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From Professional to People Manager in 5 Steps

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As an entrepreneur you undoubtedly know your product or service inside out. You probably also know how to deal with customers. But do you know how you can continue to motivate employees? From craftsman to people manager in five steps.

You prefer to have employees who are always enthusiastic and work hard. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen automatically. As an entrepreneur you play an important role to keep your people motivated.

This is one of the most important conditions to grow your business. After all, you really need your employees. Are you a people manager?

What is a people manager?

A people manager is someone who organizes, motivates and inspires people. A people manager pays attention to the individual, but also guarantees team interests.

How do I become a people manager?

Some entrepreneurs were born as people manager, others not. Fortunately, you can develop the characteristics of a people manager. How?

Step 1. Make time free

Yes, as an entrepreneur you're very busy. Your time is very precious. That's precisely the reason that you have to make specific time for your employees. This way you show that they are very expensive in your eyes. That's an important signal.

Your employees need that appreciation. If they feel that they are important to you, they will work three times as hard. So you get a lot of valuable time in return. After all, your employees can together do much more than you do on your own. An excellent investment.

Step 2. Ensure open communication

A good manager listens. The hierarchical communication from boss to wage slave is fortunately far behind us. Yet? A people manager not only gives assignments, he really listens to the needs and concerns of his people.

Do you give employees the space to give constructive feedback ? Set that up. Ask for feedback at set times, for example during meetings, but more importantly: ask employees individually. That ensures involvement. Show that you're open to the ideas of your employees.

There may just be a golden idea in between. And just as important: this is how you keep your staff motivated.

Step 3. Learn to delegate, dare to let go

A people manager gives his employees clear responsibilities and space. Not only the space in terms of time, but also to do it in a different way.

As long as the result is good. So let go of the process and focus on the agreed goals. Only when your employee asks for tips do you give them. Delegating not only gives you more time as an entrepreneur, it also contributes to the motivation of your employees. A win-win situation.

Step 4. Ensure structure and clarity

As an adventurous entrepreneur you may be a little bit different, but most people need peace and regularity. A structure and clear agreements help with this. You can play an important facilitating role in this with your employees. How?

Consider good regularity in planning interviews, performance interviews and assessment interviews. That gives your employees clarity and set moments when they think about their personal development together with you.

In those conversations, be clear about the goals set, so that an employee always knows what he is being assessed for. On the other hand, don't make it too business-like and confrontational.

Ensure that a good working atmosphere remains in which feedback is really appreciated. But structure and clarity remain crucial to manage your people and keep them motivated.

Step 5. Keep to your agreements

It seems like a trick, but within every human relationship, fulfilling your agreements is incredibly important. Of course you want your employees to keep to the agreements, then you have to do that yourself.

Give the right example. That creates trust. And where there is trust, there can be a good working relationship. So, very simple: if you say something, do it.


Write down for yourself how you'll apply these points in your company. Look at that list every month. Are you still on the right course? You don't develop new skills just like that. This requires time and lasting effort.

But if you're able to structurally apply the aforementioned issues, you'll see that your team gets more motivation to do a good job. They will then also start thinking about the needs and interests of the company. And you can then call yourself a real people manager.

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