Research shows that good people management has a positive impact on profitability but does it mean it's a top priority for line managers who are overloaded with time-critical operational tasks?
People management often gets squeezed out by operational pressures, particularly if managers don’t feel properly equipped and confident about what they should be doing, right?
To be an effective people manager requires a daunting breadth of competencies, knowledge and information, particularly given that many managers are promoted for their functional competence and don’t intuitively understand what constitutes good management practice.
From our experience of working with organisations and management communities, we’ve seen that there are typically a range of factors that prevent line managers carrying out their people management responsibilities effectively.
- Lack of time – other more time-pressing operational tasks always get in the way
- Lack of competence – e.g. how to give feedback or how to handle a coaching conversation
- Lack of knowledge – of HR processes, of relevant legislation and of best practice management techniques
- Lack of clear direction and example from senior managers
- Lack of access to relevant information – about their employees, key metrics etc
- Lack of empathy – managers may not naturally be ‘people persons’
- Lack of trust from HR department/senior managers – ‘managers just given enough rope to hang themselves’
- Lack of a clear framework to act within – no clear policies and standards to guide them in their day-to-day activities
So how do you empower your own managers to be more accountable and be more effective?