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People Management Practical Tips: How to do it…

Essential Leadership and Management for Engineers

People Management Practical Tips

As well as the advice below, also see the ‘Leadership Tips–People’ section for more useful information.

  • Let your people get on with the job. Learn to trust them and stop feeling you need to approve every decision. Empowering people gives them the space and opportunity to develop and grow. They get to use their initiative and bring their talent to bear.
  • A range of studies have demonstrated there is a close link between employee engagement and greater profitability
  • Provide clear guidelines to which your team can work. Make it clear what they are empowered to do and which activities require approval. Set out what level of quality you expect and when you expect work to be completed. Give them room to innovate and encourage problem solving and communication. At the same time make it clear where accountability lies.
  • Be generous with praise. Say thank you with sincerity. Praise people in public and if you have to have a difficult conversation with someone, do it in private.
  • Encourage people to spend most of their time doing what they are best at, often their core skill. Try to identify opportunities for career progression for these individuals.
  • If you want to promote people to management positions, make sure they can manage people! It sounds obvious but too often the opposite happens. Technical experts get promoted to be managers when sometimes they have no interest in managing people, or even worse the business loses out as they are not using their technical ability for the good of the organisation anymore. Instead try running teams where a manager works alongside a technical expert. 
  • Try to make people feel good about their role, the quality of their work and their contribution to wider business objectives. Making people feel valued will encourage greater productivity and improved loyalty. Recognition is an important part of this.
  • Attempt to be transparent and open whenever possible. Managers should be approachable, both in terms of their availability and their personality. Provide strong communication channels to keep employees informed and give them opportunities for feedback.


People Management Practical Tips: Summary...

People Management Conclusion

It is often said people are the most important part of any business. Most would argue this is true. For engineering, technology and manufacturing businesses the knowledge, expertise and experience tied up in their employees is everything. The skills shortage in manufacturing industry and the detrimental impact this has had for many, illustrate how true this is. Effective people management techniques illustrate the best way of getting the most out of your employees. What’s more, it is possible to bring out untapped potential inherent in most, if not all employees.

Benefits are numerous. Employees feel recognised, gain greater skills, are more employable and are better motivated. For the business, productivity gets a boost, enabling you to do more for less. Improvements in quality are matched by reductions in lead-times. Moreover, there is a direct link between greater employee engagement and increased profitability. Effective people management represents the classic ‘win-win’. 

People Management Practical Tips

Next... Networking Introduction: A Powerful Career Tool

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