· Tricia Tan  · 6 min read

The Key Qualities of a Good People Manager

You’ve probably seen all those inspirational posts about the difference between a leader and a boss.

The former inspires, motivates, and encourages the team to improve. Leaders are often doers who work side-by-side with their teams.

Bosses are often painted in a negative light. As the word suggests, they just boss people around. They expect you to understand the task and typically apply a hands-off approach once they delegate the assignment.

Whether seasoned or rookie, every manager aspires to be a leader rather than a boss.

And when these qualities are embedded into the individual, a company is often assured that they have with them a good people manager.

What is people management?

Being a manager is difficult. But the silver lining is that there is no one-size-fits-all when managing a team.

But if there’s one secret to effective management, it would be understanding your people. You must understand what drives and inspires them and how and when they are most effective.

It’s often simpler to say than to do.

Development, organization, problem-solving, and staff growth are all included in people management.

These abilities range from developing a successful performance management strategy for a company to resolving a personality conflict amongst team members.

People management differs from performance management in that it takes into account factors other than employees’ success at their jobs and instead places a larger emphasis on their overall well-being.

People management focuses on giving employees the tools they need to solve problems and collaborate effectively with other team members. Performance management focuses on the continuing process of setting and evaluating employee progress against established goals.

You have a management team because you don’t count on workers to independently invent and uphold organizational structure.

Similarly, the reason behind people management is that managers are necessary since it is unreasonable to expect individuals to handle personal growth, business operations, and personnel issues.

Why is becoming a people manager necessary?

Great managers are proactive and aware of the demands of their workplace, while decent managers step in when necessary to keep teams functioning and employees motivated.

A people manager embraces the responsibility to get their team members to the next level because they know employees won’t miraculously resolve all of their conflicts.

If you are a people manager, you discover the ideal development route to help your staff achieve their career goals.

These managerial suggestions assist you in being proactive about balancing the people side of the business, whether you’re reassigning engineers or listening sympathetically.

Is becoming a people manager necessary? Some may argue it’s not, as long as the business runs smoothly.

But there’s a special kind of fulfillment and joy when your leadership goes beyond resolving tasks and conflicts.

When you know you’ve made a difference in the lives of your subordinates, you feel content, happy, and even more motivated to be the best version of yourself.

The makings of a people manager

Successful managers have honed a particular set of abilities that enable them to guide their teams to success.

If you want to be a successful people manager, these are the skills you need to develop:

Transparency and good communication

It’s crucial to communicate your ideas clearly and succinctly so that everyone in the team knows what is expected of them.

Listening to constructive criticism, addressing problems, and resolving conflicts are equally crucial. The language that good managers use is carefully chosen to prevent misunderstandings.

Yes, the language is careful but a good people manager sees to it that they remain truthful. Nobody likes a liar for a manager.

Employees will feel demotivated and insecure if you lie to them or are otherwise dishonest.

They will feel valued and appreciated as a member of the team if you keep them informed of any changes that may have an impact on them and address their issues and concerns honestly.

Strong work ethic

All effective managers share a strong work ethic that values exerting effort and giving your best.

Working to your full ability inspires others to develop healthy work habits by setting a good example for them to follow. In addition, teams are motivated to work to their highest potential by managers who have a strong work ethic.


Remember the boss versus leader debacle from early on?

Effective people managers are leaders because they can set goals that are doable and then develop the plans to achieve them.

People managers ensure nobody is left behind; if a team member does not understand or is having difficulty completing a task, a leader makes the time to discuss and support them.

Long-term projects can be easier to complete and can keep your team engaged when goals are broken down into smaller segments.

Strong industry expertise

Managers should be able to show that they have a thorough awareness of their organization and where it fits into the market.

Good people managers keep engaged in networking opportunities and continue to develop their abilities through training and workshops.

This passion to learn makes them a positive role model for staff members who want to stay informed and active throughout their careers.

Positivity and teambuilding

Strong leaders that promote teamwork are what good managers aspire to be.

People managers make sure everyone on their team feels valued. For every project, they solicit feedback and involve their team throughout the entire process.

Strong leaders also provide their team members with constructive criticism that shows them where they can develop while highlighting their strengths.

Compassion and sincerity

The best people managers are dedicated to getting outcomes, but they also recognize the particular difficulties and requirements of their team members.

This kind of understanding is essential both within and outside of the business. It’s equally crucial to make sure workers feel valued for their contributions as it is to provide them the flexibility they need to meet their personal commitments.

A manager that encourages a healthy work-life balance for their staff will inspire more loyalty, which will lead to increased productivity.

Active listening

Good managers can fully concentrate on a speaker, hear their message, understand the facts, and respond wisely thanks to active listening abilities.

This highly valued interpersonal communication skill is different from passive listening, which is the act of hearing a speaker without understanding what they have to say.

Reliability and trustworthiness

People managers are trustworthy and respectful of confidentiality.

They demonstrate to their staff that they have their interests at heart. Respecting employees’ privacy and giving candid advice that is in line with your business objectives are the foundations of a manager’s credibility.

To summarize

Working well with people is essential for success in any position, whether you’re the CEO, an intern, or a new manager.

People management may take time, but when you put your heart and mind to it, you can start to enhance your people management skills right away.

For more HR insights or a solution to streamline your HR operations, check out Hezum. Learn more about our platform by visiting the website or scheduling a demo today.

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