People or A Process

Do you manage people or a process? If you can distinguish which one you manage you will be able to focus more time and energy on the big picture. Seeing the big picture is what managing is all about. You cannot get bogged down with the day-to-day grind of the work. Employees do the work and managers and manage.

There is a difference between managing people and managing a process. Here are some examples of a process: an assembly line, telemarketing and call centers. A process is predictable and routine it does not require creativity. On the other hand managing people means focusing more on the personalities doing the work.

If you manage a process your goal is to keep the process going at all costs. It’s not so much about the employees and the culture as it is are they keeping the process going. It’s more about the process and less about the people in the process.

If there is a downturn in the service you’re providing or the product you’re producing it’s your job to determine the cause and correct it. Are the people doing less work or is there something wrong with the process? You have to find out what and where the cog is in the wheel. Once you have determined what and where the cog is you have to make the necessary changes. Does the process need to be tweaked do you need different people in the process or both?

If you manage people your responsibility is to keep your employees focused on their assigned tasks. Are they lacking anything that would prevent them from doing their job to the best of their abilities? Do they have the proper equipment (i.e. up-to-date software) and supplies they need to do their job? Are they adequately trained and last but not least are they motivated to obtain the goals you’ve set?

If you manage people you should be consisting evaluating your employees. I’m not suggesting that you consisting conduct employee evaluations. You should pay attention to what your employees are doing. How productive and effective are they at their job? If there is a dip in an employee’s performance you have to discover the cause and address it. Your focus is the people not the work.

Make sure you’re spending more of your time and energy focusing on the big picture not the day-to-day work. Remember employees do the work and managers and manage. If you use your influence on the right thing you will see the changes you want.

If you have a question or comment leave it below or email me at

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