to their work when they have projects that they feel they can complete well. By uncovering what an employee does best, and what role they are trying to attain, you can create a development plan that aligns with the goals of that employee, showing them that you are on their side and will help them attain their goals. When looking for tips for managing people, giving an employee the tools to achieve their goals is imperative.
4. How to find the equilibrium between giving praise and constructive criticism?
What is people management if not supporting and motivating the people you manage? Being able to give praise when job is well done, while at the same time being able to discuss areas of improvement will impact the future productivity of employees.
For an employee to be successful at work, it is imperative to find places to give praise, as well as criticism so that they understand how to improve. If only praise is given, then employees will not change or grow, but if only criticism is given, you will likely have a team of unmotivated and frustrated employees.
Giving more praise will change how employees perceives themselves and their work and will turn them into net promoters of your brand. Appreciating your employees creates a positive work environment and can lead to a better workplace culture.
Praising your employees honestly is key when managing people effectively. It is important for managers to know when, where and how to give positive feedback to your employees. Make sure to commend good work in a timely fashion, so that they do not feel like their work went unnoticed. Giving praise publicly, privately, or with special acknowledgements are all tips to be a good manager.
Constructive criticism follows the same rules. Make sure to address the issues sooner, rather than later, and have a plan to improve the results. Managing people at work means supporting your employees and working with them to develop goals you both believe can be attained.
5. How do I make sure I hear what employees are thinking?
No matter if you are having your weekly 1 on 1 meeting, or if it is an annual review meeting, one of the best tips for management is to ask employees if there’s anything else they would like to discuss.
By asking this simple question, the employee will open up about any concerns or obstacles they are encountering. This also gives the employee the opportunity to seek advice about a problem, solving a potentially bigger issue down the line. It is also a practical way of discovering areas where further training can be beneficial, without it seeming like you are overbearing.
This is one of the best tips to be a good manager because it is easily creates a trustworthy work relationship and allows you to be a successful leader. Managing people at work in this way proves that you have compassion and understanding for your employees. If you want to know how to manage people effectively, it comes down to how you handle interpersonal relationships. One of the most direct ways of doing this is to cultivate connections during each meeting.
6. How can I stay connected with employees?
One of the best ways of managing people is to regularly check in with your employees. By arranging for weekly meetings, even if they are only for 15 minutes, it gives the managers the power to stay up to do with any struggles or conflicts they are having, and can prevent big problems down the line.
By creating a space of open and ongoing communication, you will find that employees are more willing to seek you out for assistance. It keeps them from being fearful or nervous of approaching you with a problem.
Maintaining brief check-ins with your employees does not need to be complicated. If your employees are happy and working well, then this gives you the opportunity to better get to know them, and align on goals. This allows you to find better targeted solutions to any problems that may present themselves down the line because you will have exceptional people management skills.
Most importantly, remember your people management skills!
The difference between a good manager who only gets involved with employees when there is an issue, and a great manager is taking the time to be proactive. Invest in your employees and cultivate relationships with them.
There are always going to be struggles that employees will encounter, but managing people is your job, so be sure to guide them to attainable solutions. Being a proactive leader, building trust, having empathy, being appreciative, and helping employees learn the knowledge they need to succeed are all key tips for managing people in the best way possible.