There are ways to help prepare new managers for their new role, such as people management courses, that can provide the knowledge and resources they need to be successful. It does help, however, to have some important core skills ready to use from the start.
What Is A People Manager?
A people manager is someone who leads or manages employees in a team or department. They can also be responsible for hiring and ensuring the employer responsibilities are met throughout the time someone works for an organisation. That means, depending on the specific role, there are a lot of moving parts to keep track of and manage.
There are different levels of people management, from being responsible for a small team to a group of teams that need to be coordinated and rely on each other to complete their respective work. This can add a new level of complexity to a managerial role, and finding the right people to add to those teams can be tricky.
The Challenges Of Managing People At Work
Managing people at work means there’s more to do than just the work or tasks that need to be completed. While you might have worked closely with colleagues as a member of the team, a people manager becomes responsible for their performance. That means managing their workload, resolving conflicts, implementing processes and finding the balance between company and employee expectations and needs.
People come from different backgrounds, their views will vary, and their opinions can clash. It is your responsibility to ensure everyone works together as efficiently as possible to get the results your managers expect from you and your team.
5 Core People Management Skills You Need
There are a huge range of people management skills anyone in a leadership position needs to be successful. Some of these skills will have been developed and improved before entering a management role, but the challenges of using these skills in a new role should not be underestimated. The dynamics will change, as will relationships, which is why having a core foundation of people manager skills is important.
We’ve identified 5 of the most important people management skills that any people manager needs to have so they can create a harmonious team, produce the best results, and help every member of their team thrive.
1) Good Communication
When managing people at work, good communication skills are essential. Being able to talk to staff and colleagues respectfully, provide clear instructions, and offer support when needed is part of creating a high-performing team.
A good people manager will understand how their staff prefer to communicate, putting them at ease and making a better working environment for everyone. Instructions will be clear and easy to understand, eliminating any doubt or confusion and increasing productivity.
Strong communication skills are essential for any people manager, and you can find out more about the importance of effective communication and why it matters to your business on our blog.
2) Problem Solving
Problem solving is a core skill for many employees, but it’s an essential part of the people management skills needed to lead a team or department. While coming up with alternative solutions or methods for a task can be helpful, it is the manager’s responsibility to make sure they are inline with company processes and requirements.
The cost of the alternative solution, taking into account money, energy, and time, will also need to be considered, and the output compared to what has been done before. It could be a resource problem that needs a new way of thinking, or something else entirely. Having a people manager that can handle these situations will make life easier for everyone.
3) Conflict Resolution
In a perfect world, everyone in the team you manage would work well together and no disagreements or arguments would arise, but conflict resolution is a skill every people manager should have in their arsenal should a situation come up that requires intervention.
Professional disagreements can appear when there’s a difference of opinion on how to proceed with a task or project, and it is easy for this to spill over into other areas or to include other employees. This can create a negative working environment, which then affects the atmosphere of the company and lowers productivity.
While not the most glamorous part of the job, managing people at work also involves keeping everyone on the best terms possible. Read more about some of the conflict resolution strategies you can use.
4) Planning And Organisation
As a team member, organising your own workload is something that can make your task list easier to manage and job more enjoyable. As a people manager, you still have to do this but you will also be overseeing employees and their workloads. Good planning and organisational skills make this much easier for you and the people in your team.
You can help staff make sure they don’t feel overwhelmed with their workload and share the tools and tips you use to stay organised, which will help them perform better. You can also look at the bigger picture and make sure processes, deadlines and projects are aligned for the best results.
5) The Ability To Motivate Others
Even the people who love their jobs can suffer from a lack of motivation at times. The sign of a great people manager is someone who can inspire and motivate their team when the need arises.
This can be done by understanding what has caused the lack of motivation in the first place, even if it’s not work related, and finding solutions for it - even temporarily. The key is to not undermine people or their feelings but look for practical solutions on a short and long term basis. This is an underestimated but crucial part of people management skills.
How Can People Management Courses Help?
People management courses can cover a range of topics, like the skills required to be successful in the role, or focusing on specific aspects of managing people at work. However, a people manager has more to consider in their role, such as hiring best practices, employer responsibilities in the workplace (and at home), inductions, performance reviews, and more. Without the right training and resources to handle all this, new managers can struggle to keep on top of everything.
With so much to keep track of and learn, a training course like our HR Essentials for People Managers will help those leading teams and departments keep on top of the many responsibilities they have. People management courses are an opportunity to make sure the essentials of the role are being carried out correctly, and it starts with providing the right knowledge and resources, and online training is an accessible way to do this.
Learn More About People Management Skills
People management skills are the test of whether anyone in a managerial role will succeed. From the core skills needed to the knowledge that supports the work and processes completed, this is a step up in responsibility for anyone from their previous role. Whether it’s through people management courses or dedicated support from another people manager, there are plenty of ways to ensure this transition is a success.
For more information on how we can help with information on people management skills, the courses available, and the support available for people managers in any business, contact our team now.