Do you have these essential people management skills for HR?

Tue 10 Jan 2023

Two people giving each other high five sitting at a desk with laptop computers

People management skills are critical if you have a HR role as they will help you better understand and manage the employees within the business. 

People management and business management are two often-confused but incredibly different skill sets – both of which are crucial to the long-term success of an organisation. While business managers with titles like CEO, Managing Director, or line manager are responsible for overseeing the overall functioning and profitability of the business, people managers will have titles like HR Manager, Employee Coordinator, or Talent Manager and are responsible for the performance, wellbeing, and progression of individual employees. 

To be a successful people manager, you need these skills: 

Active Listening

One of the biggest responsibilities of any people management role is to listen to employees about their skills, concerns, and goals – so active listening is one of the top communication skills you will need to hone. Active listening means more than simply nodding your head and taking notes – it involves listening to the message beneath the words, considering the tone and body language of the employee who is speaking, and determining the right questions to ask to get the best results. 

Conflict resolution

Conflict is often inevitable within a business and can be the product of numerous factors including conflicting personalities, priorities, experiences, and perceptions. While some conflicts within teams can help employees grow, consistent or major conflicts can create significant barriers to success and will need to be resolved. People managers have the responsibility to find solutions to complex issues through conflict resolution strategies; helping employees get back to doing what they do best. 


People managers need to be compassionate and be able to easily see things from several points of view. Empathy is a skill that all people managers need to be able to develop bespoke solutions for each employee depending on their needs and circumstances. Without empathy, you risk putting processes in place that will not work for employees and may cause greater issues down the line. 

Ability to feedback 

Since people managers are responsible for developing an employee's skills and capabilities through regular performance appraisals, another crucial communication skill they need to perfect is the ability to provide feedback effectively – whether it is positive recognition or constructive criticism.


Unlike business managers who will only have a small team of direct reports to interact with daily, people managers are often responsible for all or many of the employees within the business. To effectively manage your responsibilities to them all, you will need to be highly organised and able to develop efficient processes for managing your workload. 

Want to develop these people management skills?

Our CIPD Level 5 Associate Diploma in People Management helps you develop all these skills through its core units:

  • Organisational Performance and Culture in Practice 
  • Evidence-based Practice 
  • Professional Behaviours and Valuing People 
  • Employment Relationship Management 
  • Talent Management and Workforce Planning 
  • Reward for Performance and Contribution 

Our CIPD courses are designed by people management specialists and help you develop your expertise and achieve your professional qualification; giving you the confidence to showcase your knowledge, improve your performance and make a real difference in your workplace.

Register your interest or call one of our Qualifications advisors on 0330 057 1593 for more information. 

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