The world of professional sport often gives us examples of the right and the wrong ways to manage people. Following his retirement, in the various synopses of Sir Alex Ferguson’s career at Manchester United we heard about the numerous bust-ups he had with some of the big name players at the club.
At the other end of the scale Andy Flower, the England cricket coach, has cultivated excellent relationships with players and staff during his time at the helm, characterised by allowing players time to work through the slumps and back into purple-patches.
In the sporting news this morning we have two examples of interesting people management. With the Ashes just 16 days away the Australian Cricket Board is expected to announce the sacking of coach, Mickey Arthur, whose time in post has not always been popular with players. Whether or not Mickey is the man for the job, senior management should consider the timing of major staffing decisions and the effect these will have on junior staff at times of stress.
On the home front, hopefully Brighton & Hove Albion will learn a lesson on how not to fire someone after manager Gus Poyet learned of his fate on-air working as a pundit on a BBC sports programme.
Managing staff correctly is so important, particularly through periods of transition and sensitive readjustment. For many organisations, the human resource is the mostly costly item on their balance sheets, and replacing and training new staff can be a time-consuming and expensive exercise.
What is more, reputation can make or break a company. Following the revelations about various household names failing to pay corporation tax the UK public has been quick to voice their concern.
In the workplace, managing people correctly can be the difference between a good impression and a bad impression. These actions may not be on such a public scale as the international sporting arena, but it is amazing how quickly reputations develop in a marketplace.