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Tips to Make You an Effective People Manager – by EOHCB

What is people management?

People management is an increasingly broad topic that covers what it means to develop, organise, problem-solve for, and grow the people-side of the business. These skills range from being able to mediate a personality clash between team members to building an effective human resources system for a business.

We all have our own idea of what effective people management is. We know what it is like to work for an ineffective manager, but we also do not have the specific idea of what a great people manager is. With that in mind, here are some tips, on how to become a better people manager.

1. People management starts with listening

Good management is about preventing fires before you have to kill them, and a lot of the time, this requires gaining information from members of your team and making determinations on possible negative outcomes. Effective people management is also about understanding possible future risks from within the team, such as illness, absenteeism or outright sabotage. It is easier to get a grasp of these matters, if you understand your team.

2. Learn to separate personal problems from organizational problems

Frequently, we will need to help our team understand this, themselves. An argument between Employee A and Employee B on a personal matter should not influence the working environment in any way. It should not, but it can; and if it does, the effective People Manager can mediate this personal matter just as effectively as a professional matter. At the same time, effective people managers understand that a team member’s time is important, and spending their time on personal issues, will not result in meeting company goals.

3. Understand each employee's purpose

Role clashing is one of the primary reasons for arguments and frustration within a team. As an effective people manager, you must know what role each team member plays, as well as their roles and responsibilities in those roles. That way, your delegation of tasks will be more effective, and assembling a small team for a project will hopefully, result in a more productive output. At this same time, it is important to know which staff members might have a destructive effect on the team

4. Balance praise and criticism wisely

Many arguments and debates have attempted to determine whether individuals are more motivated by praise and reward, or by criticism and punishment. Often, we find ourselves leaning towards the positive realm, hoping that the management of our staff members will only be to reward excellence and innovation. However, staff are not always going to conduct themselves in the positive realm of behaviour, sometimes staff will underperform, sometimes they will outright refuse to work, and sometimes they will put great effort into frustrating workplace activities. At these times, it is vital to maintain your managerial tasks of praise and criticism, never prioritizing one of the other for too long.

5. Check in when nothing is wrong

As mentioned earlier, effective management is not about killing fires when they happen, but rather about prevention completely. In light of this, it is best to maintain frequent communication with the team, gaining a better understanding of the team’s working environment and morale. What can be done to make the work easier? More productive? What can we do to alleviate stresses and improve turnover?

Staff will also recognise that management’s role is not only to be involved when matters are at their worst, but also to assist in the betterment of the working environment and experience.

When matters get to a point where a staff member needs counselling, disciplinary action or a change in job description, be sure to contact a EOHCB representative for further assistance in handling matters effectively and in compliance with Legislation.


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