The Art of NOT Managing People ….

Nov 18, 2022

Why would an HR and Leadership expert want to write a blog about this?

Surely HR is all about advising on the best way to manage people and your workforce?

Hmm, I’m not convinced. I would say that our aim when we support our clients, managers and teams is to create self-managing and flourishing individuals and teams.

Let me share a true story with you. When I employed the first people in my business, I shared with them that I wanted to create a culture where people felt valued, empowered, and trusted to do their role. This was greeted with nods and full support. So far, so good. I then went on to explain that in practice this meant I wouldn’t be managing their leave and it would be their responsibility to do this. What? HR folks talk to us all the time about processes and systems and the management of leave is right up there. This is true, however I believe there is a more practical and empowering way to do this. I don’t support the more recent trend of ‘unlimited annual leave’ however, I believe in being clear about the amount of leave, and then leaving it with individuals to manage.

This is only one example of how our culture is built on my approach to provide a framework for the ‘rules’ or expectations and then to trust my team to apply this in the way that works for them as an individual. This extends to trusting them to manage their own workload, clients and how they work flexibly. I don’t believe in timesheets, checking work or the need to be in control of everything. Our business is built on the principles of the work of Lencioni with trust at its core and a team accountability framework rather than micro-managing. Unsurprisingly, we have a happy, fulfilled and supportive team.

So you see, the skill of not managing people should be our aspiration. This enables us to create leaders and a culture where the people and the business flourish. Not convinced? Let me know why and let’s see if I can convince you with both the experience of my team and my extensive career experience building high-performing teams and cultures.