Successful Business Management Involves the People Element

So much of what we perceive as business management involves financial, supply and vendor functions, marketing and advertising, all appropriate skill sets for success. What many businesses loose focus on is the critical aspects of people management, That is to say, hiring, development, performance management and termination skills and activities.

It’s no that his is necessarily taken for granted, although that is often the case, it is that it is assumed and is such an essential part of almost all business management activities that it may not receive the time, effort and energy it deserves. It can often be “friction” driven, meaning that something has to go wrong or a problem has to arise before problem solving actions and cause and effect reviews are undertaken.

Hiring People

Taken as a whole, the effective people management elements are the most integral part of business success!

Hiring the Right People is the ultimate area for Improvement

As the saying goes, “getting the right person on your bus” is a core competency and responsibility. Most managers and owners realize this. The may not invest the time needed to really master this skill and develop a process. Someone leaves the business, a new business initiative comes to reality and new hires need to be made asap. The business manager is in the reaction mode of we got to get someone hires right away.

If you are in a large enough company to have an HR department, then you have added resources. Whether you do or don’t, outlining very clear and specific skills, abilities and characteristics is needed as the base of your search and screen activities.

Set up a Clearly Defined Initial Training Program

Any plan to hire people to fill an existing position or a newly created one should be defined by “how will the training be handled?” This is really an integral part of top performing companies. The simple basics are:

  • What specifics skills and activities will be trained?
  • Who will do the training?
  • What is the timetable for completion?
  • What are the criteria for successful completion?
  • How will the post-training evaluation be handled?

Performance Management is the Key to Performance

Having managed a number of teams and business units and interacted with management peers with the same responsibility shed light on the challenges of how best to measure, evaluate and manage employee performance. In many ways, this area is an Achilles heal for many managers. We know it is important., We know it needs to be done. We find it difficult to do consistently.

It really is an enigma this process of performance evaluation. Many get caught in the trap o waiting until the last minute as the time period for performance evaluations comes up.  This usually results in a bad experience for managers and employees.

The key is to evaluate performance at all times. If you have established two simple baselines, what are the current expectations for a an employees results and what assignments and activities have been assigned/completed, you can have one-on-one reviews as you go.

Here is a good article on finding the right people from the Business Management Daily website…

How to identify promotable employees – Business Management Daily
How to identify promotable employees Business Management Daily Only 25% of organizations say their supervisors provide good career management support to their employees, according to a new Towers Watson survey. And a recent Harvard Business Review report says companies that get the most productivity out of …”


Doing regular “as-you-go” reviews and evaluations is the absolute answers.

Meet after each assignment is completed or on a regular monthly basis. Set out here is where the employee needs to improve (get agreement). Here are areas the employee performed at or above expectations (get agreement). Here are specific areas that need to be improved based on what has just happened (get agreement). Here are training and development activities that need to be accomplished (get agreement).

Then, when you meet to evaluate, discuss directly whether things were accomplished. If not, why not. What are the next steps for improvement and the timetable for completion. The manager then follows up and tracks everything.  When the formal performance evaluation occurs, there should be a simple review of these interim evaluations and results. Not much room left for disagreement.

If a given employee is not progressing as expected, as supported by the regular reviews and evaluations, the performance issues can be taken to the next level with specific improvement laid out, short term timetables set, review dates pre-scheduled.  If things don’t change for the better, start the exit process within the employment rules established.

This same exact process also supports salary reviews and promotions.

In the end, think of “business management” as an entire skill set that places due emphasis on the people management side of the equation.

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Michael D. Moore is the publisher of Management By Delegation and is a veteran executive with 40+ years in the Banking and Insurance Industries. A devoted entrepreneur, using his business experience to provide resources for managers and leaders at all levels. For the last 5 years, he has built a growing web presence for helping people with personal and professional development. To learn more about these advanced concepts & join our group Click here 5 Must Have Management Skills

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