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Get the best out of your employees… without having to bribe them with pizza!


Great results are achieved when talented people their invest energy in a focused manner and behave in ways that enable success, plain and simple.

As a manager, your ability to develop and influence the capabilities of your team ultimately determines the level of performance they achieve.

Now while there is no magic wand to make easy work of managing people, a focused approach will go a long way to creating the success you are looking for.

These are the ten essential ingredients of a successful approach to people management.

1. Hire well

Look for people who are excited by the opportunity your organisation is offering. Hire those looking for more than just a job, but a career and an organisation they can feel a part of.

Make sure every person you bring aboard shares your corporate values and is likely to behave in ways that enable both their own success and that of the people around them.

2. Set clear expectations

Clarity is an essential starting point to influencing performance. Your team needs to understand your priorities, what is expected and what is accepted. Explain in clear terms what you need to be achieved and exactly how you want it to be achieved.

3. Be observant

How often do you stop and reflect on the depth of talent you have on your team? How much attention do you pay to how your people behave and how they impact each other?

Take the time to observe your team in action and form opinions about the success of each person’s approach. Notice what each person does well and where they need to improve.

4. Coach and support

You have to regularly provide feedback, advice and guidance for your team to improve. It is every manager’s job to proactively guide the people on their team to grow and succeed.

And should you find that you don’t have the expertise to give the necessary advice, make sure you point your staff in the direction of where they can find the support they need.

5. Hold people accountable

Once you have delegated responsibilities to everyone and clearly conveyed your expectations of them, you have to follow through and evaluate their work. Then you either reward or punish them, basing on the agreed objectives and standards.

6. Grow your team

First figure out the specific knowledge, skills or experience you need on your team, then set about developing them to achieve your objectives both now and into the future. Place priority on the business’ needs as well as each individual’s career aspirations.

7. Create a healthy workplace culture

A work environment that enables success is only possible when the people in charge choose to really make it matter. Why set behavioural expectations you won’t enforce?

The behaviour of each individual contributes to the overall culture in your business so you ought to carefully choose what to accept and encourage. Reward and recognise the behaviours that enable team success while suppressing those that contradict your values.

8. Encourage strong relationships

You can’t deny the impact relationships have on the happiness and success of people at work. Take steps to influence strong relationships people have with you, their colleagues, customers and anyone else they regularly interact with through their work.

9. Inspire performance

Give people a good reason to wake up every day and come to work pumped to give their job 100 per cent all day long. Creating a compelling vision for the future, one people want to be a part of, will go a long way to winning their long term engagement.

10. Communicate

Make sure everyone is always in the loop. Provide your team with regular and up-to-date information about important objectives, strategies, priorities and progress.

Karen Gately is the author of The People Manager’s Toolkit, a highly regarded leadership and people-management specialist, and founder of Ryan Gately, a HR consulting and Leadership development practice.