Day To Day People Management
Posted On: 01/05/2020
Line managers play a very important role in all organisations. They make sure that their teams meet, or exceed, their personal and professional objectives while caring for their health and wellbeing.
Day to day people management motivates individuals, improves productivity, increases employee engagement and promotes a healthy workplace culture. Investing in your employees and taking the time to manage them effectively will ensure the success of a business. It’s the right thing to do.
Failure to recognise the importance of people management and its influential role will result in poor productivity levels, high staff turnover and can even damage a brand’s reputation.
The role of a line manager
An exemplary line manager will take time to get to know every member of their team and inspire them to continually develop to fulfil their potential and achieve their aspirations.
- To give regular feedback. Feedback rewards good work and provides opportunities for a manager to discuss with the employee ways to make improvements to keep them engaged.
- To provide a duty of care. Line managers must take reasonable steps to ensure the health, wellbeing and safety of their teams.
- To set performance and development objectives. The setting of short-term goals alongside long-term goals will keep an employee focussed and motivated.
- To make their team aware of their rights. Employees must be aware of their rights to include holiday entitlement, sick pay, etc.
- To help manage workloads and daily tasks. To ensure that tasks are carried out to a high standard and on time, a line manager must know what their team members are working on and understand the organisation’s priorities.
- To encourage continual learning. Learning and development plans should be created to match the needs and wishes of both the employee and the business.
- To resolve issues and poor behaviour. While the role of a line manager can be extremely rewarding, it is not without its challenges. Responding to, and resolving negative issues, including potential disciplinary matters quickly, is a crucial role of a line manager.
- To celebrate successes and recognise achievement. Thanking staff for their hard work boosts confidence, increases motivation, lowers staff turnover and improves your organisation’s reputation.
- To keep the wheels turning. There will always be times when employee absence impacts a team. It is the responsibility of the line manager to keep in contact with those who are absent and to ensure that the present employees are supported. Cross-training within a team will ensure that projects are able to continue running.
Knowing your team: The importance of small talk
There are many qualities and traits that make up a good line manager – we’ll look at these later in the blog – but the key element to being successful is to get to know your team members on an individual level.
Only by speaking with your team members regularly can you identify what makes them unique. Do you know who in your team has children or grandchildren? Do you know who possesses fantastic creative skills? Do you know what they need to feel supported? Do you know if any of your workforce are experiencing issues at home?
If not, then you are unlikely to know how to support them or know what rewards would really make a big difference to their lives.
Personal crisis or just an off-day?
Supporting an individual when they are experiencing a personal crisis will be easier, and less stressful, if you know the employee well and have built a trusting relationship.
Any line manager would hope that a team member could approach them in the first instance if they were going through a difficult time, but this cannot be guaranteed.
When there is a close relationship between manager and employee, the manager will recognise when something is very wrong and when an employee is just having an ‘off day’.
If you do witness a change in behaviour you must call a one to one meeting as soon as possible to ask if there is anything they need help with.
- Don’t act as a friend, act as their professional manager. Your confidential role is to help them address the issue quickly and tell them what support you can give.
- Depending on what the issue is, and the severity of it, together you should create a timeline and an action plan.
- Hold regular check-in meetings.
The traits of a good line manager
We know that success lies in understanding the individuals that you manage, but let’s look at some other key traits that make a great line manager.
- Be human. This may sound obvious, but when a manager follows people management processes to the letter, they forget that everyone is unique and has different needs. Talk honestly and openly with your team members, take an interest in them, ask about their hobbies and their homelife.
- Understand the importance of wellbeing. Lead by example and take regular breaks and don’t do overtime every day! It’s important for employees to know that they are rewarded for the work they do, and not for putting in extra, often unnecessary, hours.
- Give your team a voice. Line managers act as a connection between the organisation and the workforce. Developing and maintaining a trusting relationship will enable line managers to feedback any concerns to the senior management team.
- Be flexible and approachable. Team members will benefit from knowing that you are there for them at any time, and willing to talk through issues when needed.
- Adjust your management style to the individual. Get to know your employees and understand their individual management style preference: do they respond to targets? do they work better when given more autonomy? what are their pain points? Knowing the answers to these questions and more will help you find the perfect style.
- Encourage others to be the best they can be. As a manager you should continue to develop your own people management skills, not only will this motivate and inspire your team to develop themselves, but you will be able to coach and mentor to the best of your ability.
- Be an ambassador for the company. Uphold company standards and brand values. Your team will follow your lead and be clear on what is expected of them.
- Deal with functional and dysfunctional conflict. Functional conflict can be healthy in a workplace and can encourage constructive discussions. Dysfunctional conflict is an unhealthy disagreement which has a negative impact on others. Line managers must know how to deal with both types of conflict correctly to achieve the best outcome.
- Don’t micromanage!
There are many things a line manager can do to ensure that their teams remain engaged, have a sense of belonging and feel valued. Here are some steps every line manager should take:
- Make sure that all employees understand the business’s overall goals and how their role fits in with it.
- Ensure every individual has an up to date job description.
- Ask employees what they need to fulfil their role and fill in any gaps.
- For every new project ask your team members for their input and ideas.
- Say thank you often and keep your team motivated.
- Try to make work fun and ensure that your team are happy in their work.
- Encourage training and development and reward top talent with new challenges and opportunities.
- Establish incentive programmes that will benefit your employees.
To find out more about your workforce we recommend that you hold regular one to one meetings with individuals, use the data you hold in your HR Management Systems and combine this with an employee engagement survey.
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If your organisation would like to learn more about employee engagement strategies, HR management systems or need help with a people management issue please get in touch with our team of HR professionals on 0161 941 2426.
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