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How Do I Improve My Personnel Management Skills?

By Lisa Mooney
Updated: May 17, 2024

A successful manager leads confidently because he or she is secure in essential personnel management skills. For the manager who wants to continually improve at his or her job, there are many avenues to develop. He or she can focus on trust, communication, organizing, goal-setting, empathy and flexibility. It takes practice and patience to become proficient in these areas.

Trust is key in the relationship between a manager and an employee. The successful supervisor is consistently honest with workers. He or she does not mislead employees during tough times within the company or make promises that he or she knows will be impossible to keep. A personnel manager must also trust the employees. He or she needs confidence that the people who have been hired will behave professionally in all aspects of their positions.

Communication in the workplace cannot be overemphasized. Active listening and response can shape the entire relationship between a supervisor and staff members, so it is one of the most key personnel management skills. A manager must learn to fully devote his or her attention to the employee with whom he or she is conversing. He or she must practice true listening by clearing his or her mind of everything except what the employee is saying and then providing a thoughtful response.

Organizing and goal-setting provide a template for workers to follow. A good manager organizes the work and assigns employees particular tasks based on reaching certain objectives for the company. Developing personnel management skills so that employees accept and implement your vision for projects is essential. This practice of creating an overall strategy for a business requires trial and error followed by refinement.

A good supervisor sees his or her employees as real people and not robots simply performing tasks. This supervisor knows how to empathize with his or her staff so that each employee knows that he or she is valuable and supported. Not only does the manager listen to the workers, he or she also helps resolve issues and concerns when they are presented to him or her. The manager works together with the staff member to find the best solution for everyone involved.

Flexibility is another of the essential personnel management skills required in the world of business. Managers need to consider multiple perspectives and yield to those that are in the best interest of everyone. Such areas will likely include staff schedules, worker assignments and staff availability. A strong manager will be flexible so that all workers receive the respect, attention and accommodations they deserve.

Personnel management skills define the nature of a business. Supervisors are responsible for taking care of their employees so that the workers perform at the highest level, experience satisfaction in their work and are loyal to the company. Personnel managers should focus on building trust, successful discourse, planning and demonstrating their appreciation for employees through empathy and flexibility.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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Discussion Comments
By literally45 — On Nov 04, 2014

I'm taking a course on personnel management right now and it's very helpful. I am learning techniques of communicating with employees, distributing tasks and following up on them.

I think the most valuable thing I've learned so far is about incentives. Each employee is actually driven by a different thing. Everyone's motivation is different and it's up to the manager to determine that and try to cater to it.

By candyquilt — On Nov 03, 2014

@ZipLine-- You touched on a great point. There is a fine line when it comes to a manager being friendly with employees.

I believe that a manager needs to be accessible to employees and easy to communicate with. It's not good if employees are scared to speak to their manager. But I also feel that a manager must be serious and firm so that employees do not cross boundaries and follow directions.

So it's a balance of the two and a manager must find that balance in order to form that healthy, productive relationship with employees. It is something that takes time. It's something that develops with experience.

By ZipLine — On Nov 03, 2014

I agree that trust and communication between a manager and the employees is very important. But I'm not sure how friendly a manager should be. I personally prefer my manager to be friendly and very honest with me. But I'm also someone who knows her responsibilities and takes her job seriously. So I'm not someone who will slack off or take liberties because my manager is understanding and friendly with me. I do know people who do that though.

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