Everything you need to know about people management

Thu 11 May 2023

Angela Tracey-Brown

Product Manager - CMI

If you’re thinking of becoming a people manager, you may have a few questions about the industry that need clearing up. 

This article will address everything you need to know about people management careers - from skills, responsibilities, salaries and more!

What is people management?

People management is the process of managing employees in the workplace. From tasks such as recruiting, training, supervising, motivating and developing professionals, people management has a focus on creating a strong, positive workforce and work environment. 

The goal of people managers is to develop a strong, talented workforce that is highly competent and has high job satisfaction. This is achieved through understanding individuals’ needs, setting goals and creating a healthy work environment. 

How do you become a people manager?

Generally, becoming a people manager requires a combination of training and work experience. In addition to education, people managers typically have several years of experience working in their chosen field, developing skills in areas such as leadership, communication, conflict resolution, and performance management. 

If you want to become a people manager or have found yourself in a managerial role with little knowledge of people management, you should consider a CIPD-approved HR course

How long does it take to become a people manager?

You can become a people manager by studying a Level 5 CIPD course. This qualification will give you the people management training you need to show employers you have the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in your field. 

The Level 5 qualification typically takes 1-2 years to complete. Alternatively, you can seek experience in a HR role to progress your career, although this can take significantly longer. A HR degree is also an option, however, a degree can take up to 3 years to complete. 

Why are people management skills important in HR?

People management plays a large role in HR. Here are some of the benefits people management contributes to the workplace:

Talent retention

People management works toward creating a healthy work environment. Talented staff are likely to stay with an organisation if the environment is healthy and they feel supported. 

Increased productivity

Employees work much more efficiently and effectively in a healthy, supported environment, leading to an increase in workplace productivity and higher employee engagement. 

Address performance issues 

HR staff trained in people management can identify issues in performance and support employees through any obstacles leading to better employee performance. 

Increased trust

Effective people management in the workplace supports an open communication environment, which increases the trust between employer and employee. 

What are the responsibilities of a people manager?

People managers are responsible for many aspects of workplace employee management, such as:

  • Recruitment
  • Team management
  • Skills development
  • Performance evaluations
  • Schedule management
  • Conflict resolution
  • Ensuring legal compliance
  • Promoting positive workplace culture
  • Career development.

Because there are many aspects to the role, people management can be a very exciting and varied career choice!

What key skills make a good people manager?

If you have some of the following skills, or are wanting to develop your skills further, you could make a good people manager:

  • Good communication skills
  • Leadership skills
  • High emotional intelligence
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Time management skills
  • Strategic thinking
  • Cultural awareness
  • Knowledge of workplace law
  • Adaptability
  • People skills
  • Problem solving skills.

How much does a people manager earn in the UK?

People management is a lucrative career, with average salaries in the UK ranging from £53,000-£63,000. However, these roles are typically reserved for those with the qualifications to demonstrate their skills and knowledge.

With a cost of around £2,995, a CIPD approved HR course will give you a better return on investment as opposed to a HR degree, which may cost up to £27,750!

How do you performance manage as a people manager?

As a people manager, it is your responsibility to ensure a healthy workplace environment for all. This means, you may have to deal with performance issues sometimes. Although this can be a little sticky, here are a few things you can do to deal with challenges.

Address the issue early

Before it gets too late, address the issue early. You can remind people of company policies through effective communication. Be fair with your approach and act as a good role model.

Actively listen

Although behaviour of a staff member may seem challenging, this may be a result of a wider workplace issue and it is important to consider all employees’ feelings. Be sure to listen to their concerns and build trust.

Be objective

As a people manager, it is your job to be objective and impartial.

Explain expectations clearly

Communicate with the employee about what is expected of them. use the employee handbook to reiterate guidelines and support the right behaviours.

Develop a plan of action

You want to ensure that you do everything possible to solve the issue. The employee could be a talented member of staff that you may not want to lose. Develop a personal action plan to set objectives and guide the employee on the steps they can take to improve.

Set consequences

Using a personal action plan you can check objectives have been met within a specified timescale. If behaviour hasn’t improved, you can then effectively manage performance.

Document everything

It is important to document everything so you can evidence the steps that were taken and that company policies and procedures have been followed.

If you’re wanting to gain entry level knowledge in the field of HR with a people management course, check out our CIPD-approved HR course and enrol today.

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