Good people management isn’t something you can just download, install, purchase or even rent. Good people management is a skill that comes from experience. Courses can teach you the theories, but there is no substitute for day-to-day practice in managing staff and their issues. Giving yourself a head start with a common-sense approach and a healthy respect for everyone you come into contact with, can help develop a happy and productive workforce.
Below are our 8 top tips for better people management;
- Don’t micro-manage. Micro-management is usually defined as a leader or authority figure’s hands-on handling of even the small parts of the business. This is usually not appreciated by employees and may even cause problems in the long run. Remember that your employees were hired because they can do the job. Why not just let them do it? Give clear instructions, allow them to ask for advice when needed and praise them for their work.
- Take time to get to know your staff. Understand that like yourself, they have lives outside of work. They go through personal and domestic issues as well and it’s not always easy to leave these issues at home. Knowing these things can help you work with your people better and create a healthy working atmosphere for everyone.
- Don’t ask your staff to undertake tasks you wouldn’t do yourself. We also advise against letting your staff take risks you yourself wouldn’t take. Whatever your team does within the operations system has an effect on the business. There is definitely an educated and calculated reason as to why you wouldn’t do something, so why allow a staff member to do it?
- Listen to suggestions. Great and effective ideas often come from the people undertaking the tasks on a daily basis. Give these ideas careful consideration and reward staff when their ideas generate business, save money or increase productivity. Never forget to acknowledge them whenever they do something to accelerate the business’s growth and success.
- Put the right people and teams together. A good team is more than the sum of its parts. Keep an eye open for signs of tension and disagreement in teams, especially if one team member seems constantly unhappy. This tension should be immediately resolved before escalations happen, as this may lead to the dissolution of trust within the company.
- Cultivate an atmosphere of openness, not fear. If your staff know that they can come to you, they are more likely to broach issues early. This avoids covering up issues and simply hoping for the best. Remember that prevention is better than cure. Let your staff know that it’s better to come to you as soon as a problem arises instead of waiting until it blows up.
- Give your staff chances to develop and progress. Your retention levels will be better if your people feel they are continuously learning and growing in their job. Make sure that your culture nurtures your staff with good prospects of career development.
- Be approachable, but stay professional. Know your place. You are a manager, not a friend. Be clear where the lines are drawn. Create a comfortable atmosphere where your staff don’t find you intimidating, but respectable.
A good staff manager can make or break a business. Constantly review and hone your people skills. Don’t expect miracles from your employees or yourself. They are only human and so are you.