People management skills are a MUST for every supervisor or manager. The truth is leading people is a very hard job. It requires supervisors or managers to connect with others and to understand what the unique drivers of their team members are. One cannot take a generic approach to managing people. We are all different; different needs, different backgrounds & upbringing, different goals and desires, etc. Successfully leading a team requires the supervisor or manager to connect individually with team members and to focus them on achieving the needed results but doing so in a way that makes employees feel like they want to contribute instead of being forced to. Many managers say employees are paid to do a job and yes I agree with you, they are. I also believe that when managers connect with their team in ways that demonstrate they value them, the organization benefits from results that far exceed what the employee is paid for.
Anne M. Mulcahy shares that “Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee- are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.” Managers who understand and implement this philosophy are more successful than those who only focus on the organization’s bottom line.
It is a known fact that people leave supervisors or managers and not organizations. Almost every reason an employee leaves an organization can be traced back to the management team. Here are some tips for people managers:
- Take time to get to know your team members
- Show appreciation consistently. Make the words thank you a regular part of your communication
- Be authentic – people can tell when you are being fake
- Recognize behaviors you want to see more of. What you focus on is what you will get
- Allow employees to operate in areas of their strength – this develops their confidence and makes coming to work a joy
- When employees make mistakes, use it as learning opportunities. They are already beating themselves up. Help them learn from the mistake and move forward
- Speak with your team – not at your team
- Pitch in to help during extremely busy times
- Set professional boundaries – inappropriate friendships are a no no
- Don’t show favoritism
Being an effective people manager is about recognizing that your team is made up of human beings. Treat them with respect and they will respect you. Care about them; their goals, their dreams, their challenges and their disappointments. I guarantee you that if you treat your team in a manner that shows you care about them, you won’t even have to ask them to do the extra – they just will.
I close this segment of the Shift from Customer Service to Customer Experience focused on People Management Training for Middle Managers & Supervisors with a reminder from John C Maxwell which is that people buy into the leader before they can buy into the vision.