HR & Personal Development

Personnel management

By Mette Rosa Esbensen

Countless studies show that there is a direct correlation between good management and good results. It is also clear that what really makes a difference for the well-being of coworkers and their view on the company is their relation to their nearest manager or executive. That is why it is of great importance that you conduct good management and that the individual executive is provided with the right competences and tools to lead and involve coworkers in order to deliver the results.

Three facts about good management:

Talented coworkers need fantastic managers.

How long a coworker remains at a workplace and how productive the coworker is widely dependent on his or her nearest manager.

People join companies but leave managers!

It is important to spend time on personnel management, because…

  • Good management creates a better boot line.

  • Management is the single factor that has greatest impact on the results.

  • Talented managers have the ability to attract and inspire talented coworkers.

Management right and management obligation

When you have a right, you also have an obligation. Management right and management obligation are two sides of the same coin. Management obligation means that the employer or the manager must take responsibility and be aware of her management obligation. If she does not and close her eyes to coworkers who are for instance violating the personnel policy and behavioral codex of the company, she accepts the violation. It is the manager’s obligation to react, protest and intervene. As manager you have to assume the obligation of management – in situations of conflict such as collaboration difficulties, bad performance or perhaps too much absence, but also in the everyday management of coworkers.

A precondition to this, however, is that the manager has a fundamental understanding of the management right and what it implies along with a basic knowledge about the HR-jurisdictional rules that are crucial for the ability to define your own space of management. As manager you must possess enough knowledge of the jurisdictional formalities surrounding the hiring conditions to handle regular management assignments. For example, what are the formalities when hiring someone, determining salary policy or letting someone go? Who decides when coworkers are on vacation or simply works from home?

Management right:
The right to lead and distribute work. The right to hire, fire, define workhours, breaks, vacations etc.

Management obligation:
The obligation of influencing the coworker’s behavior in relation to the company’s vision, mission, goals and values. Managers must interfere – also in situations that are unpleasant and which some managers may feel are crossing personal boundaries.

It takes two to tango!

Management is about relations between people. Managers and coworkers mutually effect the management that is taking place between them, and in this sense good management is also about the manager taking responsibility for the management. A good manager does not do this alone, just as a good manager cannot stand on his own.

As a basic condition for every other type of management you as a modern manager must still master the classic management disciplines such as:

  • Recruiting – to attract the right coworkers and find talents

  • Maintain, motivate and develop – including annual performance reviews

  • Have difficult conversations – including conversations on absence of illness

  • Settlements – letting people go

Good management requires insight and knowledge of power, morals and ethics, of view of humanity, feelings and not least the ability of empathy. Empathy is the quality of relating, feeling and sympathizing with other people. To be able to understand and relate to other people’s situation and life is an important quality for the manager. That is why management is not about deciding over other people, but to create a constructive harmony among coworkers, so that they are managed as well as possible. It is therefore important that you as manager ask your coworkers questions in order to manage them in the best way.

Good questions to your coworkers could be:

  • “What is good management to you?”

  • “What expectations do you have to me as your manager?”

  • “What expectations can I have to you as coworker?”