The biggest asset that an organization has is its employees. How you manage their performance and attitude has a strong bearing on how successful you are as a business. There are a lot of things that can be done to keep your employees happy, content, and motivated. However, people management cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach.
Indian workforce is diverse, both in culture and skill set. And every organization employs people that come from a different culture and have a diverse skill set too. So, it becomes very important for these organizations to not only focus a lot of their efforts, time, and money on building people management skills but also ensure that they have a system in place to gauge how these efforts are affecting their workplace productivity. No business would be willing to spend money and time on building company culture or people management efforts if they don’t see tangible results coming out of this endeavour. This makes human resource management a more important function for every business.
What is people management?
People management is a broader term that encompasses a variety of tasks performed to serve a single purpose, which is to make employees continually perform at high levels. People management includes tasks or strategies that work in conjunction to achieve the ultimate objective — improved business growth and revenue generation. It is also referred to as human resource management or HRM. The tasks that come under HRM include recruitment, management, and continuous support to the employees. These are further divided into sub-tasks that include hiring, compensation, organization development, soft skills training, interpersonal skills training, employee motivation, performance management, safety, incentives and bonuses, employee wellness, and others.
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How people management works in India?
It is very important to understand that managing Indian workforce is an entirely different ball game to managing a Western team. Both sets of people have different driving forces. This is why businesses in India need to first know what these forces are and then work towards providing these to their teams to avoid instances of unwanted dips in productivity every now and then.
In the Western work culture, it is very easy to motivate teams by announcing incentives or bonuses or flexible work hours. These things may not be as effective in India. Indian people are more emotionally-driven. They need things that can satisfy them emotionally. It could be festive celebrations at work or how important a part you consider them in the greater scheme of things? How their work contributes to the overall growth of the company? Empowering people and giving them a sense of purpose has a lot to do with understanding their task significance.
Indian people also have deep commitment towards their families. This is very important for every company to realize. Asking about their families and being flexible whenever there is an emergency with their families are small steps that can go a long way in the quest to effectively manage employees.
Unlike in Western companies where profits are given more important than employees, Indian companies focus more on creating employee experiences. The belief behind this approach is that if you focus more on people, you will have to worry less about the outcome that they are responsible for generating.
The Indian approach towards people or employee management lays a lot of emphasis on human resources. Companies are less concerned about costs spent on people. So, it is less likely to see businesses complaining about expenses on recruitment, benefits, development, and training. The idea is to engage more in ensuring that everyone knows their responsibilities and that they are being regularly upskilled to fulfil those.
What role do managers play in people management?
Leaders or managers are skilled to manage people in a way that they become more productive and work together to accomplish common organizational objectives. However, there are things that every manager has to keep in mind when dealing with people. Every employee has a different way of saying things and acting upon them. Managers cannot follow the same approach with each employee. They need to listen to them and not make them feel as less important part of the business. It all begins with hiring the right people, aligning them with the company’s objectives, and working closely with them to get the most out of what they have to offer.
People management is a lot more than what meets the eye. Managers need to unlock people’s potential. Businesses that are not able to channelize their employees’ potential often have trouble in achieving success. People who aren’t used to their potential take on the following roles within an organization: procrastinators, weak links, manipulators, party spoilers, and others.
It is important to see that employees do not have to mask their dissatisfaction with work or anything related with their work. When you identify an employee having problems, speak to that employee about it, and address the problem as soon as possible and not let it fester over time. People need an arm on their shoulder and someone who they can speak to about their problem. This is simple human psychology. Give them alternatives and solutions but do not leave the problem unattended. The key factors that every employee wants from their employers are co-operation, growth, learning, respect, trust, and motivation. Companies that take care of these things are often the most successful.
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Employees are motivated by knowing how much contribution they are making to the overall growth of their organization. They also want to be empowered so that they can share feedback and opinions.
India presents a very challenging business landscape, even to those companies that are regarded the best in terms of people management. It is very important for companies, both domestic and international, to learn about their employees, what culture they come from, and what motivates them to perform.
- “Is India moving towards people management?” by Rahul Singh on 1st May 2019
- “Managing in India –Achieving success in a new culture” by Mind Tools Content Team