Top priorities for successful people management
Finding success as a people-first manager takes more than just good intentions. It takes someone who is truly passionate about enabling their team day in and day out, and who is committed to a culture of engagement and effective people management.
So what can you do to make sure you’re on the right path to becoming a successful people manager? Here are the two biggest priorities to keep in mind as you develop your people-first strategy.
People management 101: Treat people as individuals
No one wants to be seen as just a number, or part of a well-oiled machine that just punches the time clock each day. The best people managers are the ones who treat their team members as individuals first and foremost—they’re intentional about their relationship with their employees. Many managers fall short in this area, often to the detriment of the manager-employee relationship and the dynamic of the greater team.
Employees need to feel like their manager is genuinely invested in their best interests and what it takes for them to succeed—both on the team and in their careers. This means making an effort to get to know your people for who they are, beyond their resume and whatever skills they bring to the table. Knowing more about the your people—whether it’s their weekend hobbies, favorite vacation spot, or professional goals—helps you to understand how to be the best possible manager and someone who’s invested in the success of your people.
Give consistent feedback
This may seem pretty obvious for a manager, but you’d be surprised by the number of employees who feel like they aren’t receiving consistent and constructive feedback about their work. Not only are weekly 1:1s a great way to carve out dedicated time for feedback, but they also give employees the opportunity to bring up concerns that they might not have felt comfortable addressing outside of this environment.
But successful people managers do more than just dole out feedback every week. They also solicit feedback on their performances from the people who know them the best—their team. In your next 1:1 with an employee, consider asking them, “what’s one thing I’m doing that causes you stress?” While this might seem like an awkward conversation at first, it’s an important step toward establishing the honest exchange of feedback that’s critical to success as a manager and as a team. When the feedback process is a two-way street between manager and employee, you begin to create a culture of self-improvement that motivates and challenges your people, making them excited to bring their best selves to work each day.