People management in organizations: how to implement it effectively?


people management


For a long time, the ​​people management department, Human Resources, was seen as a small area focused exclusively on the hiring process and some daily and administrative actions within companies. 

However, over time and with a better understanding of the importance of caring for the main organization’s assets, people management is now one of the most important areas for any company.

Today, thanks to the advances in technology and the mindset of managers, the people management team is responsible for a series of functions and responsibilities, such as reducing the turnover rates, developing employees’ soft and hard skills and, of course, attracting and retaining talent.

Therefore, if your company hasn’t yet implemented strategic people management, we have prepared this article to get you started as soon as possible. If you want to know more, keep reading!

What is people management?

People management is a set of practices that aims to align the strategic demands of an organization with the evolution of its employees. As the name implies, it helps the company in managing its human capital.

The logic is that the people management team is always mapping information from the organizational environment that can help to build a healthier and safer work climate for everyone. For example, implementing a Non-Violent Communication training so that everyone builds more constructive feedback for their peers.

Another example could be: if the company has identified high turnover as one of its problems and –as a company objective– managers have decided to reduce this indicator. 

In this case, the people management team can conduct a climate survey to identify what can be improved within the organization and thus develop an action plan to reduce turnover.

Thus, people management should always be aligned with the company’s well-being.

what is people management
Fonte: HiBob

The cost of hiring people

Turnover within a company is not as simple as replacing equipment, and tends to be expensive for the organization. This is why people management for hiring, maintaining and retaining talent is so important.

A company with high turnover, in addition to having problems in developing (due to the constant high volume of new people), will also present costs that could be avoided, including breach of contract and even the time of the human resources team in choosing a new qualified professional.

In this case, strategic people management can implement, for example, a culture of feedback. Thus, the leader must frequently bring notes and parise about the team’s deliveries so that they can always  develop and ensure alignment of expectations.

This makes it easier to identify dissatisfied employees and to help those with  low performance, so that they can have an opportunity of development.

What is the role of people management?

Among the main objectives of the area, people management must guarantee all the rights and needs of employees within organizations.

This includes implementing different methods, techniques and practices, aligned with the organization’s internal policies, with the aim of leveraging human capital, maximizing high-performance management.

Basically, it’s up to the HR department to ensure the company’s organizational culture, in addition to monitoring the entire process within the organization, always seeking to simplify human relationships.

Besides, the manager also needs to be up to date with the latest resources that improve the quality of the team’s work, and generate more engagement among everybody, such as software, methodologies and processes capable of boosting employees’ high performance.

Another HR manager’s task is to intervene in the resolution of possible conflicts that may arise between employees and encourage integration among departments.

What is the leader’s role in people management?

The leader’s responsibility in the strategic management of people is great and requires, in addition to a lot of knowledge, a big deal of flexibility.

From this statement alone, we can already understand that there are several attitudes that every manager needs to demonstrate, as addressed in the post: “How to be a good manager: 27 points to becoming a successful leader”.

In fact, leaders have become the main responsible parties for the success or failure of organizations.

This is because it’s the role of management to motivate their teams, making them engaged and committed to the development of their activities and overcoming the goals established by the companies. In this case, the success of a good leader is measured by the results their team achieves.

Thus, a successful team manager requires different soft skills and capabilities that surpass the competencies of a good manager or boss.

In addition, the leader increasingly needs to understand the processes his team performs, but also have the tact to know, listen and seek to understand his collaborators.

Check out this infographic on how the mind of a HR manager works:

What are the main characteristics of a team manager?

Among the main characteristics of a team leader, we can highlight:

  • the ability to motivate and recognize the efforts of employees;
  • the ability to convey his ideas clearly and in a convincing manner;
  • the ability to transform groups of professionals into real teams.

Furthermore, it’s necessary to recognize the need and the moment to reward people, in addition to knowing how to delegate tasks and encourage challenges.

Here are some tips from Google for successful teams using team management techniques:

It’s also up to the leader to draw up development and training plans for each member of the team, and transform conflicts into a source of learning for everyone.

That’s a lot, isn’t it? These are just the main characteristics of a leader, which help build and sustain the 5 pillars of strategic people management in organizations.

Check out what they are!

What are the 5 pillars of people management?

Any structure -such as a building or a house- needs pillars to support itself. In the same way, a well structured strategic people management needs 5 pillars in order to achieve solid results that lead to success:

  1. Proper motivation of employees;
  2. Communication process;
  3. Teamwork;
  4. Skills and knowledge;
  5. Personal and professional development.

1- Proper motivation of employees

This is the base pillar for people’s development and demands a deep analysis of what motivates your company’s professionals.

Thus, even though many managers believe that the only way to motivate their collaborators is through high investments, successful managers are capable of motivating their team without using monetary incentives. This is because for professionals to do their best, it’s not always enough to receive a larger amount at the end of the month.

When we talk about the different generations within a company, for example, we can see that younger people are much more concerned about being in a healthy environment with potential for professional growth, rather than just money. Silent resignation, much more likely among young people, is proof of that.

However, we’re not saying that financial incentives are not effective; but in most situations, a successful leadership produces results similar to or better than a salary bonus.

This happens due to the behavior of the leader, who positions himself as a mentor to his team’s professionals, developing their technical and human skills. 

Thus, in addition to the leadership posture, companies have other possibilities to implement the pillars of good people management, that are very effective in adequate employee motivation. 

To put them into practice requires more willingness from management than investment in hand. One of them is to adopt measures for the professionals’ well-being.

The manager who needs extra effort from his team, for example, can reward them with bonus hours or days off based on the success of a particular project, or even flexibilize their work schedules.

This makes the job more enjoyable and reduces the burden associated with a daily work routine.

2- The communication process

As Chacrinha used to say: “those who don’t communicate, aggravate”. Thus, one of the main pillars of strategic people management is precisely to maintain clear, objective and two-way communication.

That is, the company needs to transmit its goals and objectives in a clear way, and that managers and leaders always remain open to dialogue with their collaborators. A strong characteristic of companies that implement this pillar correctly is the adoption and encouragement of a feedback culture.

By encouraging both team leaders and their subordinates to evaluate each other and institutional actions, it’s much easier to correct mistakes, align objectives and expectations to obtain better results.

However, just talking it’s not enough, it’s necessary to take action. For this reason, it is essential to encourage communication among everyone.

A good way to do this is to implement official communication channels that allow professionals to express their opinions, whether positive or negative. At first, it’s interesting to stimulate the process anonymously.

Check out this infographic on how to give feedback to your employees:

It is important to remember that developing a sense of belonging is a powerful enhancer of results.

That is, even before establishing communication channels, leaders and managers need to be trained and understand the value of communication in strategic management.

3- Teamwork

For teamwork to take place with quality, it’s necessary that each member of the group clearly understands his role within the global process.

In addition, management needs to keep the work objectives of each professional well aligned and in synergy with the company’s goals.

It’s also important that the individuals on a team understand how their work is closely related to the work of others, and how the quality of one’s activities can positively or negatively influence the results of other professionals.

A great way to encourage this perception is to abandon the Taylorist model, in which each professional is only an expert in their own production processes. A useful tool is the RACI Matrix. It’s a solution specialized in assigning tasks, which helps organizations to have more assertive communication. 

Thus, to reinforce teamwork, it’s essential that the professional understands the importance of his work at the end of the process.

Also, it is interesting for employees to know the activities of other sectors, their limitations and how improving their work facilitates the flow of team processes as well as the organization. This is easily achieved through the implementation of work groups to discuss innovations and problem solving.

Another strategy for successful teams is to constitute them from the joining of multidisciplinary professionals.

Thus, employees on the same team will have capabilities that complement each other and, with the proper encouragement, begin to assimilate new knowledge and develop their own individual skills, eliminating professional limitations.

4- Skills and knowledge

Understanding the importance of skills and knowledge is intrinsic to successful leaders.

After all, an organization is made up of people with their own strong skills and those that need to be improved. On a day-to-day basis, it’s the company’s ability to manage and add these characteristics that allow it to stand out in its sector.

Understanding this diversity, the manager realizes the importance of skills management, which is nothing more than optimizing the results of tasks according to the capacity of the professionals who make up the team. This is only possible by assessing individual attitudes and knowledge.

With a performance evaluation, for example, the person responsible for a team is able to better direct demands, stimulate results with greater productivity, develop their teams and better monitor the performance of their collaborators.

The more knowledge an employee has, the more developed and varied their technical and human skills will be. That is why it’s important for a manager to know the capabilities and limitations of each member of his team.

Only by managing these attributes will they be able to invest more effectively in the personal and professional development of their team members.

5- Personal and professional development

As we are in the Information Age, it’s no wonder that one of the 5 pillars of strategic people management in organizations is exactly the investment in constant personal and professional development.

It’s important to remember that organizations are like living entities and need to transform themselves to follow the development of technology and society in general. For this to be possible, it is necessary to invest, either in training or rewards, according to the technical evolution of each individual. 

Therefore, there are two main ways you can keep your team in constant personal and professional development.

The first is to invest in training, whether external or in-company, by hiring organizations and professionals specialized in certain topics or areas. The more qualified and representative the speaker is, the more easily the knowledge will be absorbed and assimilated into the participants’ routine.

However, it must be remembered that it is not enough to have a technical team. For a company to succeed, it needs better human beings. For this reason, investing in human development training, such as oratory and interpersonal relationships, known as soft skills, is also necessary.

Another way to encourage the constant improvement of professionals is through recognition and special rewards, intended for those who invest in their training.

For example, employees who completed a graduation or post-graduation course in the company’s area of ​​interest have their salary range automatically adjusted. This is quite logical, since -in theory- the company will have an even more qualified workforce.

What are the benefits of people management?

The main people management benefit to your company, among many others, is increased profitability. That’s because more engaged teams tend to be more productive.

Training and bonuses were previously seen as expenses by companies. However, they are now considered investments since organizations today are already able to measure this return.

This means that a company is able to measure the benefit of training in the employee’s own productivity, whether it is a soft or a hard skill.

It should be noted that, in addition to greater productivity, people management increases people’s well-being, reducing turnover within the organization, which usually has a very high cost.

Another point is that more motivated and healthier employees tend to be less absent to visit doctors. This reduces the cost of health plans and the replacement of labor during the period of absence.

What are the people management areas?

With technological evolution, there has been an increase in the number of people management areas in which professionals can work. The main ones are:

  • Training analysis;
  • Job and salaries analysis;
  • Benefit supervision.

Therefore, the people manager can choose one of these areas, usually the one they are most interested in.

#1 Training analysis

The training analysis area is where the manager is responsible for employees’ training, with the aim of transforming collaborators’ groups into super teams.

In this case, the professional needs to find out which are the most suitable courses and training being offered in the market and monitor the results closely.

In addition, there are companies that, in order to encourage the participation of employees in training programs, allow the employee to have some time off afterwards.

#2 Job and salary analysis

The job and salary analyst is responsible for taking care of all the structuring of processes, as well as organizing this area within the company.

Is responsible for managing the available vacancies and the salaries that will be offered for each one. It should be noted that a lot of responsibility and broad vision is required in this position.

This is because the most talented employees are always looking for the best alternatives on the market, and the company needs to be very attentive to this.

#3 Benefit supervision

Another area of ​​people management concerns benefits oversight. This area is responsible for evaluating which are the most attractive benefits for employees.

It may be that a benefit makes sense for an employee and, at the same time, doesn’t make sense for another, which is why it is an area that has been growing a lot, due to how the leader needs to deal with this personalized management of benefits.

How to manage people?

The first step to good strategic people management in organizations is to define the work goals to be achieved by the teams. In the Human Resources area itself, HR indicators are increasingly used and become strategic.

It’s not enough to work on motivation, communication, encourage teamwork and the development of personal and professional skills if managers set unattainable goals, as this will demotivate their team members.

This aspect is perhaps one of the most differentiating factors between a boss and a leader. By knowing the limitations of their team members and understanding that the goals are their responsibility, a leader doesn’t impose unreachable objectives.

Thus, the most effective way for setting goals for your team members is through a goal plan, where individual objectives must be established in accordance with the company’s global planning. That is, each professional on your team should contribute to the achievement of the overall goal.

At this point, it’s very important to know the analytics of your collaborators, so that each one receives goals consistent with their assignments and abilities. The so-called SMART goals, for example, are an excellent way to choose what information your company should monitor and how to define it.

Another common situation within companies is the distribution of goals without first talking to professionals and understanding their demands and realities. After all, a professional may be limited due to the internal processes of other departments or the lack of tools that enhance his work.

Finally, the best way to set goals in a strategic people management context is through constant monitoring of processes.

Every successful team manager knows how this is an important and fundamental practice in setting achievable goals and obtaining the desired results. However, if necessary, don’t hesitate to redistribute goals or readjust them, either up or down.

Examples of effective people management

A good example of people management is Dell, a company that invests in technological solutions such as hardware, security software, etc.

The company has a program to support diversity and inclusion, and each unit has groups of professionals whose objective is to raise awareness and influence colleagues on topics such as tolerance, respect and inclusion.

Airbnb also follows the same line, and the company’s HR department has long ceased to be just a hiring area to provide inclusive and inspiring management.

The organization structured an excellent workplace, and based on the experience of its team, created an environment focused on well-being, engagement and happiness.

How to evaluate the results?

Results can be measured in different ways. Many people think that the best way is through numbers; however, not always an absolute number really means what it represents.

For example, if the commercial team increased its average sales by 50% in a given period, while the marketing sector invested 100% more in advertising and sales strategies in the same period, the result was not so positive.

Therefore, it’s necessary to analyze the results well in order to better evaluate them. The best way to understand the results obtained by the company, whether individual or group, is through the definition and monitoring of KPI (Key Performance Indicators).

These indicators, due to the constant updating, allow managers to observe how close the targets are -or not- to being met. With this, leaders are able to gain insights to take actions that can enable faster achievement of the proposed goals.

The same goes for the strategic management of people. The performance indicators of each professional can be followed for periods.

1- Identification of problems

It is the manager’s role to identify possible problems such as absenteeism rates or a drop in professionals’ performance, which may mean demotivation, personal issues or even problems with their immediate superiors or co-workers.

To achieve this level of management, the best path is to automate processes and adopt technological solutions that facilitate instant monitoring of performance indicators.

Technology helps identify flaws in the management process and even proposes corrective actions aimed at enhancing results. There are platforms on the market that can gather all the performance indicators from different teams of a company in the same environment, simplifying analysis and reporting.

2- The importance of people management

Therefore, as you could see throughout this article, people management is a highly recommended practice and has proven to be fundamental in the development of companies.

Currently, it’s no longer a competitive advantage, but a necessity for professionals to develop skills and achieve results that they would not be encouraged to achieve without team motivation.

Thus, it can be perceived that it’s not enough to just define a strategic people management plan to appear in the company’s annual report, based on the 5 pillars of strategic people management in organizations.

It’s important to structure it well and invest in consolidating strategies, which often don’t even require monetary investments, such as the feedback culture.

In other words, for an effective strategic management of people in organizations, it’s necessary to take people management seriously and include it into the corporate culture. This is a very interesting subject, isn’t it?

Check out this infographic on the Organizational Culture Iceberg:

Next steps

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