Developing excellent people management skills is one of the most challenging aspects of being a manager. Sensitive issues arise almost daily, and the way you deal with these situations dictates the mood of your department or team.
In many cases, an issue can quickly “blow up” and lead to tension in the workplace, uncooperative staff, the resignation of valuable employees or even CCMA cases, Union action and strikes.
To gain your staff’s respect, buy-in and the approval of senior management, you need to solve people problems quickly, sensitively and professionally – without having to always resort to formal disciplinary procedures.
This Effective People Management Skills programme packed with essential people management techniques will assist you with even the most awkward or challenging people related situations.
Participants who fully attend this course and complete the test on the last day will receive a Strategic Axis Professional Certificate (SAPC). SAPC certificates are regionally recognized and can be quite valuable when applying for more senior roles within the organization or outside.
Successful management is not an inherent skill. It is a skill that has to be learned, practiced and continually fine-tuned. Successfully managing people is often the most daunting part of any managerial post, because getting it wrong can have disastrous consequences for your staff, your team and your company.
Establishing the characteristics of a good people manager
Shifting the focus from being purely on your technical skills to your soft skills as well
Are you a born leader or can you learn it?
Is experience really that valuable?
Is there a personality type most suited to management?
Is there a best management style?
People related problems are often sensitive and highly emotive. It is critical that you learn how to quickly and efficiently address these issues in a manner that not only reinforces your credibility but improves staff morale and productivity. Often, an informal meeting – adequately run and managed – is all you need to smooth rough waters.
Devising a meeting planner to ensure you cover all the relevant issues
How to broach sensitive topics
Techniques to follow if your employee is not listening or not taking your advice on board
Tools to calm things down if emotions start running high
How to lighten the mood when the meeting has been emotional or difficult
Agreeing on a remedial action plan and a date for re-assessing the situation
Ending the meeting only when you are sure your objectives have been achieved
Unfortunately, as a manager, you will at some point have to resort to a more formal approach to resolving conflict and people-related problems. To ensure your meeting objectives are achieved and the situation fixed, you need to plan carefully for these meetings and implement and follow correct procedures.
Following a formal meeting template to ensure you follow correct procedure
Discovering the best way to introduce the issues to be discussed
Tailoring your communication style to suit the employee
Encouraging the employee’s participation to ensure a fair meeting
Dealing effectively with counter-accusations, reprisals, and denials
Notating the meeting correctly to prevent potential backlash
Ending the meeting on a positive note: motivating the employee to perform better or continue performing after the formal part of the meeting is finished
Without realizing it, managers often engage in the unproductive managerial behavior. Usually, this is due to the increased pressure of added responsibility and accountability. Additionally, people, related problems are awkward and often time-consuming, making it attractive to sidestep issues or react inappropriately. This can only lead to arguments escalated and a dramatic drop in staff motivation
Avoid communicating poorly and erratically with your staff – usually due to time constraints
Don’t set goals and deadlines that seem unrealistic to your team
Do not avoid or sidestep salary or benefit complaints
Don’t ignore your own or your staff’s high-stress levels
Avoid dishing out inconsistent and unjustified criticism and discipline
Be careful not to unwittingly favor specific staff members to the detriment of their colleagues
Ensure that you listen – even when someone is trying to tell you something during hectic periods
Communicating openly with your staff is one of the most critical skills you need to master as a manager. Your team cannot perform or meet expectations if they are unclear about deadlines and your requirements. This can lead to frustration and demotivation. Ensure that you are always available to your staff and that you make the time to listen to their queries, complaints, and concerns.
Discovering the importance of implementing a working “open door” policy
Listening to criticism with an open mind and taking the necessary steps
Working openly and honestly with your team
Setting clear, defined policies and goals that have been discussed with your staff
Tackling poor performance or bad behavior quickly and fairly
Rewarding good work and encouraging those who are struggling to perform
Continuously communicating with your staff
Practising using tools and techniques to manage day to day work
The role of assertive communication in getting the job done and leading others
The principles of induction, supervision, and appraisal (cycle)
Good practice in setting objectives and delegating, and how these support the performance management cycle
Practising setting goals
The role of the manager in identifying learning needs
Creating a template for 1:1 discussions
The role of giving (and receiving) feedback in managing performance
Practising giving feedback through role plays
Management theories as a means to understand natural management styles and their effects on the individual
The need for various management styles to the motivational and development needs of different individuals and situations
How to motivate the poor and good performer
The need to foster a positive team atmosphere
The contribution of all team members with their various team styles
The life cycle of a team
Consensus decision making – its advantages and disadvantages and its role
The challenges of managing a virtual or dispersed team
Tools and techniques to manage change.
People management skills need to be practiced. With every year that passes while you are a manager, you continuously need to assess and fine-tune the way you manage your staff. By continually re-evaluating your people management skills you are ensuring that your team and your work environment remains harmonious and productive.
Using honest self-assessment techniques/performance criteria to gauge your managerial performance on an on-going basis
Establishing the impact of your management style on your staff