In a nutshell good people management is about achieving success in a way that benefits both the organisation and it’s employees.
Good people management gives the organisation has the advantage of an engaged, productive and energised workforce and the employee enjoys a satisfying, rewarding and positive work life. The real benefit though, lies in the fact that the outcome is greater than the sum of it’s parts. In other words, investing and committing to excellence in people management adds value in a complex and challenging world.
So what does that mean for you, the manager?
If you’re in position of responsibility, in all likelihood you have people who, either report to you, or whose work you influence and rely on to meet your goals. To be successful then, not only must you have the appropriate people management knowledge and skills, you must have a leadership style that nurtures a positive and productive work environment.
Regardless of whether you work in a large or small organisation, whether it’s a bank, a hospital, a shop, a school, an office or a factory, the core functions of management are the same, and within these there are specific elements that contribute to managing people well. Planning, leading, organising and controlling (PLOC).
“The fundamental task of management is to make people capable of joint performance through common goals, common values, the right structure, and the training and development they need to perform and to respond to change”
Most managers develop plans that map out the resources, activities, steps and timelines they need to reach their targets. However, the most successful recognise and understand that those targets are best achieved when the people involved have a clear understanding of what’s to be accomplished and are supported and motivated to succeed. The consequence then, is that in all your plans, you should include the people management considerations as a priority.
A central function of management is to lead employees to achieve goals and drive the organisation’s success. Good people managers lead by setting the direction and bringing staff together with a sense of common purpose and commitment. There are three important people management activities within leading; communicating, motivating and guiding. Visibly committing to and investing in doing these in an informed and professional way has a profound and valuable impact on performance, and ultimately the organisation’s ability to thrive and flourish.
At a strategic level this is about having the right organisational structure, with the right people and the proper flow of resources and information. For many managers the overall structure is already in place and their focus is on their own work unit. From a people management perspective there are important decisions about roles and responsibilities, individual job design, reporting relationships and the allocation of resources. These decisions are opportunities to influence a culture or climate that fosters a positive and productive environment.
A well designed and properly implemented performance management system allows managers to align individual employee goals directly with the achievement of the organisation’s objectives. The most successful systems are a collaborative process between the manager and an individual staff member. They agree targets and the details about how they will be achieved. There are other strands of controlling that relate to people management, for example, managing staffing levels, succession planning and compensation and reward. However, having a well designed performance management system brings an organisation wide and consistent focus on the right goals to achieve success.
By investing in, and committing to, excellence in people management you build and strengthen your capacity to succeed.