Managing people in the twenty-first century

U24Business Inglés Recursos HumanosThere is a huge knowledge base on managing organisations and people, right?

So why is it that many managers find the challenge frustrating and difficult?

‘So the problem is?’
‘It’s the people management thing. It’s handling the people who work for me. They are a constant headache. I’ve tried to read the books and I’ve been on people management courses. I didn’t miss one of the OB classes on my MBA course. But I still despair at the difficulty i have with managing the people in my function; sorting out who is going to do what, getting them to do things I want, getting them to finish things on time, even getting them to be where I want them. And that’s before I get into all the recruiting, training, appraising and all that stuff.’

(Watson, 2002)

The funny thing is that it is highly probable that this manager’s frustation with his staff was mirrored by their own sense of frustration and dissatisfaction with him as a manager and the way in which he ‘practised’ management. Why does he feel he is not making progress?

What an important question for human resources (HR) specialists, or line managers. The thing is, there is not a universal solution to this. So, let’s share a positive line of questions of things you can do to become a better manager:

– Do people in my team know what is expected of them at work?
– Do they have the materials and equipment they need to do their work right?
– At work, do they have the opportunity to do what they do best every day?
– In the last week, have I given recognition or praise for doing good work?
– Do I show each member of my team I care about him/her as a person?
– Do I encourage their development?
– At work, do their opinions count?
– Does the mission/purpuse of my company make everyone feel their job is important?
– Are all individuals involved committed to doing quality work?
– Do they have friends at work?
– In the last six months, have I talked to everyone about their progress?
– This last year, have they had opportunities at work to learn and grow?

It does not need a great deal of thought to realise that the more ‘Yesses’ you get, the more your employees will value you as a manager. In fact, the more ‘yesses’ the higher they will perform and less likely to think about leaving the organisation.

But managing people is not only about having good individual manager, but also about the way organisations and the team of managers create particular kinds of environments within which both managers and employees work. When people apply for jobs, they do not just want good money, benefits package and development opportunities. What they want to know is ‘What is it like working here?’

So our invitation to you is to answer that question yourself (‘What is it like working in my company?’) And once you have done it, do it again (‘Is it really so? For everybody? Is there room for improvement?’)

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