A people manager is a thoughtful person responsible for leading or managing people and ensure that all are happy at work. A good people manager leads through influence and respect rather than control and fear. Being a People Manager is about how you think and act when managing people. The term “People Manager” indicates that the focus is primarily on people in their work environment – and then the tasks or outputs.
What is Managing People?
Managing people is to guide, advise, lead, set standards and provide the resources employees need to do their work. It means that you’re responsible for employees success and their failures.
Managing people is one of the toughest yet most satisfying jobs because there are so many different ways things can go wrong. Your employees can be unmotivated even when you motivate them.
Employees can quit even when you keep them happy. Nonetheless, if you want to build an effective team and company, the only thing you can do is be a good people manager.
How To Be a Good People Manager
Many things go into a good people manager, and it can take some time to master this craft. It requires much effort, but here are the necessary steps to be a good people’s manager:
1. Show Interest in your Employees
You’re smart, you have passion, and you have enthusiasm for your job. But no matter how brilliant you are or how good you feel about your job, you will fail if you treat your employees like robots.
People come to work with their insecurities or doubts in the present and future. They need you to listen and help them to work through their difficulties.
When you don’t provide them with the needed support, they feel like you don’t care, and that makes them not care about you or the company.
2. Create an Ideal Work Environment
Managers who encourage a culture of honest feedback have the highest performing teams. Your people need to understand that they work for the company and not the other way around.
3. Be Transparent
Be transparent with your employees. Your people will discover the extent of your fairness. If the decisions you make are fair, they will trust you more than if they are arbitrary or self-serving. You don’t have to be a perfect manager — be transparent and say as it is.
Always tell them how much work they have to do, how soon it’s due, and if there will be any interruptions. Then they will evaluate the situation themselves and decide the best course of action to take.
4. Be Honest
Be honest and open about what you know and don’t. Make sure that everyone understands what is going on around them. Be transparent about projects, upcoming deadlines, and unexpected events that might affect their work. People want to know what is going on so they can plan their lives and career accordingly.
5. Praise People Successes
Praising people for their successes is one way to get them feel good about themselves. But do it public. Public praise that is specific, personal, casual, and timely has a more powerful effect than private praise.
When you publicize the success of your employees, it reaffirms their self-worth and makes them more willing to take on the next challenge.
Listen to your employees and with respect. Good people managers are great listeners. So, whenever you are having a conversation with someone, listen carefully to what they are saying.
Make sure that you understand their feelings and their point of view. Asking questions is a great way to show you are interested in what the person is saying.
7. Pay Attention
Give full attention when someone is explaining a problem or making a suggestion. Good managers notice and remember details about what people are saying, and they do not interrupt the speaker.
They may even take notes while listening to someone. And always they think about what the speaker is saying so that they can suggest a solution when it’s time to offer feedback.
8. Avoid Micromanaging
Avoid overstepping boundaries with employees. Allow them some independence in their day-to-day work. People work best when they have clear goals and feel challenged.
So, don’t micromanage them. Instead, set clear objectives and goals for your team to aim for. Also, give them the resources they need to succeed. And make sure you hold them accountable but without judgment.
9. Communicate to Connect
A good people manager knows how to connect with all types of people. They tend to have good presentation and communication skills. Even when presenting technical data or facts to non-technical individuals, they do it in a way that makes people understand and maintain their credibility.
10. Give Your Employees a Chance
A good people manager doesn’t just hire anyone who has skills for a particular role. Instead, they seek out individuals with the right qualities that match their company culture or team needs. They usually promote from within as a way of boosting team morale. Promoting from within shows employees that there are opportunities to grow their careers in the organization.
11. Encourage Teamwork
Encourage people to work together as a team instead of against each other. Teamwork is a potent force. It is not an event, accident, it is what happens when people come together with a common goal in mind.
Put the team interests before yours. No matter how effective you are, you will not succeed in the long run if you are selfish and don’t care about team members.
12. Give People a Sense of Ownership
Give people ownership over their work and make them feel like they are working towards something bigger than themselves. Everyone who works for you has two bosses. One is you, and the other is their sense of self-worth.
People can work hard or be lazy. But to get the best out of them is not how hard they work. It is whether they feel their work matters. You can’t expect people to perform well if they lack a sense of ownership.
13. Trust Employees to Make Input
Let employees have a say in the decisions that affect their jobs because you care about them. Always remember that they have opinions, preferences, and feelings about their jobs. When you ask for their input, they will be more excited to work with you.
If an employee has a good idea you can implement, do it. It will make them happy to know they don’t just work for you – they work with you. Also, trust your people to make decisions on their own.
14. Define Employees Roles
Your people need to know what success for them would be. They need specific goals, and they need to understand the contribution they have to make to achieve those goals.
Your employees need to know what you expect and demand from them. They also need to know that you’re going to support them.
15. Trust People
Allow them the freedom to take risks and solve their problems. They will be motivated to achieve more than you ever thought possible.
16. Make People Happy
Make your employees happy. Be a good manager by creating a desirable, friendly atmosphere for them to work in. Empower them to make decisions and solve problems but be supportive rather than critical of their actions.
Also, encourage their initiative, give them the freedom to take responsibility for their actions, and believe in their potential. In return, you’ll get a great team of loyal, motivated, and hardworking employees.
17. Show You Care
Make it easy for your team members to perform at their best. Let your people know that you care about their well-being and show them you have their best interests in mind, and they will offer you their utmost effort.
18. Avoid Being Rude
Rudeness is a sign of weakness. If you do not respect your team, your work will suffer. If you want to achieve success and be proud of your work, treat your employees with respect.
Treat them with dignity no matter how young or how much experience they have. Respect should be the basis of everything you do as a manager.
19. Make Instructions as Questions
When making instructions, it is less effective to give a direct order than to ask a question. The former makes people feel they are being told what to do and you are dictating. The latter makes people feel like they are being helped and want to collaborate.
Unless the orders are for someone incompetent, instructions given as suggestions will be more likely to produce the results and behavior you want.
20. Always Decide
One way to test if you are a good people manager is to ask yourself if you can make difficult decisions without feeling guilty about them.
Making a difficult decision can be hard, especially when people are involved. Without even noticing it, you might start to feel bad about the decisions you make.
When you are making a difficult decision and suddenly find yourself feeling guilty, remind yourself no matter what challenge you are facing, there is always a solution where everyone comes out a winner. People get frustrated when a manager cannot make up their mind, so always decide.
21. Be Approachable
Nothing can make your team feel more comfortable and more relaxed than you being approachable. A people manager should be someone they can go to with any problem or anything on their mind.
It doesn’t matter what it is. If your employees feel that you are accessible and approachable, they will be happy and productive at work.
22. Know Everyone on the Team
Take the time to get to know all members of your team and identify their strengths and weaknesses. A single conversation may reveal a person’s strengths or weaknesses. It is up to you, as a people manager, to cultivate these strengths and help out with their weaknesses.
23. Have Empathy
Being a good people manager comes down to one thing, empathy. An empathetic manager shows that they understand what is going on internally within their employees.
They know when they are frustrated, surprised, and curious. They can even tell when somebody is bored with their work.
24. Be a Role Model
There are things that only you can show your employees in person. If you don’t demonstrate personal examples of the behavior you want to see from them, how can they learn?
You are not there just to tell people to work harder or what to do and then evaluate how well they conform.
You are there to exemplify, show, guide, and encourage so that they learn. So, demonstrate personal examples of the behavior you want to see from them. Be a model for your people—for them to follow and emulate.
25. Help People Grow
If they could, your employees would tell you what they need to learn from you to perform better.
They want to grow from there. They want to be inspired by you. That is why they are there. To develop skills that will help them become more confident, valuable individuals wherever they work.
It’s not enough to manage just tasks. You need to develop your people. One great way to help people grow is to give them more responsibility and opportunity for learning new skills. Coach and then help them get promoted. Develop and enable your people.
26. Nurture Your People
To be a good people manager is like being a good parent. The better you are at nurturing, the more your people will grow and thrive.
Like parents, good managers pay attention to their people, and when they notice something is wrong, and they act without delay.
In other words, they nurture, steer them in the right direction and create a supportive environment that allows their team to grow in confidence and skill.
The better you are at helping them understand who they are and how to flourish, the better they will become. It requires patience, mentorship, and lots of love.
A good people manager recognizes that every person is a unique, complicated, hard-to-understand individual. Each person has reasons for doing the things they do and making the decisions they make.
Be aware of the needs and wants of your employees. Ensure you are set up for success from the beginning by knowing what your expectations are and theirs.
Create clear goals and standards for how they should perform daily, so there is no confusion about what it takes to get results in their position.
What does being a people’s manager means to you? Let us know in the comments below or contact us with any questions on this topic