What is the process for managing people and teams? We have become accustomed to reading in job offers, and in the descriptions that companies make about “who we are”, phrases such as: “our most important asset is people ” or “our priority is the well-being of our employees”. But do they really comply? Are your actions enough?
Many organizations have focused on offering so-called emotional salaries , others on offering flexibility in ways of working and schedules; but still, for the most part, they invest very little in training their managers in how to manage their work teams . In fact, the budget for the training area is the first to suffer cuts when it comes to reducing expenses.
It is clear that implementing changes in the offices (relaxation spaces, coffee spaces, etc.), having an “open door” policy or giving flexibility in the way of working, are not worth much if the managers lack the necessary skills to manage persons. This is more critical now that remote or hybrid jobs are gaining more and more strength, since the time the employee is in the office is reduced and face-to-face activity is minimized.
What to do then? Undoubtedly, reinforcing people and team management skills in middle and top management is key to achieving happy , satisfied and therefore highly productive employees.
In this guide we wanted to offer 8 key factors that every manager must master to guarantee the proper management of their work teams ; as well as tips for its implementation. Beyond your initial goal, these factors will also help you be more productive, achieve your goals more efficiently, and grow professionally. So let’s get started!
What do we understand by people and team management?
We understand by people management the way in which a manager coordinates, supervises and leads the team under his charge . The ultimate goal of proper management of people and teams will always be very broad, from improving communication, teamwork, motivation to even the performance of each member. It is important at this point not to confuse it with performance management.
People management seeks to optimize day-to-day work, while performance management seeks to continuously guide the establishment, execution and fulfillment of previously established individual objectives, aligned with the strategic objectives of the organization.
Achieving efficient management of people and work teams , while concentrating on achieving business results, is not an easy task, nor is it something that can be achieved in a day; It requires great dedication, commitment and, above all, concern for your employees. It also implies the development of different skills, which only with experience, are consolidated to progressively manage increasingly complex teams.
8 Success factors in managing people in organizations
We could talk about many topics such as management skills , skills, strengths, etc.; however, unlike other processes in the organizational field, people management, from our point of view, implies the execution of 8 very clear and specific factors that we have wanted to summarize below.
Communication skills to manage people
The skills you have to communicate efficiently with your work team is a very important factor and key to success. However, all of them start with just one: listening. If you don’t know what the needs of your team are , their concerns, doubts, conflicts or difficulties, you will have little to contribute when trying to provide solutions or offer guidance and support. This is only achieved by listening to people. Behaviors such as being attentive to the moment your employees speak, taking notes, asking open questions that encourage them to express themselves, are part of good listening.
From here, you will then be able to incorporate other communication skills such as influence, assertiveness, body language, etc. to get your message across, be it aimed at motivating, explaining how to resolve a situation, or simply giving instructions.
The correct exercise of communication skills begins with understanding who our audience is, in such a way as to adapt our messages and the way in which we must deliver them to achieve maximum effectiveness. It sounds simple, but in practice it is not.
It is not unusual to find managers who deliver results for the business, but with great difficulties in terms of communication, which in the end, will always limit their future growth. In other words, this type of manager will have very few days of success. If you want to achieve the best results for yourself and your team, make an effort to learn and implement new communication skills every day, and you will soon see very favorable results.
Management of people from leadership
Contrary to what many think, leadership has nothing to do with the position or seniority of the manager in the company, much less with the fact of giving an order and that others comply with it. Leadership goes much further. In managing people and teams, you must be able to influence others to such an extent that they feel encouraged and motivated to maximize their effort and achieve a goal. To get here, you must build a vision and win your team over to fulfill it by bringing out the best in them.
Think about your day to day at work. You have a list of functions that you must fulfill and, additionally, supervise those of your team. You simply can’t spend every minute reviewing each employee’s tasks, but you can clearly convey what is expected of them, motivate them to do their best, incentivize them to perform at their best, and convey confidence that they will be able to do it. Following your lead out of conviction and not feeling obligated is what is expected of a leader .
Therefore, leadership is a skill that guarantees the proper management of people in organizations, not for a particular project or a result to be delivered, but in day-to-day activities that optimize the professional development of each person.
Empowerment in personnel management
This ability has a double benefit for those who manage to apply it properly. On the one hand, it allows you to delegate tasks and functions , and, on the other hand, it increases the commitment of the person who receives the task. This is very interesting when it comes to managing people and teams because it makes work easier, improves performance and generates a culture of trust. Now, empowerment is not simply assigning tasks, it is a skill that must be developed for its execution to be effective.
Before you empower an employee, identify their strengths and motivations. Then, define precisely what you are going to empower them and what are the results you expect from it. Use your communication skills to ensure you convey the task well and secure their commitment. Follow up, offer feedback and give recognition for achievements.
Always remember to leave a margin to allow for creativity and innovation, as it is very likely that you will be surprised with truly extraordinary results, and as a consequence, greater productivity within your team .
Many people change jobs looking for new development opportunities, sometimes regardless of the fact that this may mean an economic downturn, because they understand that the change will be compensated in the future. It is for this reason that offering professional growth to your team members will guarantee not only superior performance and high commitment, but also the retention of very valuable talent for your company.
Many managers believe that providing such development opportunities is the responsibility of the Human Resources department. Nothing is further from reality (people management vs. human resources).
Professional development is precisely in the hands of each employee, always supported by their immediate supervisor . This is so if we understand that not all development has to mean a promotion, it can be an assignment to a new project, the coordination of an event, participation in a specific committee, etc. In other words, giving the opportunity to do new things, which involve the employee learning associated with their career and interests, is an excellent way to manage a team so that it stays motivated and highly effective.
Emotional intelligence and the management of people and teams
Although it is a concept that is talked about a lot and read about in a variety of portals and social networks, it is not necessarily a skill that most managers have managed to master. This is so because it is not as simple as it seems and because it has to be fulfilled in stages and progressively. It’s like learning to ride a bike, where at first you have to concentrate very well on each movement you make, keep your balance and if you fall, get back on and continue.
Think about the diversity of profiles that you can have under your responsibility. Here it is worth saying “each head is a world”, therefore, each one has their way of communicating, their own conflicts, their different ways of understanding things, their own strengths and weaknesses . So, managing your emotions in the face of the number of scenarios that are presented to you on a day-to-day basis is key in managing people in organizations. It’s like trying to maintain that balance on the bike in every situation that arises within your team, and that means analyzing your own emotions to know how to act and not “react”.
Remember that many people leave their jobs, not because of their functions or position, but because of poor management by their bosses, which in most cases implies a low level of emotional intelligence. So, don’t hesitate a minute longer, develop your emotional intelligence and you’ll see how not only your performance increases, but also that of your team.
Manage people from integrity
If you want to have a cohesive team , where honesty prevails, without a doubt you must promote integrity. What does this mean? Show that you are fair, that you value the truth above all else, that you know how to listen no matter how negative the news is, that you keep your word and that you are fair. Although all of the above are personal values, there is no doubt that their presence and application within the organizational environment is fundamental.
We cannot be some at home and others at work. So, if these are your values with your family, you must be consistent and apply them in any environment, remember that values have a universal meaning, no matter where you are, in what culture, the value of integrity is the same.
Integrity, being a value, transcends borders. If you promote these types of values within your work team, you will not only feel in an environment consistent with who you are, but you will also leave traces on those around you. Remember that we live in a world of relationships and connections, which is why what you promote today with your people will be what you will be talked about in the future.
The ability to solve problems
If an employee comes to you with a difficulty, surely the least they expect is a solution. The ability to solve problems is an inseparable part of the role as a supervisor or manager , which is why developing it is crucial in managing people, even about conflicts that are not yours but that people come to you for their solution.
However, it is important that you understand the broad vision of this skill that goes beyond solving one problem at a time. When managing a team of people, you must also ensure that you identify the factors that led to the conflict, in such a way as to avoid recurrence in the future.
It is also an opportunity to identify weaknesses, opportunities for improvement, training needs and training. Being able to develop this skill will allow you to anticipate potentially conflictive situations, which will give you a great advantage in making changes and ensuring the achievement of objectives without delays or obstacles.
We can find many books that talk about developing skills such as teamwork , communication, leadership, among others; but not so in how to develop trust , because it is a slightly longer and even more fragile path. If in your process of generating teamwork, for example, something does not work, you may implement new actions and manage to get back on track. This does not happen exactly the same with trust, since rebuilding it at the first obstacle requires more effort and time. Remember that trust is earned, not given.
Unlike skills, confidence can be the solid foundation that allows your team to overcome difficulties , regain lost energy, insist on a goal to achieve and maximize their efforts in the face of an uncertain future. That’s how powerful trust is. The key to trusting and being trustworthy within your team is to always keep your word, lead by example, be honest and accept your mistakes. If you practice each of these actions, you will see how the organizational environment will become less conflictive and relationships will become much more solid.
5 Tips for good people management in organizations
Once you have made the decision to optimize the way you manage your work team , you must put into practice each skill and each factor that will ensure your success. To do this, we have summarized, under the 5C model, the best way to achieve it.
Follow these tips to put into practice the factors of success in an efficient management of work teams.
Clearly exposing what you need from people ensures you results aligned with the defined expectations. It implies that you are precise, concrete, specific and that you use a vocabulary according to the level of the person with whom you interact, in such a way as to ensure their understanding.
Identifying the context in which employee behaviors take place helps you better understand why they happen and what you need to do to improve. Listening, understanding the context and having a broad vision facilitate communication within the team and its performance.
When conveying a message to the members of the work team, you must be consistent between what you say and how you act. Likewise, standing firm against your values gives you credibility, thus reinforcing fairness and justice in your environment.
Making difficult decisions implies having the courage to face the consequences and the risks that may occur. Showing your team that you have the courage to do the right thing despite adversity will help your team have the courage and confidence to move forward.
If you expect commitment from your people, you must be the first to commit. To achieve this, you must start by believing yourself in what you do and why you do it; to later transfer that vision and that energy within the work team.
Do not let people management get out of your hands , take control and design a plan where you put into practice each of the factors that we have mentioned above. It will not be a simple task, of course, it implies time, effort and a lot of patience -as we have already said-; however, it is a challenge that is well worth it. Properly managing people and work teams are the basis for the success of any department in any organization, as well as allowing you to gain the experience necessary to manage even more complex teams in the future as you progress in your professional career.