Brush up on your people management skills for 2020

People management skills have always been important, but they are essential for success in 2020. Here are some top tips on how to improve them.

People management is in the World Economic Forum’s top 10 must have skills for 2020. We all know that people don’t leave a company, they leave a boss. That is a lot of pressure if you manage a team; it means you have to establish strong relationships with your reports. Research from Gallup suggests that 70% of an employee’s motivation is rooted in the influence of their manager. So with only 34% of employees actively engaged (an note this is an increase!)  we can safely say there are a lot of people who need to work on their people management skills.

These are the skills that positively influence, not just the relationships a manager has with her team, but all relationships found in the workplace. If a boss lacks people management skills, there is a significant impact on productivity, staff retention, creativity, customer satisfaction and eventually business success.

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Here are 7 ways to hone your people management skills:

1. Build rapport

Don’t be the manager who rarely comes out of her cubicle, spends most of her time outside the office, or is so pre-occupied with calls and emails behind a closed-door, that your staff don’t know you. It’s really important to understand your team. You don’t have to be their friend, but have more than an inkling of what is going on for them professionally and personally. Connect with your team and they will connect with your business. Understand their communication styles and preferences, what they love about their jobs, what they hate and what makes them thrive.

2. Show empathy

The woman who is sometimes 10 minutes late has a sick mother in a care home. The intern who stays way after office hours is studying for an MBA. Try to see things from their point of view. Being empathetic doesn’t mean you have to agree with them it’s just understanding what they are going through. Support your team and protect them from criticism from other sections or divisions. If they know you will advocate for them, they will root for you.

3. Communicate well

We all communicate in different ways. Understand how to get the best out of each and every one of the people who works for you and know what motivates them. Make sure there are no surprises. You should be the one that keeps them up to date with any business developments, not the corridor coffee clique. Educate them about all aspects of their organisation and explain to them how and where they are contributing to its success.

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4. Listen

It’s important they know that everyone’s voice and opinion counts. Run inclusive meetings where everyone’s opinion is heard. Let them know that even if you don’t agree with them, you will listen to them.

5. Trust

Demonstrate that you trust your team by delegating and not micro-managing. Find the balance between giving space and direction. Make sure they have clear objectives and they understand they can come to you if there is a problem.

6. Thank and reward

One of the biggest causes of burnout in men and women is not working long hours, as you might think, but lack of recognition. This isn’t just about your hi-po team members, but anyone who goes the extra yards to get something done on time, or within budget, or who submits high quality work.

7. Offer development opportunities

Long term career development opportunities are on the wish list of all employees, especially those coming through up the ranks. Providing training, coaching and mentoring opportunities is the best way to show them that you believe in them. Sponsor them for promotions, no matter how badly them leaving will hurt your team in the short-term. Stay in touch when they do move on and you will reap dividends later.

Team loyalty is key

The loyalty of your team is a vital ingredient to its success. It’s part of a stand out employer brand and they will become your brand ambassador not once but on multiple occasions. When an employee disengages you may not see a negative impact immediately, but eventually it will come back to bite you in the bum.

It’s always good to test the pulse of your team, whether you do this in a formal survey, a quick Survey Monkey questionnaire or in periodic stay interviews. Make an effort to find out what is going on for them. Understand their concerns, ambitions and what their ideas are for the future of your business. When you have done that, you know that your people management skills are on the right track.

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3Plus welcomes any writers to join 3Plus as a Staff Writer. If you are an expert in Leadership and Competence Building or just want to share your experiences, contact us! We would love to give you a voice!

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