Managing people has always been a challenge everywhere. This is because people are difficult to manage and most managers too lack the skill of effective people management. This is why we are X-raying this book entitled “The Art of Managing People”. It is co-written by Dr. Phillip Hunsaker and Dr.Anthony Alessandra, two brilliant management experts.
Hunsaker is a professor of management and director of management programs, School of Business Administration at the University of San Diego. He is a renowned consultant, speaker, and author of many best-selling books on management. As for Alessandra, he is a highly-respected sale, marketing, and management consultant as well as an award-winning public speaker. He has written more than 100 articles.
According to Hunsaker and Alessandra, the art of managing people productively and effectively is a dynamic process that is ever changing and evolving, and many of the managerial concepts proposed only a few years ago cannot and will not work in today’s environment. These experts ascribe this development to the fact that people, business environment, government, and the world have changed, while the scarcity of resources has worsened, especially the valuable resource of skilled labor.
Hunsaker and Alessandra submit that attracting, training, motivating and keeping employees have become much more difficult and expensive, adding that these will even get worse in the future. They submit that this text has been written to overcome many of the traditional manager-employee relationship problems. According to these authors, when a manager establishes a friendly yet productive working atmosphere, the benefits to the whole organization are substantial.
These authors assert that the text offers you practical strategies, guidelines, and techniques for developing interpersonal skills critical to the improvement of relations with employees; how to understand differences among people and behave accordingly; assessing and improving current working situations; creating trust between managers and employees, etc.
Hunsaker and Alessandra say person-to-person skills are central to the development of an effective team of satisfied and energetic workers. They educate that allowing your workers to express their own personalities and maximize their potential will reduce stress within the workforce, create a positive spirit throughout the company and increase the organization’s productivity and profitability.
The new Manager will generally have great expertise in the technical side of the role, and high performance here will have gained them the promotion to people manager or supervisor. However, in every walk of life, the newly appointed supervisor will have less developed people management, communication, and people skills. Whether the work is on the shop floor, a hospital, an office or a business, the new Manager will have technical expertise but will require building their people management and team building skills.
The Objectives of People Management
Identifying clear objectives will help any Manager begin to build the competencies they need to manage people effectively. These objectives are:
1. To Achieve the Results of Others: Up to now, the Manager has been responsible for his or her own performance and results. Now, you will be measured on the results of your team members. Success in people management is having team members that outperform the best of the best, and they do it without the Manager’s help.
2. To Win Followers: It is the job of the leader to win the respect of the followers and to show them the direction forward. An effective people manager does not want to be liked, but they do want to show respect and to gain respect. Success is when the Team Members trust that they have a captain of the ship who will both keep them safe, and who will build the high performing team that will succeed.
3. To Build Personal Leadership: Now you must control everything you do to ensure you win the respect of others and motivate them to achieve their goals. Appreciate that your attitude and behavior will influence your team members either positively or negatively. Use your behaviour positively to encourage others to improve and achieve.
4. To Structure and Organise the World Load Effectively: People management involves knowing the strengths of your people and ensuring that you use those strengths effectively to achieve high results. That does not necessarily mean building a team of individual specialists, quite the reverse. Effective people management means building the right team to achieve your team’s objectives. You may need to build flexible people who can step into each other’s role, or a team who can brainstorm and problem solve any aspect of the team’s workload. Start with the end in mind. Identify what type of team you want, and work out how you will train individuals and the team to get there.
5. To Build Effective Team Processes: Team processes are the systems we use to enable the team to achieve its goals. How do we solve problems, address issues, generate new ideas, monitor throughput of work or review how we are working together as a team? Think in terms of process as the solution to most work issues is to have the right process to deal with this. Success is when the team have an identifiable process they can call on to removing any block or implement any improvement. A high performing team will use this without the leader being present.
6. To Build Positive Working Relationships with Senior Management and other Colleagues: People Management involves not just managing your own people, and yourself, but managing your relationships with everyone. It is the role of the Manager to be capable of drawing down resources for the Team and ensuring that we work productively with other departments. Your team will want a leader who can influence and persuade others. A Manager must know what type of relationship is effective and they will go about building positive working relationships with a network of people throughout the organisation. Success is when everyone wants to do business with you and others will listen to your viewpoint.
7. To Build the Habit of Setting Short-term Goals to Achieve Long-term Objective: An effective People Manager takes steps forward every week and every month. Those steps are in identifiable goals, and those goals must be foundation bricks so that further goals will be more achievable. Managers walk and talk goals and goal achievement. Goals are motivational for the team members and for the Manager.
8. Celebrate Success: Good people management is about recognising milestones, goal achievements or individual breakthroughs, and celebrating these with the team. Life should be fun, and the best celebrations are small, personal recognitions. A homemade cake is more powerful that an insignificant bonus! Managing people is about knowing people, and knowing what will be rewarding for each.