7 Proven People Management Tips for First-Time Managers

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You may have joined as a manager in a new organization, or you may have been promoted to a manager position in your existing company, either way, you have to start fresh and face a new set of challenges.

Once you are elevated to this new role, your first few interactions with your team will define how they look at you in the future. Hence, the first impression is important, and you should prepare for it. Yes, you will learn about people management on the job, but you can’t leave everything to experience. You have to prepare yourself for the new role.

In this article, we will help you understand people management skills and share some tips to do well from the first day of your job.

People management tips

What Are People Management Skills?

People management skill is also known as soft skills. These include skills like trust, communication, patience, and much more. In short, it is about how you treat, lead and communicate with your team.

It is typically the manager’s responsibility to manage the people in their department. However, depending on the business structure, other departments may be involved.

Why Are People Management Skills Important?

When we talk of running a business, one of the key stakeholders in any business is its employees and different team. Team members come from different places, with different backgrounds, and have different thought processes of how to work.

Hence, as the team’s manager, you cannot have generalized rules to communicate with the team and motivate them. You need people management skills to get the best out of each team member. Your responsibility is to increase the team’s productivity and boost each member’s morale. For all these, you need people management skills.

Good people management skills are a result of the following statistics:

  • 80% of employees believe they can talk to their boss about problems
  • 67% of employees are confident that their managers won’t hold it against them if they make a mistake at work
  • 74% of employees believe their managers have respect for them
  • 70% of workers believe their managers value their unique skills

People Management Tips for First-Time Managers

Once you understand the meaning and significance of people management, it will be easy for you to implement the below tips:

1.     Keep a growth mindset

As a new manager, you need to have a growth mindset in your armor. You must understand that you are no longer an individual contributor in the organization, and you have a team whose performance will be driven by how you lead them. When you have a growth mindset, you develop the habit of learning and forming new skills – the primary requirement for a good leader.

Another advantage of having a growth mindset is that you will want your team members to grow – you will believe that they can improve or change too.

2.     Build rapport with everyone in the team

As a manager, you must establish strong relationships with your team – think of it as the foundation for a strong working relationship. With good rapport, you allow team members to have open and healthy communication with you as well as create an environment where feedback can easily be received. When you understand others and understand you, empathy and compassion come in relation.

The essential question is – how are you going to build the rapport? The key to building rapport is to find out the rhythm of your team members. To build a good connection, try to find this:

  • A common thing between you both – background, city, and so on
  • If you both like the same sport or sports team
  • If there are any common hobbies

You can go out for coffee with a team and try to figure out the common link. Once you have done, building rapport will not be much effort.

3.     Good communication

Be it a personal or professional relationship, good communication is a must. If you have to inspire your team and present ideas, you have to develop good communication skills. Whenever you assign a task to a member, you have to be clear with what you say. Not only this, you have to find ways to ensure that the team member has understood what you were trying to explain. Clear communication not only builds trust but also increases productivity.

4.     Learn to motivate

Not everything that you want your team to do is interesting or challenging. Employees are mostly looking at managers for good quality work. As a manager, you should develop skills to boost the morale of your team to do all types of work. When you have assigned the less exciting work, you should tell them why it is crucial – at an individual and business level. This way you would also earn the trust of your employees.

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5.     Learn how to tackle difficult situations

According to a report, employees in the United States spend 2.8 hours per week on workplace conflict. Consequently, it is necessary to be well prepared to deal with certain tense situations. If you choose to confront the situation, make sure that you practice empathy and actively listen to your team members as a manager.

Your employees’ feelings need to be acknowledged and understood so you can resolve the problem collaboratively. Putting an end to a workplace conflict effectively works wonders for everyone involved. 

6.     One-on-one sessions

These are the fastest and easy ways to build rapport with your team members. Yes, the first couple of sessions may look forced, but you have to ensure you make the team member comfortable as early as possible. Most managers delay the one-on-one sessions, but a good manager does not delay in doing so.

During such a session, it is easy for you to find the problem individuals face. Also, it helps to find any problems within the team. The sooner you are able to figure out the issues, the sooner you can resolve them. It will help you better manage the team, enable them to be more productive and help the organization overall.

During a one-on-one session, ensure you make efforts to understand the aspiration of each member. Then, provide them tips to help employees grow in their careers and assure them that you will fulfill their aspirations.

7.     Always give credit where it’s due

As an individual contributor, before you became manager, you would have come across a situation where the due recognition that should have been given to you was taken by someone else. Mostly, by your leaders. How was the feeling? Not pleasant, right?

Managers are responsible for ensuring every team member gets the due credit in your team. It would be best if you lead by example. Also, you have to ensure the other leaders are giving the due credit to the right person below them.

If you can build such a culture in your team, you can build trust between you and employees and also amongst the employees. For this to happen, you have to stay updated with what each member is doing, the progress of their work, and the final outcome. This, in the longer term, will motivate them to stay focused.


The new role and all the responsibility that comes with it can be overwhelming. How you handle everything new that comes your way makes all the difference. You can smoothly transition to your new position if you follow the above tips.

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