What is people management?

People management, also known as handling staff or HR, is the process of overseeing and guiding employees to ensure they work well together, stay motivated, and perform their best.

It involves hiring the right people, providing them with the necessary training, and supporting their growth and development. This includes helping employees advance in their careers through continuous learning opportunities and professional development.

Additionally, people management focuses on offering assistance and resources to help employees do their jobs effectively and comfortably.

Performance management is a crucial aspect, involving setting goals, giving feedback, and evaluating employee performance to ensure they meet expectations. Creating a positive and inclusive workplace culture is also vital, where employees feel valued and motivated.

Good people management ensures that employees are engaged, productive, and aligned with the organization’s goals. This leads to better overall performance and success for both the employees and the organization.

What are the key steps involved in people management?

the key steps involved in people management (1)

Understanding the key steps involved in people management is essential for creating a productive and harmonious work environment where employees can thrive and contribute to the organization’s success.

Here is what people management can involve:

Recruitment and selection

Figuring out how many people a company needs, getting good candidates interested, and choosing the right ones for the job.

Training and development

Giving workers the skills and knowledge they need to do their jobs well and helping them get better at what they do. Statista research reveals that 62% of employees believe learning is integral to a successful career.

Performance management

Setting goals for how well workers should do, giving feedback regularly, and finding ways to make everyone do better.

Compensation and benefits

Making fair pay packages, like salaries, bonuses, and benefits, to make sure good workers stick around.

Employee relations

Making sure everyone feels good at work, fixing problems when they come up, and making sure everyone talks openly.

Legal compliance

Making sure the company follows laws about work, like treating everyone equally and keeping everyone safe.

Succession management

Finding and training people who could be leaders later on in the company.

Good people management means having a team that’s happy, involved, and hardworking, which helps the company do well and last a long time.

People management vs. human resource management

It can be easy to mix up people management with human resource management.

People management is about making employees happy and productive, while human resource management is about organizing workers to help the company succeed.

Here’s a more in-depth breakdown:

People management Human resource management
Definition Making sure employees are happy and work well together. Organizing everything about employees in a company, like hiring and training.
Focus Making sure employees feel good and do their best work. Making sure employees help the company achieve its goals.
Techniques Helping employees communicate, grow, and enjoy their work. Hiring the right people, training them, and making sure they’re paid fairly.
Goals Building strong bonds between employees and the company, making work better for everyone. Having the right people doing the right jobs to make the company successful.
Examples of use Doing team-building activities and giving feedback to help employees get along and work better. Hiring new people, evaluating how well employees are doing, and making sure everyone is treated fairly.

Use cases for people management

Here are three examples of how people management unfolds in the workplace.

Recruitment and selection

A growing tech company needs to hire software engineers. They want to expand their development team.

HR identifies who is needed. They create job postings and screen candidates. They conduct interviews with qualified candidates.

The best applicants get the job. They are onboarded and given the tools to succeed in their roles.

Performance management

A retail store wants its staff to sell more. They want performance levels to improve.

Store managers set performance targets. Sales representatives understand what the new expectations are.

Managers evaluate performance regularly. They assess individual and team performance. They provide feedback and coaching to employees. They offer support and guidance to help them improve their sales techniques.

Employee relations

A manufacturing company experiences conflict. Production workers and management argue about working conditions.

HR mediates discussions between employees and management. They listen to both sides to resolve the conflicts. Policies and procedures are reviewed. The rules are updated to ensure fairness and transparency in the workplace.

Management encourages workers to speak up whenever they need to. They want employees to continue voicing concerns and suggest improvements.

Situational Leadership Theory  Pros and Cons (4) (1)

What are the advantages of people management?

Ensuring people management is done well results in the following advantages:

Better workforce

Managing people well helps create a team of happy and motivated employees who work better together.


When employees feel supported and valued, they tend to be more productive and focused on their work.


Good people management reduces turnover by keeping employees satisfied and engaged, saving money on recruiting and training new staff.


Effective people management ensures that the company follows all laws and regulations related to employment, avoiding legal issues and penalties.


Well-managed teams are more adaptable to changes in the business environment, helping the company stay competitive and successful.

What are the challenges of people management?

People management is important, but it comes with some challenges:

Communication issues

It can be hard to ensure everyone understands what’s expected of them and to keep everyone informed.

Employee motivation

Keeping everyone motivated and engaged in their work can be a challenge, especially during busy or stressful times.

Training and development

Providing ongoing training and development opportunities for employees can be costly and time-consuming. This is where a DAP can help.

How can DAPs help with people management?

How can DAPs help with people management_

Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) like WalkMe can help with managing people in different ways:

Onboarding and training

DAPs guide new employees step by step when they start, making it easier for them to learn their jobs quickly without needing long training sessions.

Improving onboarding processes can make organizations stand out in the crowd – Gallup analytics reveal that almost 1 in 5 employees reported their most recent onboarding was either poor or nonexistent.

How can WalkMe help?

Smart walk-thrus: Interactive guides that help new employees learn how to use software step by step.

Task automation: Making routine tasks automatic to save time and make training simpler.

Continuous learning

The software offers personalized tips and guidance while employees use software, helping them learn new things and keep up with changes.

How can WalkMe help?

SmartTips: Tips on the screen that provide help as employees use software.

ShoutOuts: Messages in the software that provide personalized tips and updates.

Process automation

Because DAPs can do repetitive tasks automatically, it saves time for employees to focus on important work and making things run smoother.

How can WalkMe help?

Workflow automation: Features that make repetitive tasks automatic, so employees can focus on important work.

Performance support

Software like WalkMe provides quick tips and advice while employees work, helping them fix problems and do things right the first time.

How can WalkMe help?

On-demand support: Immediate help from WalkMe’s ActionBot and Resources, without needing a person.

Change management

DAPs guide employees through new ways of working or using new software, making it easier for everyone to adapt and get on board.

How can WalkMe help?

Change management: Guides that help employees get used to new software or ways of working.

Data and analytics

The platforms can show managers how employees use software, helping them see what’s working well and what needs improvement.

How can WalkMe help?

Digital analytics: Tools to see how employees use software, finding ways to make it better.

Management dashboards: Screens that show how much employees use software, to keep track of how engaged they are.

Success stories with people management

Improving the employee experience is a vital part of effective people management.

Veolia was able to achieve this goal with the help of WalkMe’s DAP. Read on to find out how:

Veolia x WalkMe

Veolia wanted to move away from traditional software training. They also wanted to prevent the need for constant relearning due to processes and systems evolving over time.

They decided to roll out a DAP with WalkMe in order to provide contextual learning for both new and existing employees.

By looking at user data, they were able to understand what needed to be done to improve adoption.

They also built cross-application Smart WalkThrus, which copy data between platforms using automation. This has improved the employee experience.

As a result, Veolia has saved more than 11,000 productivity hours through automation and 10,800 support hours over 12 months.

The future of people management

People management is crucial for any company to succeed. It involves hiring, training, managing performance, dealing with conflicts, and following rules.

Good people management leads to happy, productive employees and a successful business.

Looking ahead, digital adoption platforms (DAPs) will play a big role in making people management easier.

These platforms use technology to help with hiring, training, and supporting employees.

As businesses use more digital tools, DAPs will become even more important for managing people effectively.

Updated: July 16, 2024

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