Managing people remains one of the most challenging responsibilities yet.
And when you think about it, it is not hard to see why that is so.
Humans are dynamic creatures, each having their unique personalities and characteristics.
Also, people usually have their likes and dislikes, which vary from one person to another.
And this is one of the reasons why it is a huge task for anyone given the responsibility of managing people.
The need for you to manage people might come up at any point in life.
It could be that you belong to a social group or association where you are a leader and manage others.
Additionally, you might also be in a position of management in your workplace or organization.
Whatever the circumstances or place, the pressure and demand of managing people remain the same.
On the surface, the idea of being a manager appeals to everyone.
If you work in an organization where you haven’t attained that position yet, you might nurture the ambitions of being there someday.
And that is fine because everyone wants to be in a position of management and oversight.
However, it takes a lot to manage people effectively.
If you fail in this management role, you might cause more problems than solutions for your team.
Also, when you cannot efficiently manage people, it can cause divisions on the team and frustrate you, the manager.
We would consider some of the demerits of failed management as we proceed in this article.
To begin, here is what managing people entails.
What Does it Mean to Manage People?
We would be defining and explaining people management within the confines of the work environment.
This would help you understand what it means to manage people.
This could then be applied to any other situation that requires you to manage people.
Managing people or people management in the workplace can be defined as the entire process involved in acquiring, training, and retaining employees for an organization.
It comprises of all you do to motivate, organize and direct people on your team.
This goal is to improve their work efficiency, productivity, and growth, both as individuals and as a firm.
People or human management as a part of human resource management is a very broad subject.
It defines the success or failure of any association or business establishment.
Hence, it takes the right skills and application to succeed in this role of managing people effectively.
Whether or not you are in a top leadership position presently, you should learn the art of people management.
This is because, at some point, you would need this skill in your relationship and interaction with people.
Also, training yourself on that now will prepare you for when that responsibility comes up later in the future.
Areas of People Management in the Workplace
Managing people at work covers a wide variety of areas.
It encapsulates the hiring process, onboarding, training, building interpersonal relationships, managing tasks and assignments e.t.c.
Take a look at some of the most important areas where people management covers for a manager at work:
The onboarding process for employees is the step that follows the hiring or recruitment process.
This is done for new employees joining an organization and applies to employees who are being moved to a higher position or a different role.
For such ones, there is a lot to learn and a whole lot of adjustments to make.
Therefore, the onboarding process needs good employee or people management skills to perfect.
The training process is also included in the employee onboarding process.
However, this area of people management stands alone because training sessions are not limited only when a new employee is hired.
A leader or manager would need to be actively invested in regular training for employees for overall success on the team.
This coaching and mentorship process is needed if employees in the workplace are to be productive and having good people management skills is integral to being effective in this area.
Solving Conflicts and Misunderstandings
One thing that is always expected in the workplace is conflict and misunderstanding.
This poses a challenge to building good interpersonal relationships between employees.
As a manager or one in a leadership position, you are responsible for handling or solving these as soon as they arise.
To be effective in doing this, it is essential also to have great people management skills.
Fostering Employees Communication and Collaboration
You would agree that open communication and collaboration are very important on a team and an integral part of good teamwork.
This is another area of managing people that is applicable in the workplace.
Without learning the basic principles in managing people, it would be hard to get a collaborative team due to the team’s diversity.
Hence, this also qualifies as a very important aspect of team management.
Building a Healthy Work Environment and Culture
Whether or not you’re going to have a healthy work culture where the top employees and the best talents want to work or a toxic environment depends to a great extent on your people management skills.
Employees that are properly managed end up contributing to healthy work culture and environment.
On the contrary, when the people management style is faulty, it can negatively impact the culture of the workplace.
Personal Employee Growth and Development
Do you have employees that seem to be stagnated in their personal growth and development for several years?
Perhaps they remain in a particular position in the organization for a very long time.
While sometimes the individual employees might be blamed for their lack of growth, much of the blame also lies on the managers.
Your management or leadership style will go a long way in determining the extent of your employees’ development and how quickly they will go.
Compensation and Benefits
Compensation and benefits are incentives that have proven to be very effective in dictating employees’ engagement and satisfaction.
That makes it another important area of management in the workplace.
Therefore, you’ll have to carefully determine the best compensation for your employees and implement it the right way.
Effective management also involves knowing what benefits to give to your employees and determining when to increase their pay.
The way you go about this reveals your people management skills and expertise.
It also determines the employee retention rate in your organization.
Health and Safety
People management in the workplace is not complete without handling the important matters of health and safety.
These are areas that every aspiring employee wanting to work in an organization considers before making that decision.
Hence, you need to provide enough assurance in these areas to attract the best talents and make them stay.
And of course, it takes the best management skills to cater to this effectively.
The Most Important Skills Needed to Effectively Manage People
Everyone wants to be a manager or a leader.
Whether it is in a small group or association of a committee of friends, a business team, or a work organization with many employees, having the mantle of leadership always feels good.
However, to qualify as a good manager, or in other words, to effectively manage people, takes a lot of effort, and most importantly, skills.
Some of these skills are inherent, and others need to be learned and developed.
Here are some of the most essential skills that are needed for one to manage other people effectively:
Good Communication Skills
It is not surprising that being a good communicator comes as the first skill that a manager or leader needs to develop in effectively managing people.
This is so because communication is the medium through which you pass information and also get feedback.
The way this information is passed across and how feedbacks are also understood can either make or mar relationships.
Additionally, if you are going to get people to key into your ideas and make them productive, it is essential that you effectively communicate with them.
Effective communication would involve making your message clear, concise, and easy to comprehend.
Another skill you need to develop to manage people effectively is being flexible.
Flexibility involves being able to know when to be stern or strict and when to be calm.
Also, when you are flexible, you can have a proper understanding of individual skills and abilities and relate with them accordingly.
A flexible manager is deeply loved by the people he manages, and this is very integral to his success in people management.
At some point, while managing people, you will need to delegate tasks and assignments to them.
This is necessary if they will grow into the best versions of themselves and make tremendous progress in their professional journey.
Without trust, though, it would be difficult or impossible to give such responsibilities.
Therefore, it is essential that a person who manages other people should learn to trust others to be effective in this role.
When it comes to making decisions, a manager must not be indecisive or too soft.
Most often than not, those you manage look up to you to make even the most difficult decisions to push the organization forward or get the team out of difficult situations.
As such, your decision-making skills must be top-notch, as any delay in doing this or signs of indecisiveness can be detrimental to your management’s success.
Another essential skill that one who manages other people need to develop is being a great motivator.
A lack of motivation has been identified as one of the team’s top performance and productivity enemies.
Hence, as a manager, you need to learn how to boost your team’s morale in different ways aside from just giving them monetary rewards.
When you learn the art of motivating others, you are closer to being a successful manager.
Patience is essential for many reasons in human management.
One area where patience comes in very handy is in the onboarding and training of employees.
It is common knowledge that people have varying abilities and levels of comprehension.
Hence, you cannot expect the people you manage to progress or develop at the same speed and level.
Therefore, developing patience as a skill would help you effectively train and guide employees towards growth and development.
Another area where patience is needed is in dealing with the peculiarities of the people you manage.
Some on your team would be outrightly disrespectful, egoistic, or difficult to manage.
In such situations, a manager needs the patience to handle such without the situation worsening.
The best managers are very empathetic. Showing empathy encompasses having an understanding of other people’s feelings, conditions, and situations at a particular time.
When you are empathetic, you are kind and understanding in the way you deal with people.
This draws people closer to you and helps you succeed as a good manager.
Managing people effectively requires more than technical skills from a manager.
Interpersonal skills are also very important and integral to effective management.
Having good interpersonal skills will help you relate well, avoid unnecessary conflicts and treat everyone with respect.
All this makes managing people easy and efficient.
Strategic thinking is needed to be an effective manager because it helps in problem resolution, decision making, and innovation.
As a person tasked with managing other people, you can’t afford to think like others or be inept when it comes to being innovative.
Hence, you need to work on being a strategic thinker who can utilize the strengths of your team members to great effect.
How to Manage People – What You Must and Mustn’t Do
Are you presently in a management position in your organization and want to know the best method of managing people?
Or could it be that you are an employee who wants to be prepared for when a role that involves managing people comes up?
Whichever the case, you would need the measures we are going to outline under this section on how to manage people.
Managing people is a skill that everyone needs to learn, whether as a family head, a business leader, an employer, or even an employee.
In addition to developing the skills we outlined above, here are some dos and don’ts when managing people:
Identify Individual Strengths and Weaknesses
This is one of the first things you need to do to manage people effectively.
You must get to know your team, not just as a group but as individuals.
Invest time into knowing the strengths and areas of weaknesses for the individuals you want to manage.
People are diverse and have differing personalities, so the way to deal with them or handle them should differ.
When you understand the areas of strengths and weaknesses for your team members, you can then devise the best management style that suits them.
While managing all together as a group, you also pay attention to individual differences, which increases your chances of success in this role.
Be Clear with Goals and Expectations
One of the reasons some fail in managing people is having unclear goals and expectations.
This plays out many times in the workplace, where you have employees not meeting up with the expectations of their manager(s).
The real problem might not be them not committed to doing what is required, but they do not know the goals and expectations.
In such situations, your work as a manager would be more difficult, as there is always something to correct.
Therefore, to effectively manage people, it is very important that you make your expectations of them clear from the word ‘go.’
That means letting them know their roles on the team and what is expected of them.
Once this is clearly defined, it makes your job as a manager much easier.
How to Manage People -Show Respect
While you rightly expect and properly demand respect as a team leader or manager, learn to respect others.
It doesn’t how long the individual has been on your team or their role or position.
Everyone deserves respect, and no adult would appreciate being looked down on or treated with disregard or disrespect.
When you show respect to those you are expected to manage, they naturally develop respect for you in return.
And when this mutual respect is there, it is easier to give instructions and directives, and they readily follow such.
In short, building mutual respect on a team is integral to effective management.
Do not Micromanage People
Micromanaging people does not qualify as effective management of people or employees.
You micromanage when you do not give people the opportunity to express themselves and make certain decisions on their own.
Instead, you want to control every part of the tasks assigned to them, regardless of how small it is.
When you micromanage people, you are giving them the notion that you do not trust them enough or have confidence in them.
This would frustrate those involved especially when they have proven their capability several times.
Even more, these might start to self-sabotage or sabotage your efforts, making it difficult for you to succeed in management.
Give Reward for Good Performance
Another area of managing people effectively is giving recognition and reward to high-performing employees.
What rewards do is to incentivize and motivate people.
Managers who reward people are always desirable to their subordinates and are more likely to win their respect and loyalty.
How to Manage People – Practice Regular Communication
Effective communication is essential in keeping people motivated, engaged and happy on a team.
As a manager, you shouldn’t wait for those you manage to start conversations with you but take the first step.
Additionally, provide different systems for communication, both online and offline, to ensure constant communication is maintained in the workplace.
When you are always providing feedback for the people you manage and also available to listen to them, it can help you understand them better and manage them effectively.
Don’t Be Partial
It is practically impossible to manage a group of people and have equal levels of attachment to every one of them.
For some reason, you might be drawn to certain individuals than you are to others.
However, as a good manager, you should not let this cloud your judgment.
You should also not be partial in your dealings with the team.
Partiality is very easy to identify within a team of employees, and when you have this trait while managing people, you will get a lot of dislike from those you’re leading.
Hence, it is good to treat everyone equally when you are tasked with managing people.
Avoid Looking For Mistakes
It is essential for management to be always present and available in the workplace.
However, being present doesn’t mean that you breathe down employees’ necks or constantly looking for mistakes and errors.
When you are always looking for mistakes, chances are you will always find them.
And as such, you might overblown errors from your team members that are not really that serious.
Also, when you are fond of looking for loopholes either in the attitude or work of others, it pushes people away from you.
Overall, you would fail in keeping them together and managing them well.
Be Quick to Resolve Conflicts
Conflict resolution is a skill that every manager or team leader needs to learn.
Due to your team members’ different backgrounds and personality traits, there will be misunderstandings and disagreements.
These sometimes affect interpersonal relationships in the workplace.
It is your responsibility always to be alert to notice when such conflicts come up and take the step to resolve them instantly.
Give Needed Training
Another essential part of managing people in the workplace is providing frequent training sessions.
They might need such training when you give them new roles or responsibilities, or just to sharpen their skills.
When you train people, you show them that you want the best for them by ensuring their personal and professional development.
This makes them hold you in high reward, and that’s a strong place to be when you are managing people.
Avoid Comparisons and Unhealthy Competition
We’ve seen this play out many times in the family circle, where some parents make it a habit to compare their children.
This eventually causes disunity among them and breeds unhealthy competition.
It can also happen in the workplace.
When you are fond of comparing your team members, it can create discord and make them get into unhealthy competition.
Therefore, another thing to avoid when managing people is always to compare one person to the other.
Instead, learn to appreciate individuals on their strengths and contributions and help them work on their weaknesses.
Final Words on How to Manage People
Would you describe yourself as someone who has what it takes to manage people effectively?
Well, if yes, that shows you are on the right track.
However, note that managing people is a skill that we cannot stop learning.
Therefore, you would undoubtedly find the points discussed in this blog post very beneficial.
Overall, don’t hesitate to put all these tips into practice to succeed in managing people effectively.