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Good management matters

Published: 12/10/2016

Advisory service Acas say research shows it's the first tier of line management (front line managers, supervisors and team leaders) that has the greatest influence on staff performance and engagement to their organisation. Indeed, we've all got tales of nightmare bosses and the negative influence they can have, but people management is a skill that requires time and investment.

Well trained front line managers are crucial for business performance but it is acknowledged that they need the right tools to help them do their jobs. Workplace experts Acas is calling on small businesses and larger companies to use their new guidance to ensure that staff are equipped to manage and care for their teams.

Acas Head of Guidance, Stewart Gee, said:  

"Poorly trained front line managers are bad for business and productivity. People skills, setting team goals and planning work ahead are just some of the essential skills that managers of well-run companies need.

"Our new guidance is an essential toolkit that employers can use to ensure that they train their people to be effective leaders and make their businesses better. 

"Any aspiring manager can also take advantage of this invaluable advice, which includes tips on team management as well as how to build relations with more senior managers."

Acas has produced a new 35 page guide that highlights leadership, people management and strong organisational skills as three key areas where team leaders need strong skills:

  • How to lead and motivate - Managers should know how to build trust and respect with their teams, listen to their concerns and ideas.
  • How to manage tricky situations with people - Typical scenarios could be staff members having family problems, two colleagues accusing each other of bullying, or jealousy in a team over nominations for training and bonuses.
  • Organising day to day tasks - A good manager should be effective at planning team work, rotas, budgets, and balancing their own time.

Acas' top tips on how best to tackle management challenges that arise in the workplace include:

  • Managers should prioritise staff career development. Annual appraisal meetings can be a good time to establish training needs.
  • The transition from team member to manager can be a challenge. New managers should establish the 'new' working relationship with each team member to manage the change.
  • Understanding staff employment and contractual rights is an essential part of the job. For example, employers must deal with incidents of discrimination.
  • Performance management and staff appraisals need care and attention. Managers should hold regular informal discussions about individual performance.
  • A manager should follow any established disciplinary and grievance procedure.
  • Working with trade unions. A manager should try to build a good working relationship with trade union reps.

And if you still need more help having digested all of that, Acas also offer on-line learning where you can register to access a range of e-learning courses covering many of the management issues included in the new guide.

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