The team should not have irreplaceable people
This is not just about you, it’s about everyone. Sure, maybe someone is better at certain tasks, so there is a temptation to give these tasks to him. But this is a dangerous path. Anything can happen to people. For example, once my main system administrator was hit by a car. We had instructions and access, but suddenly we didn’t have a person who could properly do the work. It took our smartest guys half a year to understand what to do and how it needs to be done.
Therefore, try to rotate tasks. Yes, one may be slower and worse at this task than the other, but now one more employee will understand how to complete that task and can try something new — a double benefit.
In the same way, find a person who could perform your function too: Entrust them with part of your tasks and teach them. Your replacement must always be ready. It has saved me many times.
14 tips for managing people at work
Whether you are in a leadership position for the first time or are a seasoned manager, you can always try new techniques to hone your management style. Managing people effectively can help you hit company deadlines, build camaraderie and identify opportunities for growth on your team. Use these tips to improve your personnel management skills in the workplace to work towards team goals:
Manage your own workload first
Before you can manage the success of others, you first need to take care of yourself. Make your own schedule a priority and guard your time, setting aside a block of time each day that you dedicate to completing your own work without interruptions. Eager managers can make the mistake of over-committing to their team and ultimately experiencing burnout that makes them a less effective manager. Once you feel confident in your own work you will be able to be more attentive and focused on your team when they need you.
Get to know your team
The first step to effective management is understanding the people you are managing. Depending on their personality type, people respond differently to various leadership styles. Some people require hands-on management while others excel when they are given freedom and flexibility. Strong leaders are able to adjust their management techniques depending on who they are working with, cultivating every team member’s individual potential with personalized attention.
Getting to know your team involves learning what inspires them, the processes they use to complete their work, the environmental factors that hinder or support their work and the level of knowledge and skills they bring to the workplace. Knowing how someone works best and assessing their competency in different areas can help you assign tasks effectively and address issues in the most productive manner without decreasing morale. You can start to learn about your team by using active listening skills in conversation.
Learning how to trust others with key tasks allows you to focus on high-level management duties instead of micromanaging each responsibility on a project. Once you learn about each team member’s strengths, weaknesses, experiences and skills, you will be able to accurately delegate jobs to the people who are likely to do them well within the given time frame. Delegating tasks involves setting clear expectations with each person and ensuring that they feel confident in their ability to complete their portion of the project. By delegating responsibilities to others, you demonstrate trust in their abilities and help them feel invested in a project’s outcome.
Take control of communication
Instead of waiting for your team members to reach out to you with questions, updates and concerns, take initiative when communicating with others. When you first step into your managerial role, whether it is official or unofficial, explain how team members should communicate with you and with one another. Identify the main channels for communication such as email or chat servers so that everyone understands what steps to take if they encounter an issue. Reach out to your team as a group and individually to check up on their progress and encourage open communication as a means to solve problems.
Identify clear workflows
Identify what role each team member plays in completing a project and map out the workflow processes you expect to use. Having a clear understanding of each individual role and how it impacts the overall project gives you a more informed perspective on what you can expect of each person. It also enables you to craft a reasonable timeline that employees can stick to. Managing employees without understanding the project workflow can result in confusion and delays, preventing you from efficiently identifying the cause of any issues that take place.
Develop clear goals
Set goals as a team and individually to guide your management efforts. Creating goals at the beginning of a project gives you a guideline as a leader and keeps everyone focused on how their behavior impacts the success of a project or initiative. Write each goal down so that you have a document you can reference when assessing project success at key benchmarks. Discuss with your team the steps everyone needs to take to accomplish their goals, providing everyone with opportunities to ask questions and make suggestions about strategies for meeting or exceeding team goals.
when creating goals so that you have a clear way of identifying whether your team successfully accomplished their goals or not. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based. This means that each goal you set needs to have clear guidelines and a way to record progress on a schedule. Goals that fit into the SMART framework are easy to manage because they are created to suit each team member’s unique position and provide metrics that keep everyone accountable.
What is people management?
People management is a broad topic that covers what it means to develop, organize, problem-solve for, and grow the employee side of the business. These skills range from being able to mediate a personality clash between team members to building an effective performance management strategy for a business.
People management is different from performance management in that it extends beyond considerations of employees’ work and instead focuses more broadly on employees’ well-being. While performance management is about the ongoing process of setting and evaluating employee progress against established goals, people management is about enabling employees to solve problems and engage effectively with other team members.
You have a management team because you don’t expect employees to magically come up with and enforce company structure. Similarly, the idea behind people management is that you have managers because you also can’t expect employees to manage their own development, processes, and people problems all on their own.
You can build your people management skills by making small changes in your mindset and your perspective on problems. The management tips that follow will help you think about tweaks you can make in your own process to be a more effective and successful manager.
1. People management starts with listening.
We think of good listening as something that happens between the beginning and end of a conversation: being attentive, making eye contact, taking notes, and waiting for the other person to finish before you start to talk. And those are all parts of the listening skill set that you should practice.
But good listening is essential to the management role, and it starts before you even sit down to talk to an employee. Keys to listening well include keeping an open mind and not jumping to conclusions before or during conversations, according to Dianne Schilling, an expert on emotional intelligence.
This means you can’t assume what an employee is thinking, what their problem is, or what the solution to their problem is – you have to let go of your preconceived notions, and you need to ask them. Even if they think the cause of a problem is obvious, a great manager listens with the intent of understanding as much about the situation as possible; they don’t just barge in with a possible solution. Prep for meetings, but don’t go in thinking you know all the answers.
2. Separate personal problems from organizational ones.
Employees are going to have problems and you are going to have to help solve them. But not all problems are created equal. The root causes of workplace problems often fall into two categories: personal and organizational. They may manifest the same way when talking to one or a few employees, but understanding the difference will save you from a disproportionate response. Treating an organizational problem like a personal one is like putting a bandaid on a broken window. Similarly, treating a personal problem like an organizational one is like remodeling your kitchen to become a better cook.
These problems, when they occur with one (or a few) employees, can be corrected with your people management skills and no significant reorganization. On the other hand, organizational problems are entrenched and can’t be solved by problem-solving one employee’s problem.
These issues stem from inherent problems in the organization of the company. Managers need to use their people management skills to comprehend the organizational problem behind the above problems, while still people-managing to keep employees’ heads above water until the problem is truly fixed.
3. Understand each employee’s purpose.
To communicate with employees and empathize with them, you have to understand what draws them to their role and what joy they derive from their work; i.e., their purpose. Purpose is a huge part of what keeps people satisfied at work and what drives them to succeed and push themselves professionally. Knowing why an employee feels connected to their role and why they’re inspired to be an individual contributor to the business helps you as a manager understand how to help them succeed in a way that also benefits the company.
People want to work on projects where they believe they can do well, and when they’re given the opportunity to do what they do best, they feel more connected to their work. Pinpointing exactly what an employee likes about their role — or why they may be striving for a promotion — allows you to frame solutions in a way that helps employees gain perspective on their larger context in the business.
For example, two engineers are both struggling with a project they work on. One isn’t interested in the end result of the project, and doesn’t feel motivated to complete the work. The other enjoys the project and the collaborative aspect of pair programming, but isn’t getting along at all with their pair programming partner.