It is important you acknowledge that people management is different from your core technical skills. Also, understand that people management skills is essential to your own career growth. If you’re not good at it already, then work at getting better. Not only will you be a better executive, you’ll also be a better person. But did you think just how to manage people? Here are few management techniques.
Realize that the role of the manager is just that
It sets you apart and requires you to make decisions and take responsibility. Being a great boss doesn’t mean being your subordinates’ friend. It means providing them the right direction and doing everything you can to make sure your subordinates do their jobs. Good management skills, human resource management skills and quality management skills will also help in making you a good manager.
Find the right distance to manage from
Micro managers are too close. This lowers trust, dis-empowers subordinates and destroys their motivation. Absentee managers are too far away. They provide insufficient guidance, don’t keep track of the work that is getting done and aren’t there to listen and provide answers to questions that come up. Ideally, the distance has to be optimal. Managers should be able to provide direction and guidance. It is important that they let their subordinates know that they are keeping track from their vantage point. It’s also part of their job to check in with them periodically.
Make the subordinate’s careers a priority
The better they do, the better you look. If you are labeled as an incubator of talent, it makes you more valuable to your company. Ask your subordinates what their career goals are and tell them you’ll do everything you can to promote them, whether in your department or elsewhere. Then, take action by putting them on individual projects that will help them grow (see Ten tips for managing projects well). You’ll have allies for life and you would have done the right thing both for your subordinates and your company.
Acknowledge, acknowledge, acknowledge
People value acknowledgement of their good work more than they value money (though it should never be a substitute). Make acknowledgement a routine element during your communication with subordinates. Without acknowledgement, they will not know what they have done right. This means your feedback is incomplete and misleadingly negative. Be accurate while acknowledging. Frequent acknowledgement also makes discussions easier when problems occur.
First coach, then counsel, finally discipline
Coaching is the proactive encouragement of mutually agreed-upon, positive outcomes. Counseling is close attention to a problem identified by you, with specific requests for change. Do it if it becomes necessary. Discipline is punishment as an incentive for change. Since you have previously requested and not seen any difference, it becomes necessary. It can also lead to firing an employee. This is a good-faith approach that gives you something to refer to at every stage. It also means that no disciplinary action (at the review stage or otherwise) will come as a surprise. Remember though, the latter is a definite no-no and a sign of managerial failure.
Document your work
Managers are accountable for their actions with respect to their subordinates. It’s important that you be able to show what you did and when you did it. In good times, this will help demonstrate how well you did your job. During bad times, it will protect you and/ or your company.
Work by agreement
You can’t expect your subordinates to be on board with every goal, but you can and should expect them to abide by company decisions. Make agreements with those who work for you. You can refer to those agreements if subordinates don’t come through. However, this is less likely to happen as they would comply once they have said so earlier.
Translate, don’t channel
Passing on everything you get from above, without alteration, isn’t helpful. Re-frame so that subordinates are well-informed and yet remain optimistic. They will be able to see what downward- flowing decisions will mean to their work.
Be consistent and constructive in your communication. Emotional objectivity will give you a solid foundation and make you appear reliable to others – a key factor in your work relationships. Being objective also means not playing favorites; this requires emotional discipline on your part but is important for group morale. Finally, being objective means observing yourself as well as others – another way of playing fair.
Managing people is not the sole responsibility of human resources alone. As an entrepreneur, you must have the inclination to people management. Cultivate the necessary management techniques to keep track of your employees and also of the overall organizational growth.