9 People Management Skills for Success as a Manager
After a certain period of time in a field, you probably have the experience and technical skills to do the job.
While these skills are extremely important to your professional development, to take the next step and become an excellent manager, you also need to develop an entirely different set of skills.
These additional, but equally important, skills are known as human resource management skills' and must be honed through experience and practice.
People management skills, also known as 'soft skills', are more difficult to define than technical skills. They include skills such as communication, confidence and patience, to name but a few. In other words, these are the skills you need to deal with, communicate with and lead your people as a manager to achieve optimum results.
A manager with these skills can make the difference between a frustrated, confused and underperforming team and a productive, motivated and committed team.
Companies are made up of people of different ages, from different backgrounds and with different ideas about how to work. This means that different groups within your business will be motivated by different things and will work best in particular ways.
To ensure that each team member reaches their maximum potential, managers need to develop a set of people management skills. These skills are needed not only to motivate individual team members, improve productivity and boost morale, but also to provide support and reduce stress in times of change, disruption or uncertainty. As all of this needs to be done in alignment with individual career goals and corporate objectives, the only effective way to do this is to have a wide range of people management skills that can be used for different people and different situations.
Overall, the manager/employee relationship is positively influenced by strong people management skills. By harnessing and developing these skills, you are able to provide your people with the support and motivation they need to perform, develop and take on new challenges.
Below are 9 people management skills you need to succeed as a manager:
As in any relationship, trust is important. And the manager/employee relationship is no different.
It is essential that managers show their employees that they trust them, and this can manifest itself in many ways.
Micromanagement is a source of frustration for many employees. Obviously, with your years of experience, you are able to spot work processes that could be improved for greater efficiency before others see them. But by constantly monitoring your teams, you risk losing sight of the big picture and boring your team members.
Instead, try assigning a task, outlining the expected results, allowing time for questions and letting people know you are there to help if there are further questions.
As a manager, if you show your employees that you trust them, they will take ownership of their own work and only ask you for advice when they need it. Not only will this make processes more efficient for you, but they will also be able to work without interference. This allows your team to grow and feel more confident, which helps your employees develop as people and in their careers.
Good communication skills are essential to being a good manager and can make the difference between confidence and uncertainty in times of change.
Communication skills encompass almost all management tasks; great leaders need to be able to present ideas and visions to inspire others, emphasise the importance of tasks, discuss next steps with staff and get along with those around them.
By honing these skills, your employees will have greater clarity about their tasks and greater transparency of the company. This translates into greater efficiency and can also lead to better staff retention.
Ability to motivate
We all know that not all tasks at work are exciting - everyone has tasks that they look forward to and are motivated by, and others that they dread and put off until the last moment.
It is in these dreaded tasks that people management skills come into play.
When it comes to these less exciting tasks, you need to create a rationale or argument as to why something should be done in a certain way and why it is important - for both the individual's and the company's goals.
To successfully create this rationale, you need to build on your employees' emotions and what matters to them. By identifying the talents, abilities and strengths of individuals, you will find out what makes your team tick.
Then use your findings as a reason for action - for example, if your employee is motivated by career development, you can design a new project as a springboard to achieve this.
Managing a team can sometimes be difficult and you often feel that nothing is going in the right direction.
Although this can be frustrating, it is vital for the manager to be patient.
Although some people are born more patient than others, it is a skill you can develop. When a difficult situation arises or mistakes are made, keep a cool head, control your emotions and act calmly. Try to take a deep breath and take a few seconds before responding.
By keeping your cool, you will not react in a way that could break trust and damage relationships. The ability to respond appropriately and not emotionally will be seen as a major asset by others and your employees will feel comfortable sharing their problems with you.
Ability to give credit
At some point in your working life, it is likely that you have found yourself in a situation where someone higher up than you has taken credit for a task that you have worked hard on and cared about. It's frustrating, isn't it? Not only does it lead to negative feelings, but it also reduces the chances of you making the same effort again.
As a manager, it is essential to know when and how to give credit and praise to the right people. This helps to build motivation and trust between you and your employees.
Make sure you know what your employees are working on, how they are spending their time and track their results. When you are aware of the individual efforts of your teams, you can easily show that you see and appreciate them, and give them appropriate credit.
Recognition of work done can be done through regular one-on-one meetings or through the use of a recognition tool. Using a recognition tool ensures that your recognition and appreciation is visible throughout the organisation and allows you to celebrate people who do a great job on a wider scale.
What would a workplace be like if there were never any problems?
Problem solving is an essential part of a manager's job. Whether it's being able to plan your employees' work schedules or finding out why staff turnover is higher this year, there are always problems to solve.
A good manager strives to identify and overcome the various problems before they become bigger ones, and this requires exceptional attention to detail. By spotting problems before they reach their peak and identifying the root of the problem, you relieve your employees and your superiors.
At the end of the day, when you are the manager, everything depends on you. This means that you are not only responsible for your work, but also for the work of your employees.
Good managers take responsibility when things go wrong and take little credit when things go right. When employees see their managers taking responsibility for their actions, they appreciate it and give it back.
When employees and managers take responsibility for their actions, processes run more smoothly and work is done efficiently. In addition, if employees know that their manager supports them, they will not want to let them down.
Attitudes are contagious and it is up to managers to ensure that it is a positive attitude and not a negative one that spreads through the workplace.
As a manager, you need to ensure that team morale is high. Try to reduce stress and keep things fun at work by organising friendly competitions, for example by offering a bonus for reaching a milestone or by challenging the teams. You can organise and reward these competitions using recognition software to ensure that the whole team is involved.
Your employees want to develop, so you need to give them the feedback that will help them improve. But the only way that feedback will lead to real growth is if it is honest.
This means being honest, in good times and bad.
When you give feedback, try to understand what happened and why it happened the way it did. You can then give honest and helpful feedback without being critical or negative. Not only will you be showing honesty and trust to your employees, but you will also be contributing to their development without damaging their morale.
It is important to remember that if you are honest with your employees, they will return the favor, allowing you to work better as a team.
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