People management is the practice of boosting employee potential and productivity by focusing on key steps in the employee experience, such as recruitment, engagement, and retention
While people management is part of human resources management, it is managers who are often responsible for the people management of their team members, with HR professionals guiding the strategy and providing support.
A thoughtful approach to people management focuses on several processes:
- Compensation and benefits
- Performance management
- Employee engagement
- Work organization
- Well-being and inclusion
Why is people management important
Effective people management techniques keep employees engaged, motivated, and satisfied. These positive qualities are proven drivers of better productivity and higher quality of work.
Understanding the importance of your approach to people management will boost your organization’s morale and productivity.
People management best practices
When designing your people management strategy, from leadership initiatives that shape the work environment to the workflow of individual contributors, you should ensure these best practices are always top of mind.
Create an environment that values empathy
Understanding what employees are experiencing, their needs, and how they communicate them is key to people management.
Successful organizations will practice and encourage empathy as part of their culture.
Environments that promote empathy see more effective communication, higher engagement, and better decision-making.
Keep your leadership skills sharp and honed
Leadership skills are equally important to successful people management. The ability to motivate, guide, and encourage people to do their best work is also deeply connected to your company culture and how you live by it.
Encouraging ownership, accountability, and leadership will help your team members achieve their work and career goals, improving employee performance and empowerment.
Build structured and organized processes
Structured and well-organized processes are essential to the smooth functioning of your organization.
Make sure your processes are standardized, always up to date, and clearly understood. There are countless opportunities for process optimization in organizations of any size.
Doing so will help eliminate micromanaging and uncertainty, freeing resources to focus on your people’s professional development and well-being.
People management skills you should focus on
Your HR department should clearly understand what skillset is necessary for great managers to implement effective people management strategies within your organization.
When looking at the best ways to boost your people management, remember that a good people manager will often have competencies and soft skills that include:
- Effective decision-making
- Conflict resolution
- Active listening
- Project management
- High emotional intelligence
People management and technology
Technology and process optimization are as crucial to people management as the focus on values, culture, and performance.
Unlocking the full potential of people management is made more accessible by dedicating resources and constantly improving how you collect and analyze data and approach automation.
Data collection and analysis
Data will help you validate the people management choices you make, or help spot areas of improvement.
HR analytics and people analytics are invaluable assets you should leverage to help navigate your strategy.
Ensure repetitive tasks are automated and that new processes you design are built with automation in mind.
Automation saves time, frees resources for more strategic work and projects, and ensures your data and workflows are standardized.