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January 15, 2021

People Management Is An Art


Andrew Beaumont

Over the last year, the world as we know it has changed drastically and therefore so has the way we do business – I talked about this in further detail in last month’s blog. Whilst the way we interact and the way services are provided have changed, one fundamental thing has stayed the same; people.

The tools of business have changed but business people themselves have not. They have adapted, hunkered down, and driven success. In the face of adversity, quality, ambition, and determination will always shine through and prevail. A business’ employees are its most valuable commodity; do not take them for granted.

If people are the most important part of a business then people management should be of paramount importance, right? So, why do so many people get this wrong? Why does it not share the same focus as recruitment?

Companies have millions of pounds in recruitment costs each year trying to find the best people for the job. Once they’ve been found, the investment shouldn’t stop there. The efforts committed to discovering new, emerging talent should also be matched and dedicated to retaining current staff.

Effective people management is so important in any line of business and should therefore be one of your top priorities. Here are just a few tips on how you can help preserve and nurture your own work force:

Get to know your staff

Getting to know what makes the individuals in your team tick is invaluable. Every person is different and therefore so too are their motivators. There is no hard and fast rule for what does and doesn’t work; you must look to personalise the line management experience for each and every one of your staff.

Get to know about their social and familial situations. This can allow you to understand any particular stressors they might be facing and therefore what is – or might have the potential to – affect their performance.

Everyone faces a different battle and making assumptions can leave you with egg on your face. There is almost always a reasonable explanation behind someone’s actions. Understanding the individual making the action should make their reasoning clearer and allow for more open and honest communication.

Performance Discussions

You should look to have a constant dialogue with your employees, encouraging open and frank communication. Creating this kind of environment means that if there is an issue, there is an (almost) immediate opportunity to raise it. This means it can be brought to your attention and dealt with as quickly as possible, preventing it from festering or snowballing into something far greater.

Subsequently, when performance reviews come around, there will be no nasty surprises. You should both have sight of what issues will be raised, allowing more time to make adjustments and improvements, rather than leaving everything until year end!  Simply put, employees who are able to comfortably raise issues without fear of repercussion will be much happier.  

Act Quickly and Decisively

If difficult decisions must be made, such as redundancies, they should be made as efficiently as possible.Something as serious as redundancy causes enough anxiety as it is, working to minimise any additional stress over and above that is vital for every employee, not just those individuals departing.

Any decision hanging over an employee or lingering amongst a team will lead to unrest and will be a detriment to performance. Act quickly and decisively to prevent tensions and contempt growing.

Be Consistent and Act with Integrity

In the interest of equity, you must be consistent between employees. If it appears individuals are receiving special treatment or particular ‘favourites’ are emerging, your integrity will quickly be brought into question. Once this happens, distrust will be rife, and your leadership may be questioned.

Of course, every individual is different and no two experiences will be the same, but fairness and due process should always be followed. As long as this is the case, and decisions follow sound reasoning, you should foster a satisfied team.

Something More?

These are just a few tips to help you along the way to becoming a first class line manager! If you want further advice or guidance on this subject, or have any other unrelated queries, drop me an email ( or pick up the phone (01788 228608).

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