People management behaviours and skills are not as good as they should be amongst business leaders, according to the CIPD’s latest HR Outlook survey of HR professionals, business leaders are considered to be most effective in dealing with matters requiring technical ability, budgeting and financial management, and operational management skills. However, around half of HR professionals surveyed believe that senior business leaders don’t have the people management behaviours and skills needed to get the best from their people.

According to the survey, performance management and people management are the top leadership behaviours and skills needed that will be needed by organisations over the next three years. However, out of those who chose performance management and people management, 53% and 44% respectively, said current skills in this area were ineffective.

Businesses that employ people require those in charge to have a range of skills to deliver their business plans. Technical, financial and operational skills are critically important to any business. However, so too are people skills.

Often those in small and medium sized businesses have progressed due to their technical or sales skills and abilities, and have taken on people management responsibility as part of that progression. Often, they are given no formal training or any kind of tailored support.

The responsibility for people management in small and medium sized businesses is best placed with the managers and owners. They are the ones who can most effectively deal with day to day people management issues such as managing absence or dealing with day to day performance. However, there is an expectation that these skills will be acquired virtue of being responsible for people. Small and medium sized businesses often can’t afford to invest in the having its own HR department, but there are opportunities to partner with HR support companies that offer training, coaching and support to owners and managers of small and medium sized businesses.

This article was posted by Sean McCann the Managing Director of People Based Solutions, an HR consultancy specialising in outsourced HR, consultancy and support for small to medium sized businesses.

If you want to know more about how People Based Solutions can help you manage your approach to reward, performance management and career development, contact us at or phone: 01925 425 957

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