Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Essential skills for a people manager

The role of a manager is to ensure that the team is cohesive and each member feels proud to belong to the team. The manager is the team's link to the larger organisation. He has to set the right target, create enthusiasm among people, develop a positive attitude and motivate them to do their best. He should look further ahead so that the goals are selected wisely. A good people manager ensures that the problems are tackled well in time. He possesses the ability to effectively negotiate and use persuasion when necessary to ensure the success of the team and project. Through effective communication the manager supports individual and team achievements by creating guidelines for accomplishing tasks and for the career advancement of team members. He also has an excellent ability to delegate tasks and keep his cool under pressure.

Effective managers are great motivators. Each employee requires a different kind of motivation. Non-monetary rewards form an important part of a comprehensive employee recognition program. Non-monetary means can be used for either individual or team rewards. One could seek out and share stories of exceptionally motivated explorers, athletes, musicians, artists, volunteers, inventors and entrepreneurs. Find out what activities and pursuits have created maximum motivation in the past for employees. Listen to your team members carefully. Watch your words during team discussions. This will make a lot of difference. Share all the details you have related to the projects with the team members. This will result in deeper involvement of the team. Give them timely, accurate and regular feedback. Encourage the team to face risks. Be prepared with the mitigation strategies upfront. Setting deadlines and goals helps keep employees focused, busy and motivates them to concentrate on their work. Talk to each employee about the company's goals, and work with them to set individual goals directly linked to your business's mission. Make sure employees understand their professional growth path in the company.

Communicate! Open communication is the number one priority for most employees. If you want your employees to work hard and be committed to your business, you have to keep them in the loop. Open communication helps foster loyalty and gives employees a sense of pride. It helps them understand how their work contributes to the company's success. Trust is an essential element in the relationship of a manager and his team. You demonstrate your trust in others through your actions - how much you check and control their work, how much you delegate and how much you allow people to participate.

To be an effective manager you must know yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, and those of the people around you. You must know your objectives and have a plan of how to achieve them. You must build a team of people that share your commitment to achieve those objectives, and you must help each team member to achieve his best in order to attain a common goal. Rewards and recognition should be based on meritocracy. Feedback from the other team members should be acceptable but the judgment should be made with an independent mind. An effective manager is often described as having a vision of where to go and the ability to articulate it. He is the one who provides equal opportunity to everyone and ensures that people feel connected.

Ref:Times Ascent

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