People management library

Hundreds of people management resources for people teams, managers, executives, and employees.

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People Management Overview

People management is taking simple management skills and turning them into overall management philosophies. So often, managing people is seen as a way to squeeze every bit of productivity out of an employee. But as the often repeated dictum tells us, “people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers.” Management that encourages not just productivity, but engagement and retention, requires skill, finesse, and a people management philosophy. We recommend the last part because people management is more than a bunch of collected management skills you need to learn in order to be a good manager. Instead, it needs to be a unified theory of how you connect with your direct reports in order to help them flourish at your company.

People management starts with the hiring process -- understanding what you want a new hire to add to your team, your company, and your culture. Beyond the onboarding process, people management skills are about keeping track of how your employee is feeling as they navigate the workplace, and how best to maximize their good feelings towards their work. To understand how to manage people, it’s not just about what the employee says is or isn’t working for them -- it’s also assessing their emotional state. Often, the answer is in small details -- when they come into work, how they hit their goals (or not), how they receive feedback, what they talk about during one-on-ones, how their peers describe them in performance reviews, what they choose to share in status updates, how and when and if they are praised, etc. It’s only when you look at all these people management elements do you get a full picture of how your direct reports are feeling.

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