We all know that your employees are your business’ biggest asset and highest cost, that also makes them your largest investment.  As you grow it becomes harder to keep on top of nurturing and managing your team and inevitably you need to pass that responsibility on to others.  But, who do you choose to take on the important role of people management?

Many hats…

A people manager is a coach, a mentor, a confidant, a career adviser, a taskmaster, a cheer leader; the list goes on.  It’s not just about signing off annual leave or doing an appraisal once a year.  And, it’s not a role that everyone will be good at.

People managers are often the reason that someone grows or crashes.  Choosing the right people to bestow such a responsibility on is critical, and investing in your people managers is essential.  It costs on average £12,000 to replace an employee.  And it takes on average six months for a new employee to get up to speed.  Doesn’t it make better business sense to do everything you can to keep the ones you’ve already got?

First time people managers should be given training and all people managers in your business should be given guidelines to establish what people management looks like for you, in line with your business’ culture, values and requirements.

Stay or go?

I’ve previously worked in businesses where people management responsibility came as part of a promotion.  This was with no thought as to whether that person (whilst great at their technical role) had the softer skills, or even the interest, in managing a more junior employee.  In a team of 100, it was very evident which employees had engaged people managers and those that didn’t.  The latter often left the business within 18 months.  Both had very different experiences of the business and will have very different things to say about that business.

But it’s not all doom and gloom, if you take the time to choose the right people (this should be taken in to account when hiring for or promoting to roles with people management responsibility), provide training and instil a guide of what people management looks like in your business, you’ll be off to a good start.

Next time…

Check back to see what a people manager’s role involves or get in touch.


Photo credit: Daniel Hjalmarsson on Unsplash