TMTC blog Effective People Management

Effective People Management Skills in Education

Have you ever felt the thrill of inspiring a team to reach new heights? Or the satisfaction that comes with seeing your staff grow professionally? People management isn’t just about policies and procedures—it’s about helping your team build a bridge between their knowledge and application, a skill that every leader, manager, and supervisor must master.

In your role as manager, you possess the power to influence your team’s productivity, wellbeing, and professional development. Embracing good people management involves a suite of skills that range from communication and team building to conflict resolution and mentoring. It’s not simply a job of managing tasks, it’s about fostering an environment where passion, productivity and performance meet.

Why does this matter so much? Because in support functions like IT, HR, Finance, and Boarding, ensuring that your team can respond proactively to the dynamic demands of your department is not just beneficial, it’s essential. The success of the school rests on the collective shoulders of those who keep the wheels turning behind the scenes.

But great managers aren’t born—they’re made, through honing a set of skills that deal with the human element in the workplace. Typically, heads and academic deans have traditionally hogged the spotlight for leadership in education, but it is, in fact, the middle managers within an organisation, from IT, HR, Finance, Boarding, and other support functions, who often wield the real influence. They are the vital cogs that keep the wheels spinning by ensuring smooth day-to-day operations, facilitating strategy implementation, and fostering staff development. Naturally, people management skills are absolutely crucial for these unsung heroes.

How to Go From Good To Great

Performance management is more than just praise and critique; it’s a systematic approach to improving team performance that aligns with the overarching goals of the organisation. An effective performance management system involves setting clear, achievable targets and continually monitoring and supporting individual and team performance. As a manager, understanding and effectively executing this system can vastly improve team output and morale.

So, let’s break it down. How do you go from being good to great when managing people in the education sector?

Define and Align: Visualise your goals and construct your team performance strategy around them. This alignment ensures everyone is rowing in the same direction.

Get SMART: Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. These create a framework for clear expectations and accountability.

Foster Transparency: Be clear about your performance evaluation methods. Ambiguity is the enemy of progress.

Prepare and Plan: Implement a checklist that includes regular reviews, feedback mechanisms, and development opportunities. Preparation can make the difference between a team that thrives and one that merely survives.

Tackle Shortcomings Promptly: Don’t delay in addressing poor performance. Tackling issues early on can prevent them from becoming systemic problems.

Celebrate and Reflect: Make time to celebrate team successes, but also inspire reflection on what can be improved. This balance keeps morale high and drives continuous improvement.

Continuous Improvement: Adept managers are never complacent. They understand that their personal growth is as vital as that of their team. Seeking out professional development opportunities, nurturing your emotional intelligence, and staying abreast of educational trends will position you at the forefront of effective leadership.

Take Action and Lead by Example: Your success as a manager lies in your hands. Map out your personal development plan, seek out mentorship opportunities, and never shy away from challenging the status quo for the betterment of your team and your school.

Embracing Emotional Intelligence:

Your Go-To Tool

Recognising and managing not just your own emotions but also those of your team–is a crucial skill for any manager in the education sector. Being attuned to the emotional ambiance of your team is paramount for managing performance and fostering a healthy, productive work environment.

Good relationships form the bedrock of people skills—it’s all about the human touch. As a manager, your ability to connect empathy with action can help you to signpost success, identify potential problems, and fully support your team. In fact, emotional intelligence (EI) is your secret weapon in recognising and understanding what’s really going on. This understanding is integral in communication, managing change, and resolving conflicts effectively within your team.

Remember that your leadership shapes not just the experience of your immediate reports, but has a ripple effect throughout your organisation, so if you’re seeking to enhance your expertise and build a truly remarkable team, we have performance management training packages and bespoke programmes designed specifically for proactive and progressive managers in the private education sector just like you.



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