15 March 2011





ARE YOU A PEOPLE’S MANAGER?



In today’s world, due to dearth of talent across industries, this could be the biggest challenge that organizations face while they protect their given talent pool. It is due to pressure like this, that an employee often gets chosen to be a Manager. This could be the beginning of the end!





Consider an employee, who is very experienced in his present role, he has been an excellent performer. He has been there and done that. He has excelled in all his tasks. Technically sound and depicts a great potential. He has been a high potential team leader in the recent past. Do all of these performance based attributes confirm a good foundation for becoming a People’s Manager?


In today’s world, due to dearth of talent across industries, this could be the biggest challenge that organizations face while they protect their given talent pool. It is due to pressure like this, that an employee often gets chosen to be a Manager. This could be the beginning of the end!


A Manager should always possess good man-managerial skills in order to make his job more fruitful. Let’s elucidate the four important tasks a good People’s Manager should possess.


  1. Observation: The first step to success of any Manager should be to observe their team and understand them better. They should have an eye of an eagle, to capture details and an also an eye with a humane touch. One can observe a lot by watching and the Manager is no different. This observation would help the Manager to analyse, emphasise or even empathise with their team member. An implicit bond begins to develop at this stage. Make no mistake - the Manager is never bound to understand and revert with compassion though. Observation here, is the key.
  2. Acknowledgement: Observation aids the Manager in acknowledging his team members. The platform has been laid in the observation stage already and the Manager has to just acknowledge what he has seen or heard. Many occasions, an employee would do all it takes just to get the acknowledgement of his or her supervisor . He would want every task of his to go unnoticed by the Manager. That is why communication plays an important part in the acknowledgement stage. The Manager needs to let his team know that he has witnessed their performances – good or otherwise. At this stage, the employee begins to feel ‘at home’.
  3. Recognition: This 4 step approach to being a successful People’s Manager is like a Relay race and at no point the baton should be dropped. Imagine the Manager observes and acknowledges the tasks completed by his team, but fails to give them at least a pat on the back. This would spell disaster! Hence acknowledging and then recognising tasks not just on completion, but while the tasks are getting done, will help the Manager foster better human relations with his or her team. The chronic mistake Managers make is that they assume that recognition has to be followed by Reward and hence they tend to delay recognising until they have a suitable reward ready. Recognition is not a supplement for Reward and as such is two independent steps and the Manager must ensure their coverage.
  4. Reward: Who on this earth is willing to do something for no return? Except for charity, my understanding is that none of us would be satisfied if we weren’t suitably rewarded for the work carried out by us. Every employee eagerly awaits the end of the year with a keen eye on highlighting their many achievements during the year. And if a manager has spent the preceding months observing, acknowledging and recognising his team, he would have no worries in calling a spade –‘a spade’. Rewards should always be given for outstanding achievements and top performances. Rewards – monetary or non-monetary can be given and this would be accepted with grace by the employee.

It’s good to remember that a manager is only as good as his team and a People’s manager would be a success unless he is there not just by virtue of being the best candidate who got promoted to the coveted manager’s position, but one who also has his eyes and ears open always, with empathy.