16 Effective People Management Strategies (Manager’s Guide)

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People Management Strategies Complete Guide
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What is People Management?

People management is the methodology or practice of managing the workforce in an organization in a pre-defined or instantaneous set of strategies framed by the management, in alignment with the overall goal of the organization.


It is essential for navigating the efforts of employees in the right direction, as well as maintaining a healthy work environment. People management skills are prerequisites of a manager’s capabilities, as business operations majorly depend on its workforce and workflow.


Managers are the authority who manage people effectively. They work closely with HR professionals to obtain the best out of the available talents in the organization.


So, if you are wondering about what people management skills are, what are people management strategies, what challenges interrupt them, and the right way to combat them, then you are at the right place.


Effective People Management Strategies Used by Manager

For effective people management, it is important for a manager to be able to formulate strategies that would align with the organizational goals, uplifting the well-being of the business.


A few vital people management strategies that you can implement include the following:


1. Research and Analysis

Take time to learn what makes your employees unique. Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your employees will highlight the areas of improvement required, enabling managers to make strategies accordingly.


Research and analysis also include evaluation of overall employee-related metrics that give an insight into the workforce operations of an organization.


To conduct research and analysis, you can use techniques such as:

  • Employee surveys
  • Taking feedback from employees
  • Evaluating Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Skill gap analysis
  • Attrition rate analysis (past and prevailing trend)
  • Diversity and Inclusion metrics
  • 360-degree feedback analysis
  • Cost per turnover analysis
  • Employee engagement rate
  • Employee connection analysis
  • Assessment of training and learning sessions
  • Employee lifecycle analysis and more.


2. Navigating Remote Work

Navigating remote work signifies managing the performances of employees working from different geographical locations apart from the head office.


It is important for a manager to ensure that the team members working from remote locations are productive, engaged, and connected. It includes certain strategies such as:

  • Micromanaging the regular check-ins
  • Clear communication on the expected outcomes
  • Responsibilities’ delegation and task timelines
  • Regular team meetings
  • Virtual team building
  • Maintaining transparency, and more.


3. Praise Good Performance

The finest people management strategies include uplifting the morale of employees by recognizing their work and rewarding leading performers.


This technique not only elevates employee morale but also encourages them to be more productive and creative. Praising good performances requires:

  • 360-degree feedback reports
  • Employee Worksheet Analysis Report
  • KRA and KPIs analysis, etc.


4. Constructive Criticism Technique

Constructive criticism refers to the delivery of criticism with care and empathy. in this context, criticism doesn’t signify skeptical, rigid, or negative connotation, but rather constructive, positive, and empathetic method.


The goal of constructive criticism is to enhance improvement and growth with empathetic and positive approaches without offending or humiliating an employee.


Constructive criticism techniques require strategic implementation, for which you can take care of certain parameters like:

  • Choosing a private space and appropriate time for discussing feedback.
  • Initiating empathetic conversations. For example, “I understand this is challenging for you, but…”, “I am here to support”, “Reach out for any help”, “I understand there is a lot of things on your plate, but…”.
  • Avoid jargon or complex terminologies that confuses your team member.
  • Avoid disrespectful phrases and bad words that offend an employee.
  • Abstain from personally attacking employees based on their religion, caste, personal matters, etc.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Avoid making judgments and keep it simple.
  • Be a listener as active listening clears the clouds of miscommunication and confusion as well as builds a sense of belief of ‘being heard’.
  • Balance negative feedback with positive phrases by highlighting employee’s past achievements, to keep them motivated.
  • Briefly specify the improvements and alterations desired.
  • Document the feedback conversation for future reference.
  • Ensure the feedback conversation stays confidential unless there is any urgency or authority of another person to interfere.
  • Be fair in the feedback for all employees as per their performance.


5. Proactive Communication

Communication is key to achieving the desired objective of the organization. If you want to improve performance management, the best strategy to implement transparent and proactive communication.


It can help set clear performance expectations from the employees. As a result, they get a better understanding of the tasks they need to perform for fulfilling the desired expectation without confusion.


6. Encourage Creativity and Innovation

When employees are indulging in their goal accomplishing process, they tend to innovate and accomplish more from their KRAs.


It is important to recognize their creativity as that would stimulate and encourage them to continue with the innovative thoughts, ideas and notions.


7. Embrace Failure

Embracing failures as a team will help recover the strength of the employees. Failures often degrade the morale of team members which ultimately hampers their productivity.


So, in such a situation, it is extremely important for you as a manager to improve the morale of your team and plan the future processes considering past trends.


8. Learn & Train

Business operations keep changing due to various factors such as prevailing trends, demand-supply impacts, market drifts, economic shifts, and more.


Continuous training and learning help you stay updated on the ongoing trends as well as enhance the knowledge of the workforce to adjust to the fast-moving business operations.


9. Define Goals

Defining the goals of the organization to the employees precisely needs to be strategized as chances of complexities prevail with diversification of goals.


Effective people management skills include strategizing the briefing of goals to employees that would be understandable and free of perplexities.


10. Set Clear Expectations

It is essential to set your expectations right on the accomplishments of objectives. Clear objectives and expectations also give the employees a clarity of what is being expected from them. This helps them plan their movement in accordance with the pre-set expectations.


Techniques to strategise to set clear expectations include:

  • Evaluate SMART features (strength, weakness, achievements, reliability, time) of employees.
  • Plan their plan of action for reference.
  • Seek suggestions from other experts.
  • Seek suggestions from the employees as they need to be aware of the expected roles and to make modifications as per their convenience (if necessary).
  • Document the expectations set.
  • Initiate clear and transparent communication.
  • Be prepared with an alternate plan of action if any changes occur.


11. Stay Professional

As the saying goes, ‘There is no emotion in the profession’, which absolutely justifies its significance as personal affection in the profession can be utilized as an undue advantage by your team members which ultimately would lead to delaying deadlines, deviating KRAs, poor performance management and other issues, adversely affecting various aspects of the business which elevates biases, discrimination, etc.


12. Organizational Effectiveness

Effective people management is pivotal for organizational effectiveness. It is essential for the management to motivate and align the organizational goals with the overall responsibilities of the employees.


13. Active Listening

Actively listen to your people, teams, etc. about their issues, complexities, and requirements. This makes them connect more to the organization and be productive.


14. Strategic Problem-solving

Problem-solving is an essential requisite of people management as organizational well-being majorly depends on the issue addressal techniques and risk management of the management. It also helps maintain a healthy work environment.


15. Be Persuasive

Being approachable and persuasive will help build trust in your team as they can approach you in case of any hardships.


16. Make Informed Decisions

In addition, informed decision-making at right time is also vital for the manager to strategize techniques used for effective people management in the workplace.


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Challenges in Framing People Management Strategies

Managing people is not an easy task. It comes with ample challenges that require careful vigilance and problem-solving approaches.


To combat barriers hindering the path of people management techniques, it is important to build team bonding with your team members, as they are more likely to be the root cause of conflicts.


So, maintaining a courteous relationship with the team members in the workplace and creating a sense of ‘one team’ among employees solves half the purpose of combatting challenges.


Some major challenges affecting people management include:

  • Communication gaps
  • Internal conflicts
  • Lack of training and learning
  • Poor team-building techniques
  • Remote or Hybrid work constraints
  • Lack of motivation and encouragement
  • Lopsided work-life balance
  • Stringent or faulty managerial policies
  • Employees’ personal issues related to salaries, opportunities, growth, etc.
  • External issues which involve strikes, stakeholders’ concerns, client’s demands, etc.


The Importance of People Management Strategies

The importance of drafting a people management strategy is pivotal for the business workflow to sustain in the cut-throat market and is the best way to retain talent.


The significance of people management skills include:

  • Streamlining of workflows
  • Avoiding conflicts
  • Compliance adherence
  • Maintaining a positive work environment
  • Enhancing productivity in the task outcomes
  • Improving the efficiency of employees
  • Goal accomplishments
  • Broadening of opportunities which stimulates the growth of the organization.
  • Elevate the reputation of the organization by reflecting increased production, employee satisfaction, and captivating goodwill.


Employee Retention: One of the crucial reasons for increased attrition rate in an organization is the confusion in job roles, which leads to failure in the achievement of tasks despite tough, grinding efforts.


Hence, people management strategies should include performance development plans which direct the efforts of employees, in the right way toward the achievement of goals.


Your People management strategies should yield in the professional development of your workforce by leading, motivating, and encouraging individuals or groups to achieve the right set of objectives with time-savings.


What Can You Do When Feedback and Addressing the Issue Promptly Isn’t Working?

Issues addressal and feedback are the best forms of groundwork that give you an insight into the functioning of your team and can help you improve layouts that went adverse.


Yet, at times, there are chances of failure in issues addressal and feedback techniques which accelerates the chances of contaminating a harmonious work environment. Let us look at how to tackle such situations:


Step 1 – Review, Re-evaluate & Reflect

It signifies reviewing past feedback and issuing addressal techniques that have been implemented so far. Also re-evaluating the techniques for modifications to suit the right need which will help achieve organizational objectives.


It helps you to identify the factors that are more likely to hinder the aiding techniques and reflects the areas of improvement.


Step 2 – Investigate the Mainspring

The next step is to investigate the underlying root cause that is affecting the system. It can be anything, like employees’ personal grudges, conflicts, organizational tradition, managerial faults, or external factors such as competitors’ influence, resource mismanagement, etc.


Appropriate research and surveys will help you understand the differences and make tailored decisions appropriately.


Step 3 – Seek Diverse Perspectives from Experts

After discovering the right cause of failure in people management techniques, it is important to seek a second opinion from other experts in the organization to make sure no big or minor reason is skipped from evaluation.


In addition, it advances ‘multiple solutions’ for the issue statement from different expertise through idea sharing, hence easing the pressing situation.


Step 4 – Experiment

The fourth step is to experiment the alternative ideas or plans with adequate vigilance to not miss major as well as trivial transitions that occur due to the newly implemented changes in the system.


Experimenting with different plans of action gives an insight into what works and what doesn’t. So, people managers need to be cautious while experimenting and take calculative risks in this regard, to safeguard the financial health and resources of the organization.


Step 5 – Escalate

The final step is an optional phase where, if all the alternative ideas fail, the last resort left with people managers is to escalate the issue to senior management.


They may have additional resources or authority to make informed decisions that would be favourable for the business operations in such situations.


However, the practice of escalating every single issue to senior management adversely affects the hierarchy and disturbs the workplace ethos.


So, it is essential for you as a manager to evaluate the situation, involve your team, and take necessary actions before escalating it to the higher management.


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Pencils In

Effective people management is pivotal for the overall growth of the organization as employees are considered valuable assets for the organization.


So, managing their performances and aligning them with the organizational goals will yield productivity, success, development, and growth of the entire business.


Strategizing performance management needs cautious implementation, regular monitoring, and updated improvisation from time to time for the successful accomplishment of organizational objectives and goals.

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