People Management: You Can’t Build a Successful Business Without It
Your employees are a company’s greatest asset. It is essential for a business to realize the value of its workforce and make efforts to retain those valuable people. Your employees’ performance affects your business’s bottom line, to say nothing of other factors like morale, customer service, retention, etc. Finding people with the right attitude to work for you is the most important task in hiring.
The most challenging part of being a manager is handling human relations. As a manager, your role is to lead by example, motivate and inspire other team members by providing encouragement while also training them on ways to be more productive through constructive criticism. It might feel bi-polar for a manager to be both task-master and cheerleader to their team but done right, it can create an overall healthy and successful workforce.
In order to reduce employee turnover rate, employers must seek out those individuals who will contribute more to the company as well as those willing to be a positive influence toward those around them. They should also strive to understand those characteristics through training and observation to use performance reviews as an opportunity for positive growth more effectively.
Hiring, managing, and retaining the right people is essential to any organization. Finding people with the right skills involves analyzing current employees’ strengths and weaknesses to find more like those that are a good fit. Providing ongoing support involves creating a company culture that acknowledges individual differences while promoting collaboration, innovation, motivation, productivity and efficiency.
Accomplishing these tasks requires effective written communication. Having clear job descriptions means conveying expectations for each position. Reviewing performance periodically helps prevent over-rewarding shiny star employees or under-rewarding the quiet wall-flower performers. Rewarding employee performance appropriately can result in greater commitment to meet goals which will ultimately benefit your company.
People Management is a Leader’s Responsibility
People management is a responsibility of every leader, from the top down. Reminding people of their importance to the company or organization can be accomplished in a variety of ways from physical rewards and trophies to a thank you for a job well done each day. It is also important to create an engaged workforce through providing opportunities for creative thinking and decision making while balancing it with necessary procedures, rules and regulations that protect the employees, customers and the business at large. This practice will ensure longevity in any entity by enabling decision-makers to engage in productive conflict resolution while avoiding paralysis due to indecision.
The responsibility of management overall is to oversee the operation of an organization, whether it be a business, a not-for-profit organization, or even a local government. Although management are often thought of as being managers or supervisors, those who have the details of the day-to-day responsibilities that are assigned to them by their manager, they may also be involved in the strategic function within the organization. Management may use power or authority to ensure task completion, reviewing progress reports for accuracy and ensuring conformity to procedures. A manager’s direct reports are most likely workers with less experience or expertise who report through the functional managers directly to the manager at a higher level in order to provide information needed regarding process improvements and service quality.
All’s Well That Starts Well
The first thing managers need to do is make sure they have the right people for the job. Even if a candidate is top-of-the-line as far as qualifications go, if he or she doesn’t fit with your team, it’s best to look elsewhere. You also need to be sure that new employees can deliver results. You need talent that meets the needs of the business. If a person’s skills match what you need from them, then there should be a long-lasting professional future for both parties.
A great manager will evaluate their people and decide on an appropriate course of action so that each employee knows how best they can contribute to the organization’s goals and accomplishments and how to best develop them to their fullest potential. Staff shouldn’t be treated as “resources” but as members with rights, responsibilities and just compensation. Businesses will benefit from having a culture that allows its people to feel as if they are part of a unique family.
Once the decision has been made about who should fill certain roles within the teams, the next step is to ensure everyone is doing what they should be doing through regular assessments and evaluations. And finally, put in place a plan for personal development that will ensure they are using their strengths and talents to their fullest potential.
The first thing that any manager needs to learn when interacting with their team is how to draw out the best in others. Unlocking the potential within each employee can be challenging, even for seasoned business veterans. Addressing each individual’s strengths and weaknesses to help them arrive at the optimal workforce productivity is key in coming up with optimal results.
When an employee’s talents are not used properly, their behaviour can seriously compromise the success of an organization. Some negative behaviours can be attributed to employees who are feeling undervalued or disrespected: procrastinator, martyr, gossip, manipulator, backstabber, narcissist, a deer in the headlights, black hole, stonewaller, curmudgeon, bully, and predator.
People Management and Problematic Behaviours
Let’s look at some ways to foster more useful behaviour and attitude to improve work standards and practices when dealing with employees who develop unhealthy defense mechanisms to hide their dissatisfaction with certain work situations. For example, after a problem behaviour has been identified, address the employee immediately about this issue, break down the unproductive habits which they might not be intentionally aware of and help them understand how such behaviours can be altered or improved upon.
Focus your attention on what could be causing their dissatisfaction and try to understand what got them into their current situation. Although there are bound to be different reasons why this might be the case, one of the most common problems is that employees don’t know how they could succeed at their job better. So, next you want to talk about solutions; coach them on how the success principles work if necessary.
This will make it easier for them to come up with ways that they can start improving their behaviour. Remember, change is a process and you won’t likely see an overnight transformation.
Once you and your employee have identified specific, measurable behaviours that need improving then it’s time for action. Drawing up an improved behaviour contract is a good way to help drive this process of change because it keeps everyone on the same page about what they’re aiming for and how you’re going to get there together. Achieving such a mutually-agreed upon goal requires commitment from both parties; once the contract has been signed there is no choice but to follow through or else lose face with you, their manager and co-workers. Managing employees who lack motivation, however difficult they may be, is all about understanding their weaknesses and bringing them on board with how their behaviour can be changed.
The employee will need plenty of praise and encouragement to maintain any positive changes they have made. They should be given specific goals that can be tracked over time to verify what improvements have been made. If there is no change, schedule a meeting with the employee to review their progress in achieving the goals you gave them.
If all else fails, then you must arrange an exit interview immediately for terminating the employee. You do them no favours by continuing to tolerate their behaviour and risk harm to your business reputation among customers, partners and team members. Remember, one toxic employee can put everyone else at risk of emulating their behavior, so stand firm in your decisions.
People Management: Equip Them Well
When evaluating an organization’s staffing, there are several areas that must be addressed. Management should first provide the staff with all of the tools needed to do their jobs effectively. It is not the responsibility of the employees if they are not provided with equipment necessary to perform adequately.
Second, clarify accountability lines within your organization so that each employee knows what they are responsible for specifically within their role or title. Get to know each employee as an individual and make sure that they are aware of their specific role within the company. Everyone needs to know their personal objectives and goals in order to have a clear focus of where they are trying to go.
Involve employees in making decisions that affect their area of expertise and responsibility. This will ensure that each employee knows the details and feels the connection when it comes down to what goes on within your company and they will also feel a sense of ownership. Finally, make sure employees have fun with coworkers at appropriate times so they can develop the relationships and connection that builds loyalty and trust.
People are a leader’s most valuable resource. Studies have shown that employee empowerment is associated with higher levels of participation, better quality, and increased production capacities. Employees can gain considerable motivation from being empowered to make decisions for themselves without first having to seek permission from management — there are even small changes which can often be enough to show employees that their opinion matters. Rewarding employees for their efforts is the most efficient way to keep them engaged and committed to making improvements within a company’s structure and overarching goals.
Although I’ve intentionally used the word manager and management here, remember that people don’t want to be managed, they want to be lead. Leadership is a people skill and the more you develop your people skills the more successful you will be. Everything rises and falls on leadership — John Maxwell.
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