A YouGov survey of over 2,000 British employees found that 80% of employees have experienced what they consider poor management or a poor manager at least once during their career.

Among those who have been affected by poor management or a poor manager, 73% have thought about leaving their job, with 55% having actually quit because of it.

The respondents listed as poor management problems including: bullying, micromanagement, lack of people management skills, failing to offer recognition and feedback and failing to communicate effectively. Some also said their manager had a complete disregard or lack of awareness of issues surrounding mental health in the workplace.

If the survey results are anything to go by, many managers in this country don't have the skills or aren't getting the training they need to take care of their staff effectively.

"While managers are commonly trained in company policy and may understand organisational processes and procedures like the back of their hand, most don't possess the people skills required to handle the human aspect of management and receive no training for this, which can have damaging and long-lasting repercussions when it comes to employee engagement, talent retention and wellbeing," explains MHR Service Development Director Julie Lock.

Equipping managers with the right skills

Being a good people manager requires the right expertise. Not everyone is born with a natural people management skillset. The good news is you can find out how to understand, develop and motivate your team. You can learn how to recruit – and retain – the right staff and understand how to cope with challenging management situations.

Here are a few ways to boost your people management skills right now:

Know your team's strengths

Taking the time to spot the strengths, abilities and talents of individual employees will be time well spent.

Try asking each of your workers what they think their strengths are and what kind of role they think they would excel in. Your team and its performance will be stronger – and more fulfilled – if the right people are given the right responsibilities. If there are any gaps in your team's knowledge or experience, support them by organising training sessions, so that nobody feels left behind.

Be a good listener

Effective communication isn't just about what you say or how you say it. You have to be able to listen effectively too. In fact, some might say that listening is a far more valuable people management skill than talking.

Try not to fall into the trap of passive listening – for example, listening to your employees while at the same time checking your emails. Passive listening makes people feel undervalued, because they feel they don't deserve your full attention. Active listening means letting your team members speak without interruption and thinking carefully about what you should say when they've finished.

Try to make sure there aren't any distractions and focus purely on what they're saying. And if you're not clear on what they're trying to say, ask questions rather than rushing to the wrong conclusion.

Find out more by reading our article Are you a good listener?

Trust your team

Micromanagement is never a good way to get the best out of your skilled employees.

Nobody appreciates a manager constantly checking on their progress or who they feel doesn't trust them to do their job or make their own decisions. Managers who trust their workers are far more likely to be rewarded with better performance and results.

Giving your team members the freedom to handle tasks in their own way, to come up with their own solutions to the challenges they face and to make important decisions can boost their confidence no end. And more confidence means they'll be better equipped to reach their potential – which isn't just good for them but for you, their manager, too.

Give credit where it's due

One of the essential skills of a good people manager is the ability to give praise when a good job has been done.

This may not come naturally but try to learn how to show your workers appreciation for their efforts, as this can boost their confidence and encourage loyalty and better performance. Don't just show your gratitude to staff who tend to achieve the best results – try to make sure you praise each of your team for their contribution.

Look after your team

Part of managing a team effectively includes the ability to take each member's feelings, needs, values and personality into consideration.

Try to show all your employees that you're always available if they have a problem or need someone to talk to. If they know you're happy for them to ask for your help and advice, it could help make them feel more confident and secure. Encourage them to talk to other team members, as you want to give the impression you're not the only person who can give them answers.

How CABA can help

If you're an ICAEW member, ACA student, ICAEW staff member or a member of their families, our free career development support can help you achieve your goals.

For more information about our career development support, call us on +44 (0) 1788 556 366, email enquiries@caba.org.uk or chat to us online.

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