7 Keys to Effective People Management

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By: Nicole Hudson Career Mastered Magazine Contributor

Winter is the perfect time of year to reflect on and refocus your people management skills. It’s easy to get caught up in your day-to-day tasks and become complacent with your management style throughout the year, especially when you have your own projects to complete. It’s like being put on autopilot. But, if you’re ready for a refresh, let’s kick it back into manual and talk about 7 keys to effective people management to implement into your daily interactions. 

When you’re responsible for managing people, it’s important to remember that they’re, well, people. Yes, as employees they have tasks and responsibilities to complete, but they also have personal lives to tend to outside of the workplace. Everyone has bad days, but people may also be dealing with more chronic issues like burnout, especially this time of year. So, when you’re implementing changes to your management style, keep in mind that your employees may have more going on beneath the surface. 

Communicate clearly

What they say is true, when it comes to any relationship, communication is key. Clear, honest, and open communication can go a long way in the workplace. Your employees will know exactly what’s expected of them, and they’ll feel confident in coming to you with any questions or issues. Nobody likes to be micromanaged, but checking in during projects can also communicate that you’re available to provide guidance if needed. 

Listen actively 

When your employees do give you feedback, or choose to come to you with issues, it’s important that you’re actively listening to them. Put down whatever you’re working on and focus completely on what they’re telling you. Observe their tone and body language as well, it might indicate feelings that are going on behind the scenes. Basically, take it all in. That way when you respond, you’ll have all of the information you need to be helpful. 

Lead by Example

When you’re in a management position, your team will follow your lead, so model the behavior that you want to see. If you’re stressed and agitated, your employees will become stressed and agitated. If you’re glued to your desk, then your team will think they need to be as well, and no one benefits from round the clock work. Take breaks, and take it one step at a time. 

Be Creative

When it comes to problem solving, it’s okay to think outside of the box. Take your team’s strengths into consideration and get creative. Just because something has always been done one way, doesn’t mean that’s the only way to do it.  

Set Goals 

At the beginning of a quarter, or when you and your team are starting a new project, it’s always helpful to set reachable goals together. Sit down as a team and decide when things need to be completed and how much flexibility is available. People tend to be more productive when they’re striving toward an attainable goal. 

Celebrate Wins

When you do reach those goals, celebrate! Words of encouragement and praise can go a long way. If it’s a bigger goal, involve the entire team and reward them for a job well done. People are better, happier employees when they feel like their hard work is appreciated. 

Trust 

And last but not least, trust your people. As a manager, trusting your employees and giving them space to complete their assignments is critical. Your trust will encourage confidence. Be sure to offer flexibility and don’t micromanage, even under a deadline. If an employee needs a walk or a break to come up with a solution, grant them the space to do so and trust they’ll complete their task on time. 

Managing people is not always easy. It takes constant reflection and adjustment to ensure that your team is getting what they need from you. By implementing these concepts into your management skills, you’ll be setting you and your team up for success this season.  

Nicole Hudson Career Mastered Magazine Contributor

Nicole Hudson is the Founder of Hudson Collective, an integrated digital strategy and communications firm creating social impact by activating their communities through branding, storytelling, and expanding their engagement with a robust online presence. Hudson’s strategies are driven to deliver compelling messages and a suite of business tactics that engage, inform and influence audiences to action that creates lasting impact.

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