10 Best Practices To Manage People Well
Forget words like “boss” and “control.” To manage well is to embrace words like “empower,” “discover,” “celebrate,” “affirm,” and “coach.” That’s because supervising roles are, in essence, serving roles. The best supervisors out there know that it’s both an honor and a huge responsibility to be placed in a management position. And they see their most important function as helping the people they manage to flourish.
If you are—or aspire to be—a manager or supervisor, consider implementing these 10 best people management practices.
1. Model the behavior you are desiring to see in team members.Some examples include behaviors like having a solid work ethic, conveying a positive attitude, being present, following through on commitments, being on time, reflecting the broader staff culture, communicating well, and determining action items at the close of meetings. If you expect those you manage to do these things, you need to do them, too.
2. Hire good people.No matter what the job climate may be, don’t settle. Follow your organization’s hiring process, and value the feedback of others along the way. Focus on hiring people who live out the values of the organization and have drive, sound judgment, and positive influence. And make sure they are people who love to learn and are coachable.
3. Define clear expectations.This includes making sure you connect the dots for how each person’s role relates to the larger purpose/vision of your organization. Help people know what it takes to succeed and how to score “wins” everyday. And when they do achieve wins, however big or small, take time to celebrate and connect these wins to the mission of the organization.
4. Praise and recognize people often.Make heroes out of the people you manage. Leaders aren’t competing with their employees; they sincerely cheer for them. And they praise them, both privately and publicly, for a job well-done.
5. Care well for your people as persons.Make sure that those you manage have what they need to succeed in their roles, and help them develop in preparation for broader leadership. People have lives outside of the workplace too, so learn family member names, keep up with family happenings, and celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. If you sense any tension or frustration with someone you manage, ask about it and listen carefully to them.
6. Meet with direct reports one-on-one every week.This is a time to listen, praise, affirm, develop, and give feedback. Make this the most important part of your job. Investing in your team is the wisest investment you can make with your time and resources, as it will eventually multiply your efforts and impact.
7. Seek feedback from the people you lead.Doing this effectively will mean asking questions such as “Is there anything I need to do differently to serve you better?” and “How do you prefer to be encouraged, affirmed, and coached?” It also means making it clear that you are ready and eager for honest responses from those you manage.
8. Pay attention to results.Results and numbers matter. Quantifying results helps to make sure the team and individuals on the team are succeeding. People want to know that their work is impacting the bottom line, and you can help to make that impact tangible for them.
9. Clearly define the culture you want to have for both your team and your organization.Work to build a dynamic team culture of collaboration, celebration, and cultivation. Talk about those values often; illustrate them and connect actions and behaviors to them. This practice has bearing on hiring practices, too; clearly defining your organization and team culture will help you determine the right people to bring on board.
10. Be present and available.An absent leader is a disconnected leader. Being present and easy to reach for your team members will show that they are your priority.
These 10 best management practices take time and effort. But you can start to apply them by highlighting one practice a week to work on. As you make progress, my hope and prayer for you is that you lead well, even as you are led well.
Are you currently in a management role? Don't miss our upcoming Business Leader Roundtable on September 28. Find more information and register here.