Did you know that people (employees) are a company's greatest asset? This is because employees' performance significantly impacts a company's success. While hiring competent personnel is positive, providing the necessary tools to keep them motivated and excited for work is often overlooked.
Some companies have a Human Resource department to deal with misconduct and other personnel issues. Having one certainly has its merits in a company's structure. But the truth is managers and heads of departments should also practice the art of managing their employees and teams respectively.
As a manager or team leader, you are the one within a visual distance of your team. You are better positioned to notice employee burnout, poor morale, toxic workplace cultures, and other factors influencing employee productivity.
In today's article, we will discuss the value of people management and why it is a better management system.
What is People Management?
Nowadays, it is almost naive to say that people management is simply managing people in the workplace. But what does that entail? Most managers and leaders restrict this to overseeing the procedural aspects of a company or ensuring that the day-to-day activity goes as planned.
The truth remains that there is much more to people management than overseeing employee evaluation and discipline. You are in charge of people, and many things affect people, including emotional, physical, and mental factors. It is a pickle, no doubt, but understanding how to navigate these factors in the workplace is key to success.
That said, it becomes evident that people management has evolved beyond procedural duties such as hiring, training, evaluating, and enacting disciplinary actions. It also involves a care-based responsibility that focuses on employees' professional and personal well-being.
Both are vital. Some may argue that the care-based part is more as it tackles root causes. Yet it is the part many leaders and managers often overlook. Some of these responsibilities include;
- - Providing employees or teams with the resources to carry out their duties
- - Affording employees or teams with enough time and personnel to share the workload.
- - Ensuring that employees get the compensation and value they deserve.
- - Assisting employees in navigating challenges that hamper their productivity.
- - Providing a safe and engaging atmosphere or work culture.
- - Harboring a workplace culture that resolves conflict swiftly or, preferably, one that does not create any dispute at all.
Often, it takes one mishandled conversation or situation to disengage even the most ideal hire for your company. When that happens, the productivity of such employee drops.
Human Resource and People Management
It is understandably easy to conclude that human resources should handle the human aspect of a company. They do, but the scope and orientation differ mainly from People management. A recent study showed that human resources officers are looking to focus on people again.
Human resources have become more strategic and macro in scope. It concerns itself with the smooth running of a company's infrastructure and pays more attention to the impact of employee performance on the development of a company. It exists to:
- - Maintain the structure of a company.
- - Enforce company rules and disciplinary actions.
- - Ensure the scheduled payment of compensation.
- - Endorse adherence to company protocol.
On the other hand, people management follows a focused approach to employees. Designed for the improvement and development of employees, it digs deeper with employee engagement at its center. Its scope is micro, but its effect is significant. It provides:
- - Support, empower, and encourages the autonomy of teams
- - Insight into teams and individual development
- - Identification of issues that affect productivity
- - Encourages experimentation and exploration rather than rigid expectations
Irrespective of the differences, human resources and people management need to work in tandem for better results.
Why People Management is Important
Irrespective of what you feel about people management, the fact remains that the success or failure of any organization rests heavily on how well leaders manage employees or teams. Therefore as a manager or leader, your people management skills are a crucial arrow in your quiver of tricks.
Below are some reasons why people management is vital to any organization.
- - Impact on the Bottom Line
- Good people management practices improve productivity, engage employees, and fosters a culture of innovation through experimentation. This joint function increases the bottom line of a company.
- A 1996 study by Dennis Kravetz backs this claim. The study revealed the effect of people management practices on five key profitability indicators. Conducted on over 200 companies, 150 of them Fortune 500 companies, showed a minimum of 100% improvement in profit performance measures in companies with high scores of people performance practices.
- - Talent Retention
- In the digital age, talent has quickly become an asset for companies. Every company desires the best personnel to drive the company to its goal, so the competition for top talent has shot up significantly. Keeping talents pleased and motivated requires good people management skills to identify their needs and cement their loyalty.
- A report on a 2021 survey conducted on more than 6,600 people in 113 countries and 30 management leaders worldwide shared a fascinating result. 85% of respondents concur that shifting focus on employee needs and expectations is a significant factor in talent competition.
- - Company Morale
- Low morale eventually hits every company at some point. Those that cannot manage it end up with low engagement, high employee turnover rates, and burnout. Good people management practices create a stable environment, provide employees with a sense of value, and lead to happiness in the workplace.
- - Competitive Advantage
- When done right, people management allows for optimizing employee skills as a unit. This can provide a competitive advantage, especially for small businesses that lack larger companies' funding or market presence.
Other effects include strong collaboration, improved communication, and constant professional development of employees.
People management relies on clear and constant communication; its importance is grave. You can possess the best technology, financial resources, and talent pull and still fall short in utilizing the maximum potential of all of them. Or worse, your company becomes the cautionary tale for talents vying for better opportunities.
With influential people management, employees can find meaning in their jobs, work becomes pleasurable, and productivity increases. Therein lies the secret to driving success.