People Management for New Managers

03/03/2017 | by Mark Vega

You made it! After a slow start, your business is finally growing thanks to your hard work and persistence. Now it’s time to start hiring additional staff to take your business even further. Effective people management takes a deft approach, however. After all, your employees aren’t robots. They each bring unique personalities and skills to the table. As the person in charge, it’s your responsibility to meld your team and their skills together.

You could definitely use some kind of instruction manual to help you manage your team effectively. In this post, we’ll share some time-tested principles for effective people management. Master these skills to bring out the best in your employees. Once you’re mastered the nitty gritty of people management, you can also check out our post on the essentials of effective leadership.

Personal Managerial Skills to Cultivate
  • Openness and approachability

It’s easy when it’s just you making all the decisions and carrying them out. Having a team means you need to be open to input and feedback from others. Cultivate a proactive approach to this need. Actively seek out input from the people on your team and be open to receiving it.

  • Listening

Trust that your employees will make meaningful contributions to your company. Listen to their input and to their concerns with empathy and understanding.

  • Communicate

Effective communication with your team goes hand-in-hand with being a good listener. Your employees will appreciate your willingness to:

  • Communicate clear roles, goals, and priorities, as well as the reasons underlying each.
    • Motivate. Every one in a company faces challenges from time to time. A few motivating words from time to time can help employees know you acknowledge those challenges and trust in their ability to meet them.
    • Put forth clear standards around job performance.
Team Managerial Skills to Cultivate

Leadership and management aren’t just about telling people what to do. In an ideal scenario, the actions you take as a manager will help your team to function effectively without constant input from you. Here are some practices to help bring about that ideal scenario.

  • Organize

Do you feel as if you’re being pulled in a hundred different directions? Are you unsure of which goals you want to pursue, and in what order? If you feel that way, chances are your team does too. Sit down with your employees. Highlight areas where planning and organization can help clarify goals, priorities, and actions to take. If necessary, implement a calendar or project tracking system to keep everyone on the same page.

  • Collaborate

Delegating tasks and projects to others doesn’t mean you’re unwilling to work. When you’re a leader or a manager, delegating means you trust in your team’s ability to do its various jobs. Set clear expectations, but stand back and let your team go to work.

  • Nurture

Before you have the opportunity to manage others, you might worry about handing important projects or tasks over to others. However, once you have the opportunity to observe—and appreciate —what your employees can do, start nurturing the talents of your team. If someone on your team exhibits a useful skill or ability, even one outside their job description, see how they might handle challenging tasks related to that ability.

  • Manage emotions

There will, of course, be team challenges you can’t foresee once you’ve been overseeing a team of employees. What happens, for example, when there’s conflict within your team over the best approach to getting something done? You signed up to manage people, not emotions; however, that doesn’t mean that you can’t play a role in defusing tension within the workplace. If there’s simmering tension between employees or between you and an individual employee, make sure that this tension is addressed openly. Airing and discussing conflicts before they have a chance to fester, and making a plan to resolve them, can go a long way toward keeping the workplace focused on growth, not interpersonal conflict.