So, You Think You Know About People Management?
One of the biggest cogs of any business is the people who work for it. It’s not just manpower or the ability to have work done in an efficient manner, it’s the group of personalities that work together to bring a company to the success it could be. People make a business what it is, and while not everyone gets along at all times, it’s the best of the best in the industry pulling together to make the business what it is. Employees that you spend time searching for, interviewing, hiring and training generally want to be in your business from the get-go. They don’t want to be a part of a company that doesn’t appreciate them and the way you can have a smooth-running workforce is to learn very quickly how each person fits into your company and managing them according to that.
When you manage a large staff, you are the person that has to worry about coordinating their overall work schedule. You are the person who has to manage personalities and competitive behavior and the key to all of this is communication. Talking to the people you have brought on, on a regular basis as individuals means you are considering how they feel. Employees need to feel valued in their roles and for the most part, staff tend not to speak up when they have a grievance at work. This is due to being fearful for their jobs and that feeling stems from not being able to speak freely to the people in charge. You have to be the person they can go to and feel comfortable enough to speak openly without feeling victimized or targeted.
If you have ever been in a role where you feel like you are a target for management, you know exactly how it can be to feel small in the workplace. A management team that listens to the concerns of people who make their company what it is, is a management team that people will look up to and respect. Respect, however, is often earned and not often deserved – so make sure you are treating people as equals regardless of where they fall in the salary chain. Employee retention starts with an effective, balanced management team. Without that, people can spot cracks in the system and will take advantage. However, to avoid this you need to be able to coach, not manage. Lead, not dictate. Listen, not judge. All while you do this, you must still establish a firm hierarchy in the office. Not an easy idea, is it?
There are a lot of factors that management has to consider when helping a large staff to work together. You have to be able to delegate tasks without dictating them. Authority is a key skill that management needs to be effective, and this authority can really help the talents of the staff develop. Developing the people who work for you is a critical part of people management. You’re not just there to oversee the business and enjoy the profits. People management is a key part of the business actually having profits! Constant disruption to the workforce – from people leaving the business to personality clashes among the ranks – will slow things down. A business is about growth and without a happy workforce, a business will stagnate until the right blend of personalities happen.
Speaking of personalities, you need to evaluate your team and the way it works on a regular basis. If you have a team of ten people with different roles and different personalities, you need to have strong communication skills to be able to make every member of that team feel valued and happy to be working in your business. Productivity and motivation comes from a place of inspiration. If you make the time each month to discuss goals and personal ideas one on one with each member of staff, you would find that the personalities from the very top to the very bottom of your business are not that different! Those who are on the bottom rung of a business are just as important to the running of your company as the top earners in your own management team. Without the people at the bottom, there wouldn’t be people at the top and everyone must work as a team!
Gaining loyalty from a workforce is going to take a combination of motivation and reward. No matter what the personality of the staff member, people thrive when they are rewarded for their work. Reward is equal to recognition and that recognition fosters a feeling of contentment, which leads to employees feeling motivated and appreciated. Happy individuals are those who feel looked after in their role. You can read this article about staff loyalty and a way to gain satisfaction from your employees. Open communication, as we mentioned earlier, is a key factor in employee satisfaction and an effective team leader knows how to build the right atmosphere for this communication. An employee needs to feel supported and listened to, and a management team that pays attention is one that people can appreciate.
One of the most important aspects of people management is feedback. Employees feel bolstered and motivated by reward, certainly, but feedback – both positive and negative – is a valuable part of employee development. A good boss will individually give feedback and corrections to employees to help with their career. Individual goals of employees should be praised and not hidden away, as you can then see who you can utilize in other areas of the company. You may not understand how someone is feeling and that then comes back to feedback and communication. Without those things, your people management skills will be poor, staff won’t work together well and people can be left feeling underappreciated, which you simply do not want as a business leader. It’s important that you understand that employees will not leave a bad role, just a bad manager. Even the most menial of jobs is a good job if the boss is someone who treats you well. If you have a high staff turnover, then you should be looking at your people management skills instead of your staff. Are you putting the right personalities together in the team? Are you listening to the feedback you are given in a non-biased way? All of these things will matter to the people that you manage.
People management is not an easy task for a business, and many companies employ human resource departments to deal with it. However, if you hope to be an excellent manager, you need to take an interest in the people that are making your company the profit it needs. You need to be supportive, motivational and neutral all at the same time. No one said it was an easy task, but it is one you need to take training classes on, if necessary, so that you can learn how to manage people in the correct, most balanced way. Your employees are the biggest asset that your company has, and if you can harness the genius in the people that you hire and treat them with respect, you can ensure that you have a workforce that stays loyal to you and doesn’t wish to leave. Lead, motivate, train and encourage the people you have spent time hiring – you won’t regret the effort and time you have put into them, and they will appreciate you as a manager as well as a company.