6 People Management Skills that Every Superstar Manager has

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An employee's relationship with his or her manager and management team sets the tone for success within the company. A Gallup study shows that a staggering 70% of an employee's motivation is influenced by their manager. So how can managers improve?

It all comes down to a manager's people management skills. These are the skills that positively influence the relationship between manager and employee. A manager with poor people management skills can be insidious to a company. The best people leave the company after a short time, customers are not satisfied and problems are not solved. And this is only the beginning. Unengaged and unproductive workers cost companies millions of dollars every year. Eventually, these workers simply walk away from the business and the cycle continues.

Here are the top six people management skills every top manager needs to successfully foster a loyal team:

Connection

As a manager or leader, your presence at work must be felt. Don't hide in your office and talk to people only when you want something done. Get out and connect with your staff. Get to know them. Go to staff events and participate in them. It's as simple as that.

We have all worked in offices where the management team is rarely seen or heard from outside of company meetings. To the employee, they can seem cold or disconnected from day-to-day operations. There is a reason why it is said that employees leave managers, not companies. It is the managers that the top performers have no problem leaving because there is no connection between them and the company. Create a strong bond with your staff and you will have a definite impact on employee retention.

Empathy

Empathise with employees who are facing difficult professional or personal problems. Try to see things from their perspective. Letting a team member leave a few hours early to pick up a loved one from the hospital, for example, goes a long way towards building empathy. Stand up for your team and defend them when things get tough. Showing that you care about them and will work to improve their situation goes a long way to strengthening relationships.

Two-way communication

Your employees want to know about the company as much as you do, so keep them informed. Don't let them learn about big changes at the general company meeting or at the water cooler. This raises transparency issues within the company that you don't want to have.

It is important to create an environment where everyone's opinion is heard. Even if you want to, don't set up a suggestion box or install a feedback app on Slack and leave it at that. These methods are impersonal and give you the option to ignore feedback.

Empowerment

Empowerment is about giving your employees the tools they need to succeed and then getting out of their way. Micromanagement is the kryptonite of top performers. Great managers give their employees the space they need to achieve their goals on their own. The right amount of guidance is essential here. It should be enough to provide guidance, but not too much to create barriers in the process.

Reward and recognition

It goes without saying that employees like to be rewarded and recognised for their success. Always reward your staff for their work. This does not only apply to the top performers; make it a point to recognise those who improve and do their best.

Opportunity and professional development

A willingness to provide opportunities for professional development and growth is a factor in attracting top performers. This means knowing your staff, their strengths and weaknesses, and recommending ways for them to continually improve. Whether it's an online course, funding for books or part-time courses, employees should always have access to a variety of opportunities for self-development.

Employee loyalty is one of a company's most valuable assets. Loyal employees are your best brand ambassadors, and they are often willing to go the extra mile. But don't forget that loyalty is a two-way street.

Once an employee has lost interest in your company, they will not go the extra mile, take action to solve problems, and end up treating your customers the same way they were treated.

A poor relationship between management and employees hurts everyone. Take the time to re-evaluate your relationship with your employees and focus your people management skills on building relationships. A strong relationship with your team members has been proven to not only increase productivity, but is also a powerful motivator.

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