You are here

People management standards: why they're a good investment

Published 26th January 2017 by Melissa Farrington
Inveastments - hands holding coins with green plant growing out of them.

If you’re unsure exactly what management standards are or what they offer, take a look at our management standards definition page to answer your question.

Why choose people management standards?

Management standards focus organisations on a core success factor

An organisation’s managerial level is fundamental to success. Anything that inspires managers, promotes excellence and holds them to account against criteria that’s proven to add value is money well spent.

Managers have long to-do lists and it’s easy to push people management down the list. Unfortunately, it’s a ball managers should never drop because of the profound effect it has on productivity and performance.

Ultimately, strong managers and leaders are the custodians of wellbeing and high performance. Peter Drucker said productivity was the “responsibility of the manager, not the worker.” Management standards make sure managers keep productivity, through effective people management, at the forefront of their minds.

Management standards commit you to the long game, not the short game

Quarterly reporting, the increasing speed of business and disruptive competitors make success in business more difficult, which can encourage short-term thinking to boost suffering profits.

Short-term thinking helps win the quarter, or placate investors, but it’s not a strategy that yields strong results year-after-year.

Management standards help in two ways. They commit you to the long game of operational excellence in management, a sustainable and proven business model. They’re a visible sign of long-termism.

They hold you to high account and encourage the organisation, visibly, to act in the long-term interests of itself, its customers and employees. This is very important when crises hit and people become fearful.

Words are cheap, and easily forgettable by those who said them and those who heard them.

Secondly, they act as a litmus test for potential paths of action. If an idea is congruent with the ideals and guidance within the standard, then the idea might have merit.

If it goes against a standard the organisation has worked hard to achieve, maybe it’s time to take a step back and consider whether that idea is a product of short-term thinking.

Management standards are tangible, and tangible is better than intangible

Words are cheap, and easily forgettable by those who said them and those who heard them.

Most organisations say they commit to management excellence, but where is the proof they do? Management standards are tangible ways for organisations to prove they mean business.

Once organisations have committed to something tangible and enjoyed the benefits, it’s harder to wind back the clock.

That’s a very good thing when you’re looking to make investments that create long-term value for the organisation.

Management standards are a visible internal and external sign of excellence

Excellence is additive, compelling and inspiring. Society and individuals love to celebrate their achievements.

Internally, management standards reinforce the organisation’s commitment to high performance and wellbeing through effective people management. They are not just words on the wall.

Externally, management standards help employer branding and talent attraction by acting as signposts that mark out high-quality employers. Organisations try to brand themselves in job adverts, but this can be on the whim of hiring managers, and incongruent with the actual organisation. This can lead to high attrition.

Management standards make sure managers keep productivity, through effective people management, at the forefront of their minds.

Look for management standards that publish their frameworks: this allows potential applicants to find out more, in their own time, about what your organisation believes in and how it acts.

Management standards are critical against a backdrop of uncertainty and volatility

Organisations have fewer areas in which to develop their competitive advantages because increasing automation is levelling the playing field.

High people performance remains an area where organisations can come out in front. If their people are more focused, more collaborative, more innovative, more productive and happier, that organisation can secure a strong advantage over others.

Management standards help organisations develop this competitive advantage by creating a consistent commitment to people management excellence at all levels.

As the world becomes more uncertain and volatile, high people performance will emerge even more strongly as the competitive advantage that really works.