19 FEBRUARY 2020


Consider an employee, who is very experienced and has been an excellent performer in his present role.

He has excelled in all his tasks, technically sound and seems promising.

He has been a high potential team leader in the recent past as well.

So, do all of these performance- based attributes make him a worthy 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 these pressures, that an employee often gets chosen to be a manager. In many ways, this could be the beginning of the end! A manager may be a top performer but a top performer may not be a good people's manager. He should possess good relationship skills in order to make his job more fruitful. Let’s elucidate the four important qualities a good people’s manager should possess.


The first step in being a great people manager should be 'to observe his team and understand them better'. He should have an eagle's eye accompanied with a human touch. One can observe a lot by watching and a manager is no different. This observation would help the manager to analyze, emphasize or even empathize with his team member and an implicit bond begins to develop at this stage. Make no mistake, that the manager is not bound to make decisions based on compassion.


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. More often than not, an employee would do all it takes just to get the acknowledgement of his or her supervisor. He wouldn't want every task of his, to go unnoticed by his 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 ‘accepted’.

Recognition: This four-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 recognizing 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 recognition has to be followed by an immediate reward and hence they tend to delay recognizing the employee, until they have a suitable reward ready. Recognition is not a supplement for reward and as such, it is two independent steps and the manager must ensure their coverage.


In reality, no one is willing to do anything for nothing in return, except for charity. It is but natural that none of us would be satisfied if we weren’t suitably rewarded for the work carried out. 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 recognizing his team, he would have no second thoughts in calling a spade –‘a spade’. Rewards should always be prioritized and given for outstanding achievements and top performances. Rewards – monetary or non-monetary, may be given to the deserving team members and it would definitely be accepted with grace by the team.

A people’s manager would be successful if he is appointed not just for his high-performing skills, but also for his support, guidance and leadership qualities, that sees his team through the highs and lows in business... with dignity.

This article is written by Willis Langford. An unbiased, result driven & passionate HR professional who has a flair for technology and keen interest in making this world a better place with a zest for life.