Human Resources Degree

Guide to Online Human Resource Degree Programs

Understanding How People Work

One of the more common buzzwords we hear being bandied about in the business and corporate world is planning and strategy. We’re constantly being reminded of the need to plan carefully for any activity or project. But how many of us realize that the best laid plans are only as good as the people who are supposed to execute them? So before we make plans, does it not make sense to ensure that there is adequate and qualified manpower to carry out those plans?

Ok, so you’ve assembled a team and made plans for each of them to execute; you think that everything is going to go according to plan now? No, not at all, because the human factor comes into play in every plan and messes it up. The people who are responsible for carrying out the plan are only human, and this means that they’re likely to be affected by personal issues. So the only way your plan is going to succeed without too many hitches is to understand how people work and act accordingly. If you’re wondering how you go about do that, read on:

  • Don’t be too rigid: When you set deadlines, include a certain amount of leeway so that you don’t have to scramble at the last minute and work at a frenetic pace in case things go wrong. This way, you don’t have to be too rigid with your workforce and drive them hard. When you’re perceived as inflexible, your team suffers because it is put under stress. And although a certain amount of stress is necessary for performance, when there is undue tension, productivity suffers. Take into account that people may have personal crises that don’t allow them to work to their full potential if you want everything to go according to plan.
  • Coax work out of your team: While direct orders may work, what works better is the gentle approach. When your team works because it is scared of the repercussions, you can bet your last dollar that no work is going to get done when you’re not around to look over their shoulders and monitor them continuously. Encourage them to work rather than ordering them to if additional effort is needed, if they need to come in on weekends during the close of the project or if they have to work longer hours. Cajoling and incentives work better than orders and threats.
  • Don’t micromanage: When you have a team, you need to learn to trust them to know what they’re doing instead of telling them what they should be doing every minute of their time. Micromanagement leads to resentment and laziness; your team stops thinking for itself and you find that you have more on your plate than you can manage. Look at the results achieved instead of controlling how they are achieved.

People are the lifeblood of any organization, so treat them as your most valuable asset and you will be suitably rewarded.