What is people management?
People management, widely known as human resource management (HRM), involves a wide range of responsibilities from recruitment, ongoing support, task delegation, and the direction of employees within an organisation. It is the top skillset that is needed out of the qualities to be a successful manager.
People Management skills help to develop, organize, problem-solve for, and grow the employee side of the business. These skills range from being able to mediate a personality clash between team members to building an effective performance management strategy for a business.
The management team is there as it is not expected of employees to come up with and enforce company structure. Similarly, the idea behind people management is that it is not expected of employees to manage their own development, processes, and people problems all on their own.
People management is just not about directing the people on a team. It is about bringing out the best in them too. One needs to hone in on some particular leadership skills and traits to master people management. Through good people management, a manager can unlock an employee’s true potential and bring out the best from him by channelling their talents and ambitions.
If a manager does not know how to manage people, it will negatively impact the company’s culture and productivity. People management directly impacts everything from the company ethos to resource management to annual turnover.
Good staff is developed by good management who, in turn, give good results. Thus proper people management is extremely important as it boosts morale, improves careers, increases productivity, and helps to grow the business.
Why is People Management needed?
There are many components that can be included in an organization’s overall business strategy. Along with departments like IT, Sales & Marketing, Distribution, Development, Operations, and Finance, people management strategy must also be a key player.
As the leader of a startup business, one must study and look for answers to a few questions – what is expected from the employees? How will they help to reach the organizational goals? Is everyone meeting the expectations? Is there the right set of people in the right positions to keep the business moving forward? How do the employees make the greatest impact in the organization?
The answers to all the questions would be found in a well-designed people management strategy. For new business start-ups, here are 5 people management strategies to incorporate in the organization’s business strategy:
- Recruitment & Selection: the first step starts with hiring the right person for the job. It is critical to understand what positions are needed in the organization in the coming days. While all needs cannot be predicted and planned, a staffing forecast would help in proper planning for organizational growth.
Once the positions have been outlined, a targeted recruiting plan should be brought into effect. This includes identifying responsibilities, knowledge, skills, core competencies, and cultural fit for the ideal employee. Creative recruiting sources might be used to target an individual including social media as an outlet to find top talent. An interview process that allows the company and the candidate to learn as much about each other is important to ensure it is a good fit.
- Training & Development: Employees are the greatest asset for an organization. Thus continual development of the team is important- for both succession planning or planning for growth. People management strategy should be used to identify high potential leaders and employees identifying training opportunities to enhance their performance. annual compliance training, tuition reimbursement options, and a company reading list should also be incorporated.
It should be determined if the programs would be internal by using consultants & internal subject matter experts or external through seminars or continuing education. A great training and development plan need not have to be exorbitantly costly. A carefully thought out and well -executed plan would contribute to the overall success of the organization without hurting the finances much.
- Performance Management: The measurement of each person’s performance is necessary to make sure that the team is meeting expectations. It also allows feedback, gives the employees opportunities to improve and also addresses performance issues when an employee is not meeting expectations. Some organizations prefer to leave performance management to the annual evaluation. It is recommended that a yearlong performance management process is conducted. This not only rewards high performers and manages problematic performers but also ties compensation increases and bonuses to individual and company performance.
Along with performance management, frequent checks should be done on employees. If someone is not upto the mark and is facing a problem then he should be put on an Individual Development Plan and monitored more frequently. Though an unfortunate part of performance management, if there is a “problem performer” who has been given the opportunity and tools to improve but yet has not met the expected standards, then this person probably is not a good fit for the company. Such employees shouldn’t be allowed to linger too long. It could drain the rest of the team and create problems among other employees.
The difference between performance management and people management as a whole is that it extends beyond considerations of employees’ work and instead focuses more broadly on employees’ well-being. While performance management is about the ongoing process of setting and evaluating employee progress against established goals, people management is about enabling employees to solve problems and engage effectively with other team members.
- Employee Engagement: The best way to feel the pulse of a team constantly is to measure their satisfaction. This might be a tricky endeavor to take on. When conducting an employee satisfaction survey, the questions must be carefully crafted to get insights on the topics that are critical to the organization. Once the survey is done then one should give the employees an anonymous way to provide their feedback so they feel comfortable being honest about their feelings. This may allow them to provide candidate feedback . Thus it is important to properly handle the feedback.
Once the feedback is received, it should be put into a deliverable form so the leadership team can begin synthesizing the data, conducting feedback sessions with their employees, and finally putting together an action plan to address top dissatisfiers. The results along with the action plan should be shared with the team and then the plan should be executed. Year round activities should be incorporated to keep morale high. Celebration of the things that employees love about their jobs and addressing of dissatisfiers should also carry on at regular intervals.
- Rewards & Recognition: Demonstrating the employees’ value and showing appreciation for the contributions that they make to the company can go a long way in boosting morale and having a happy workplace. This is extremely important for many reasons. Studies have shown that happy employees are more productive – they are more engaged and they provide a higher level of service to the customers. A study from the University of Missouri has found that companies that attend to employee satisfaction can improve internal morale, prevent turnover, and enhance customer satisfaction — including repurchase intentions. Similar to training and development, the reward and recognition program does not have to cost a lot of money. A plan is to be chalked out of what is to be celebrated or rewarded and the frequency of the same. A manager may get an allotment gift card in small denominations for on the spot recognition. Acknowledging anniversaries and birthdays can also be incorporated. Fun Fridays, refreshments in the break room, end of year bonuses are also fun employee engagement tools. One should be creative and discover fun and innovative ways to thank the employees for giving their best to the organization.
Tips for successful People Management
An organisation with strong strategic business planning would lead a company to guaranteed success – Investors for business would be easy to get and sales would flourish. One can build people management skills by making small changes in the mindset and the perspective on problems. Here are a few tips that would help a business start-up to successfully incorporate People Management strategies in the business plan. These would help to think about tweaks one can make in his own process to be a more effective and successful manager.
1. People management starts with listening
Good listening is essential to the management role, and it starts before one even sits down to talk to an employee. Keys to listening well include keeping an open mind and not jumping to conclusions before or during conversations.
This means one cannot assume what an employee is thinking, what their problem is, or what the solution to their problem is – a good manager has to let go of such preconceived notions, and he needs to ask them. Even if they think the cause of a problem is obvious, a great manager listens with the intent of understanding as much about the situation as possible.
The root causes of workplace problems often fall into two categories – personal and organizational. Understanding the difference saves a manager from a disproportionate response.
Personal problems, when they occur with one (or a few) employees, can be corrected with people management skills and no significant reorganization. On the other hand, organizational problems are entrenched and cannot be solved by problem-solving one employee’s problem.
Organizational problems arise from inherent problems in the organization of the company. Managers need to use their people management skills here to comprehend the organizational problem behind such problems, while still people-managing to keep employees’ trust and confidence in place.
The purpose is the force that keeps people satisfied at work and what drives them to succeed. Knowing why an employee feels connected to their role and why they are inspired to be an individual contributor to the business helps a manager understand how to help them succeed in a way that also benefits the company.
4. Balance praise and criticism wisely
Employees need a balance of both praise and criticism in order to thrive. Efforts by employees should be rewarded regularly and in a timely fashion. Public praise, private praise, and special tokens are all people management tools that build trust and morale. Criticism, too, should be timely. Rather than simply pointing out errors, good managers should give feedback by helping employees find solutions to work through their weaknesses.
5. Ask employees open-ended question
“Is there anything else?”
When an important conversation ends with such a line, whatever is on top of mind — the biggest challenges — will come out first. This can give employees an opening to ask for help rather than waiting until a big meeting. It also keeps a manager in the loop on employee development.
This tip helps to build trust with the employees and helps to be a better manager. It signals that he cares and wants to know about their problems, even if it’s not explicitly on the agenda. People management relies mainly on interpersonal relationships, and building those out of every meeting is a great way to connect.
Each company has plans unique to its organization and budget. Regardless of what components make up a successful people management strategy for the company, it is going to be critical to the organization’s success that one incorporates a strong people management strategy into the overall business strategy.
Consulting companies like Startup in Thailand are business strategists who build businesses for business owners. You may contact them for all your requirements.
As a Business Startup Specialist and the founder of Startup in Thailand, Andy Aditya is often hired as a Representative Director to assist business owners to execute their vision.
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