What is People Management? Complete Process with Best Practices


People management strategies can make all the difference between bad, mediocre, good and great employee experience. New upgrades in the functioning of HR systems and processes have altered the nature, extent and scope of people management. That said, at the pivotal idea and aim remains to manage people better in ways that work easier, enabled and impactful.

Table of Contents:

What is People Management?

People management is defined as a set of practices that encompass the end-to-end processes of talent acquisition, talent optimization, and talent retention while providing continued support for the business and guidance for the employees of an organization.

The canopy of people management, a key sub-set of human resource management, thus covers all aspects of how people work, behave, engage and grow at work. The systems employed to manage people affect the total workings of the organization and thus need to be adhered to as dynamic individual puzzle pieces without losing sight of the bigger picture.

Examples of sub-aspects or tasks supporting the key pillars of people management include employer branding, recruitment, compensation, performance management, organization development, safety, wellness, benefits, employee motivation and engagement, communication, administration, and training. Altogether, these aspects of people management weave the cultural fabric within the organization and lead to an employee experience that attracts and retains the right talent.

Learn more: What is Talent Pipeline? Definition, Management with Examples

Key Components of People Management – Best Practices to Navigate the Evolving Work Ecosystem

The umbrella term, people management, holds within its spectrum five key components that can together effectively build an engaging employee experience to optimize and retain the best talent better.

5 Key Components of People Management

The five key aspects, also known as the 5 Cs of people management are as follows:

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1. Create – building a workforce that builds a better future

If we considered people management as a linear process system, it would begin with talent acquisition – the building of effective teams. Knowing the purpose for each team and every member within it is key to success. When you’re building teams, it is important to choose the right tools to do so. This begins with choosing the right recruitment platforms, creating an employer brand the candidates trust and want to work with and providing an engaging candidate experience. Once you onboard the best-fit talent, the next step is training and helping them evolve in their skill sets to suit the changing needs of the business. Investing in their development also builds more loyalty and commitment. Creating the right team structure also involves setting up processes, boundaries and a robust framework of functioning. This helps to create a roadmap to success and a functional plan to win.

2. Comprehend – understanding the present and the future better

Effective people management involves understanding the people who make up the organization – their personalities, motivations as well as their personal and career goals. Empathy, active listening, and a people-first approach lead to a deeper mutual understanding of individuals and collectives. It is important to understand that people are different and have different traits and skill predispositions. The age-old technique of ‘management by wandering around’ has changed over the years and while there are tech-enabled ways to mine data, spending actual time with people always leads to deeper insights.

Learn more: What is HRIS? System, Model and Application

3. Communicate – opening channels to connect effectively

How you communicate as a team affects how you work as one. Open channels of communication and feedback provide an effective tool to manage people better. The format and culture of communication prevalent in an organization is also a key element in the perception that an employee has of the larger picture that they are a part of. If communication is important enough to control how people feel at and about work, it is important enough to be a key criterion for effective people management. Organizations today need to ensure that they are providing their employees with the right channels of communication and feedback in order to encourage that they can communicate often, effectively and glitch-free.

4. Collaborate – cooperating smarter, faster and stronger

Managing people processes better involves acknowledging that work cannot happen in silos – even for single-team-member endeavors. Success is a team-function – and so is failure. With the wide array of collaboration tools available in the market today, organizations and managers can ensure that sharing and delegation lead to the best results. In order to add value to the process of work and to the lives of employees while also multiplying the effectiveness of the team, individuals need to be assigned responsibilities that they can step up to and achieve with effective team collaboration. Working with other human and non-human components at work also helps employees realize the role that they and others play in not only granular tasks but also the larger vision for the organization.

5. Confront – optimizing on healthy differences

People are different and in order to set a tone for respect, loyalty, and commitment within the organization, people management needs to focus on optimizing these differences. By “confront” here, we don’t mean to antagonize but rather to face, acknowledge and tackle these variations positively. With diversity in a generation, thought, working preferences and actions, people perceive things differently and engage with issues with diversity as well. Now, this, more often than not, leads to assured conflict. The physical representation of such conflict may either be overt and active or covert and passive. Resolving this conflict is an important part of people management since it can either lead to resentment and negativity or strengthen the team and the manager has the choice with regard to which way it swings.

Learn more: What is Human Capital Management (HCM)?

5 Winning People Management Skills for 2019

We may not always be able to articulate the difference between a good manager and a great manager, (or even those that could have been the inspiration behind movies like Horrible Bosses!). That said, we are surprisingly good at identifying these different kinds of people managers in our lives. How is that? Well, there are key drivers or skills for effective people management that we seem to pick up on rather easily.

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Here’s a glimpse at the key people management skills that can truly support the team and lead them to succeed:

  • Trust-building: When it comes to team-building, building trust is a crucial people management skill to have. Managers who inspire trust, make their team members feel that they have their back (not in selective situations, but always) and who allow the teams to explore risks within the span of sensible goals are perceived as enablers. The skill of being able to build trust is a long-term strategy and could engender a culture of honesty and transparency.
  • Empathy: Whether it is with regard to planning work, assigning tasks, communicating or providing feedback, empathy is a skill that people managers cannot do without. It is the ability to be able to not only put oneself in another person’s shoes but rather truly being able to see the world from their perspective and understanding their motivations, fears, challenges, and strengths. Active listening opens up the path to greater empathy by allowing a glimpse through the social and professional façades that we often don.
  • Motivation-mapping: A people manager needs to be an effective motivator. This is ideally a general progression from being an empathetic active listener and understanding the individual drivers of motivation. This skill is a culmination of a keen understanding of one’s own emotions and those of others and being able to tap into that leads to better decisions, happier processes, and stronger bonds.
  • Appreciating: Being able to appreciate right is actually a skill that needs to be mastered. An important aspect of managing people is praising and rewarding them for a job well done. This not only impacts how every individual perceives their work and the impact of their efforts but also how the organization in its entirety measures and reacts to success. The process of appreciation (beyond monetary bonuses and paid vacations – even a “thank you” goes a long way!) can lead to a culture of gratitude at work that in, would impact employee experience.
  • Knowledge-seeking: In a world where data rules, knowledge is power. As a people manager, having access to the right data is as crucial as what you choose to do with it. How do you apply the data and build a knowledge and information base that aids decisions, provides insights and enables a deeper understanding of people and processes.

Learn more: What is Performance Management?

In an environment as digitally charged as ours, people management skills and techniques need to evolve as well to live up to employee expectations and to create an experience that employees want to continue with

What are the best practices that you have included in your people management strategy? Tell us all about it on FacebookOpens a new window , LinkedInOpens a new window , or TwitterOpens a new window . We’d love to know!