What Business Managers need to learn about People Management
…and focus on performance potential rather than business objectives.
There goes a story of a business merchant who hired a person to help him sell his wares. As the days progressed, the merchant was not only exuberant about the ‘wonderful lad’ he had hired, he boasted about it to his friends and other merchants, till the word of the boy’s excellent selling skills became common lore and everyone wanted him to work for them.
The rest, as they say, in a known scenario in everyday business and business managers end up blaming the poor ethics, morals and greed for quitting the hands which fed the mouth for a bigger pair of hands. But the need to wake up to the reality of People Management being more important than business management still often dawns late or never for certain executives.
Point One — If business needs potential, it must monitor, measure and improve it. The HR Manager can guide, but the employee spends more time in business rather than the caring HR folks.
Point Two — HR folks care too much while business cares too little about the employee. This is the distance between potential and performance.
Point Three — Learning and grooming has to be part of the job role, and not a separate function nested within HR. Learning must be a business function for developing potential for performance, as it benefits from it.
Point Four — There can be multiple ways to measure potential, and Business Managers (going forth BMs, as I’m tired typing the whole thing!) need to learn how to measure rather than leaving it to HR; the reasons are the same as in Point 3.
Point Five — No one cares about the views; some do not even have a listening post to hear about what the employee wants to say. Later when they have nothing to say, everyone wants an audience to cajole them back to the nest. By then, it’s often too late.
Point Six — Business is all about People. Even for machines, it is people who acquire, operate, repair and perform on them. The earlier understood, the better for business objectives.
Point Seven — HR guards the door while BMs whip out performance through tricks or treats. They are better ways to do it. Can we learn about it? Is it so hard to learn? And if so, why expect the employee to be learning then?
Point Eight — There are several reasons for BMs to focus on understanding and improving potential. One of the most important ones is their own role and position. Neglecting the need would be neglecting your own greed.
Point Nine — Not everyone can be the best, but the best did not happen because no one believed in them. For being the best, someone has to declare them as the ‘best’ in the first place. That was an observer!
Point Ten — Business assumes performance is a natural outcome of a role. True. But we are also talking about higher targets for the new fiscal. Who will achieve it and how? The ‘how’ cannot be left to HR & L&D alone.
I could have continued with more points, but the greater idea was to push Business Managers to think more about their roles as People Scalers, for development of potential is the job of the ‘Guru’ we all secretly want to be, but without the task of having to teach.
Most BMs spend time strategizing on Peter Drucker Management principles while neglecting the old man’s famous saying, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. Without fixing the culture of People Management, the results will be managed on paper, and every executive will be licking their own wounds of greed, while the wonderful lad goes hunting for a better teacher.
Reach out to me at pexitics.com to know more about People Management. The faster, the better for you …and better for me too!