The two roles and eight tasks of a People Manager
People Managers have two key roles:
1-Organize and Align the work to achieve company objectives
2-Engage, Develop and Rewards their teams.
In each of the roles there are four key tasks
Organize and Align.
1.Set Direction. Define objectives, priorities and course correct for each member of the team, aligning objectives with those of the broader organization.
2.Assign Resources. Time, money and other resources needed to achieve the objectives.
3.Remove obstacles. Managers need to remove obstacles, create the right connections within the organization, guide their direct reports through set backs and bridge gaps in performance.
4.Monitor Progress. Through regular check ins Managers need to monitor status of objectives and projects to course correct re assign resources and manage timelines.
Engage and Develop
1.Engage. Managers need to understand what the engagement drivers of their teams are, these drivers are different for each individual and change over time. So, having regular conversations with team members, and finding the right engagement levers and interventions is key for employee engagement and a positive work environment.
2.Develop. Managers need to find the appropriate ways to develop their teams. There are many ways to do so, the first step is to have a dialogue and understand where employees want to go in their careers, asses and agree on current capabilities and those to develop. Then Managers need to support their direct reports in having acces to development interventions whether they are training, broadening experiences or other means. Then Manager should be available to coach and debrief learnings and secure development happens.
3.Rewards. Managers need to use all levers to reward their teams, not only monetary but also non-monetary rewards as well as recognition.
4.Team Effectiveness. Last but probably most important is to manage the effectiveness and efficiency of the team. Making sure the health, governance and coordination within the team and the team with its stakeholders works to its best.
Done well these tasks should allow the organization to achieve its objectives and its contributors to develop.
Quality People Managers are at the heart of successful organizations with engaged employees.
I refer to Managers and not to Leaders to avoid the hierarchy trap. Every person with a direct report is a People Manager, as you go up the organization Managers become Managers of Managers and then Organizacional Managers, and in each transition the scope, time dedication and framework of impact changes significantly, but the eight task remain the same.
Developing Manager Quality.
To develop Manager quality first we need to agree on what needs to be developed.
The eight tasks give a good beginning.
First start with an assessment on what the person is good at and what needs to improve, a 360-feedback survey could be a good tool to get objective data on behaviors related to the eight tasks.
My recommendation is to develop one task at a time
For each task I believe there is a component of theory/best practices/behaviors desired that need to be tough. This could be 30% of the activity.
Then comes practice/feedback/practice/getting better/practice and feedback. This is the other 70%.
Once a task is at certain level then train another.
And once you finish, retrain again… learning to be a good People Manager is a continuous, never ending, journey.