Managing people is at the core of every workplace. Someone has to assign and manage tasks, monitor company workflows and in general: keep things running smoothly. Otherwise, a company could be heading towards pure chaos and disorganization. That “someone” doing all the work is usually a list of leaders and managers.
Today, our focus is on how leaders and managers can become better at people management. Is it easy? Do you have what it takes? Read on to find out.
What is people management?
People management is the process of guiding and nurturing the employees’ development, as well as maximizing their potential. A lot of the time, it also involves motivating them to achieve organizational goals.
However, effective people management is not just about managing your employees’ time at work, but also about making sure that they are happy and feel appreciated by the company.
- Developing and implementing strategies to improve employee performance,
- Providing training, coaching, and development opportunities for employees,
- Assessing the needs of employees,
- Managing conflicts among members of the team with enough objectivism and fairness.
If you’re interested in finding out what skills you have to master to become successful at people management, keep reading.
9 Top People Management Skills to Master in 2022
Not everyone is born to manage people effectively. However, with these 10 skills that we prepared, you’ll become a pro in no time!
First of all, managers should equip themselves with a lot of trust in their subordinates.
No one likes people who are excessively controlling and check up on employees every 5 minutes. Such micromanagement behavior creates the perfect environment for stress in the workplace.
Control is often good and necessary. However, as a manager, you should pay attention to how you monitor the people you manage without crossing their boundaries. Let them create their own workflows – the more independent they are, the better the results of their work could be.
If you show employees that you don’t trust them, your relationships with them may quickly suffer. Trust can be extremely difficult to build, yet very easy to lose. Try to build it towards yourself and your employees by:
- caring about relationships with employees,
- being transparent and open,
- being honest,
- showing care.
It’s not a lot of effort, yet it can have a huge impact on your relationships with employees, making your people management skills better.
Did you know that poor communication is responsible for up to 70% of corporate errors? Thus, its importance simply cannot be overstated. It’s the basis of all relationships and the foundation for any successful team. It is also a key skill to master if you want to be a good people manager.
Communication skills can be both verbal and non-verbal. There are, however, some basic principles that can help you develop your own style and make your messages with the people you manage more effective:
- Be clear about what you want to say,
- Keep your messages short, simple, and specific,
- Listen actively and pay attention to body language,
- Always be polite; no matter whether it’s in writing or in person: use proper greetings and show respect,
- Be mindful of different communication styles,
- Give feedback when necessary, both positive and negative,
- Use constructive arguments.
By following these guidelines, your communication with other people will get better instantly, so apply them to your work ethics today.
Effective people management is not just about trust or proper communication. It’s also about holding people accountable for their actions, as well as being accountable for your own.
If you are the leader of a company, it’s your responsibility to make sure that your employees are performing well. If they aren’t, it is you who needs to provide an explanation as to why. This means that you need to be able to manage these situations in a way that is fair and transparent for everyone involved.
Holding people accountable for their actions can be a hard nut to crack as a leader, especially in situations when personal beliefs and emotions come into play.
There are, however, a few ways you could use to make your employees feel more responsible for their actions, such as:
- setting clear, SMART objectives,
- providing the necessary resources to complete tasks,
- giving rich feedback often,
- keeping track of progress regularly.
On the other hand, as a leader, you should also know how to admit to your own mistakes and own up to your own actions. This helps you build respect and a good reputation among your subordinates, as owning up to faults is a difficult skill to master and takes a lot of courage.
Remember that you’re also supposed to be a role model – if you can’t admit that something went wrong, why would others?
Moving on, managing groups of people, all with different work ethics and attitudes, can sometimes be challenging.
You probably have quite a lot of inquiries every day. Different questions, various cases waiting to be solved, employees waiting to hear back from you. It can all be a lot to handle at times.
Because of this, good managers responsible for people management need to have a great deal of patience. These types of positions are not for people who get annoyed and frustrated easily or don’t necessarily have the skills to deal with people on a daily basis.
How can you know if you’re a patient person? See our suggested criteria below:
- You know how to see through the eyes of others,
- You always have a positive attitude,
- You know how to remain unbiased and calm,
- You don’t get annoyed and frustrated easily,
- You know how to control your emotions and you don’t let them affect your actions.
If your impatience is visible through your work, employees will quickly pick up on this fact and try to alienate themselves from you.
Another key skill that distinguishes good from terrible leaders is the ability to solve problems.
Sooner or later, issues will occur in any workplace at some point. They could be the result of poor communication, contradictory beliefs, or a lack of attention. No matter what the cause is or at what point these issues appear, what matters is how you go about solving them within the workplace that you manage.
Where there are conflicts, a solution must be found. Otherwise, one issue will create another, and so on. How can you prevent this? By improving your problem-solving skills, naturally. Here’s how to do it:
- Analyze situations carefully and with enough attention to detail,
- Be creative when thinking about solutions,
- Always evaluate various options and their possible consequences,
- Prevent issues from happening by monitoring progress and giving feedback,
- Always put yourself in the shoes of others.
As a leader, you must have an open mind and know how to eliminate issues as soon as they appear. You should also know how to do it fairly. Remember about this.
Busy managers and business leaders have a lot on their plates. More often than not, they are responsible for bridging the gap between customers and employees.
For this reason, they’re faced with many tasks every day, both customer and employee-related.
How to manage all of this? Well, you need to be good at prioritizing your tasks. There’s nothing worse than not knowing how to organize your workflows to manage deadlines and complete tasks in a timely manner.
If you’re good at organizing your day effectively, you probably have nothing to worry about. However, if your email inbox is always full, people wait for ages for your reply and you’ve got plenty of unresolved cases, you should probably work on your people management skills by:
- using project management tools such as Asana (or other similar tools to Wrike, etc.),
- sticking to the rules of popular frameworks, like MoSCoW,
- categorizing your tasks into urgent, important and “can wait” types of tasks,
- creating to-do lists and following them,
- planning your days in advance.
These easy steps will let you become much better at prioritization. What’s more, your employees will love you for it!
Delegation is another crucial skill that managers and leaders should possess. If you have a group of employees that you manage, you most certainly know who’s good at what and what each of them is capable of doing individually. Or, at least you should know these things.
One popular statistic reports that only 30% of managers believe they can delegate tasks well. Out of this 30%, only a third of all managers are considered good delegators, which doesn’t sound all that great.
It is your role as a manager to know who will do one task faster than the other, who will provide better results and so on.
Effective task delegation is a key element when it comes to a business’s health. If you’re an observant, perceptive person – you’ll most likely find no issues with mastering the delegating skill. If not, it might be worth working on it or investing in intelligent tools that could do this for you.
Are you curious to know how you can improve your effective delegation skills? Here are our tips:
- know your employees and their strengths, as well as weaknesses,
- know your desired goals and evaluate your employees’ skills,
- deliver and ask for feedback after giving tasks,
- use task delegation tools like Asana,
- teach your team members new skills.
Following these few steps will significantly improve your delegation skills in no time.
In the workplace, objectivity is crucial not only for maintaining employee loyalty, but also preventing ethical conflicts of all sorts. Effective people management means putting personal thoughts aside and avoiding emotional factors that could influence decisions.
Although complete objectivity may be difficult when dealing with people, managers should strive to make decisions based on clear and accurate information, instead of their own beliefs.
In terms of managing people, it means that you need to be able to make decisions without letting factors like opinions or beliefs get in the way. You need to be able to see things from various, objective perspectives, outside of your own way of thinking.
This will help you be less biased in your interactions with employees, which will further positively impact the way they perceive you as a leader.
#9 Motivation and Positivity
Together with all the personality traits we have just presented, good managers are also perfect motivators. Actually, did you know that employees work up to 20% better when they are properly motivated?
The people you manage most likely look up to you: they listen to what you say and apply your words to their work, which further has an impact on their performance and the overall business. Now, there might be worse and better times at your company. As a leader, you must know how to keep your subordinates motivated at all times, as well as be motivated yourself to fulfill your duties every day.
Without it, the whole company could suffer. Thus, try to be as motivating as possible by:
- Keeping in mind that everyone is motivated differently,
- Providing challenges and variety in the workplace to avoid falling into a routine,
- Working with people to set SMART goals,
- Using motivational language,
- Setting up an incentive program.
But that’s not everything. Don’t forget that if you want to work with people, you should be a positive person that others want to be around!
Positivity is a great personality trait to have. This is because your attitude towards people can have a huge impact on their performance. Think about it this way: would you want to work with someone who is grumpy, complains all the time and can only see the negatives? Exactly.
Positive energy can really help your company, so if you’re yet to figure out how to look at positives rather than negatives, do it sooner rather than later. Your workplace and employees will thank you for it!
How can you improve your people management skills now?
As you can see, there’s quite a lot on a manager’s plate. Prioritization, delegation, proper communication, and more. The presented set of skills is rich in personality traits that not everyone has. Luckily for you, there are tools out there that can help you improve your weak spots in terms of managing people effectively.
We’re talking about human resource management systems which are designed to make leaders’ and managers’ jobs easier.
With fast deployment, a friendly interface, and 10/10 customer support, Sloneek is an example of such a system that can help you achieve your personnel management goals.
But why choose this software specifically? Because of features like:
- employee files,
- organizational structure lists,
- attendance records,
- absence approvals,
- signing documents,
- assets management.
Sloneek is perfect for all businesses: startups, e-shops and IT development companies, educational and non-profit institutions, and many more. What’s more, it’s most loved by HR managers, key decision-makers, and team leaders, as it has all the important features they’re after!
Managers like you can enjoy a nice space for employee development and standardized HR processes – all stored in one, secure place. Thanks to Sloneek, you will be able to improve many of the skills we just talked about. Are you down to upgrade your people management skills in a fast and easy way?
Become a professional at managing the people in your workplace today
While the list of our 9 traits characterizing good leaders might seem demanding, it actually isn’t that scary. And that’s because there are tools out there that can help you with building some of these skills, such as your prioritization, delegation and communication abilities. If you want to find out how it works, check Sloneek out and try it for free today or sign up for a demo so we can walk you through the best features ourselves!