People management: Developing yourself and your team

Efficient people management can boost employee engagement, encourage your teams to improve their performance at work, and ensure individuals are inspired to continually develop their career. Whether you are managing a large or small team, it is important to learn how to most effectively manage your people.


People management skills

If you want to improve your people management skills, it is first important to recognise what skills would benefit your team and the wider business. The key skills for senior leaders to develop when looking to become better people managers include the following:

Relationship building

Before you learn how to manage your people effectively, you need to get to know your team members on a professional level. Learning about how they work best, what motivates them, and how they prefer to be managed. Build genuine professional relationships with your team members, and you’ll find that they work better when they are comfortable in their workspace.

Communication skills

If you want to build relationships, you should aim to communicate in the best way possible with each member of your team. Everyone is different. Therefore, learning how to communicate properly and developing your skill in this area will only improve your general people management skills.

Emotional intelligence

Learning more about how to deal with your surroundings productively can really help to develop your team, and your own skill set at the same time. You should develop your ability to understand and manage your own emotions in a way that is productive and generally positive. This can help you in other areas of people management, such as communication and conflict resolution.


Having empathy and being able to recognise when someone needs support at work is important in ensuring people feel like they can be themselves. Being comfortable in the workplace is crucial, otherwise people will leave the business for better opportunities. If you are struggling to connect with someone who is underperforming, learning why this is happening can help you to both move forward and improve. 


How to manage people

There is no one-answer-fits-all solution, as no two people are the same. However, it is important to develop your skills and learn more about general management techniques. Here are some tips for managing people effectively:

  1. Be clear with your goals and objectives: this way the team will be aware of the broader business and team goals and be more aware of how their role benefits the business.
  2. Know the strengths and weaknesses of the individuals on your team as well as your own: learning the weak and strong points of your team means you can develop your team accordingly and play to their strengths during challenging periods.
  3. Communicate effectively with your team: regular and consistent communication helps the entire team to work better together. Try scheduling weekly one-to-one meetings to learn more about the day-to-day running of your team.
  4. Be organised with how you want your workstreams to run: planning out the week during weekly meetings and letting your team know ahead of time what work is coming up will help them to prioritise.
  5. Listen to your team: if your team members are struggling at work, it is important to listen and understand why they feel this way. This will help you to build a professional relationship where they can rely on you and trust you as their manager.
  6. Give regular and constructive feedback: people cannot develop unless they are given feedback. Looking at your teams work and providing constructive feedback will help them to improve in the long term.


Effective people management is crucial for businesses because your people are the driving force behind what your company desires to achieve. Putting time and effort into the way that you manage them can mean the difference between a positive or negative working environment. Not only will good people management grow the business, but it will also boost your employees’ careers and help them to grow as individuals. The development of your managers and senior leaders is crucial to improve their people management skills. You should be able to develop your base knowledge and approach to how you manage your teams with an informed and well-rounded method. Remember that you should not take a one size fits all approach, as every member of staff may need a different approach to management.

Taking part in management courses can help to develop your skills in areas that you may struggle with generally. Alternatively, seeking advice from a manager may give you a platform to learn from other like-minded people looking to develop their skills. 

If you are interested in learning more about management advice, browse our extensive hub of content. Alternatively, if you are looking for new opportunities, get in touch with your local Michael Page office for a confidential discussion today. Furthermore, have a look at the top skills in the UK market today across a number of disciplines in our Top 100 Skills eBook. Find out what skills gaps you should be filling in your teams today.

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