Managing People

Managing people can be rewarding, and it's also an extremely important role in most organisations.

Research has shown that the first tier of line management (front line managers, supervisors and team leaders) have the greatest influence on staff performance and engagement to their organisation.

Having skilled and able managers is therefore critical to any organisation's success. 


Download the new Acas guide pdf  Managing people [319kb]

The guide advises managers about their role and provides guidance on how to approach situations that may arise.

Acas OnLine Learning - Managing people

This module is an introduction to the skills and behaviours that make an effective manager, it will explore some of the common issues that managers face.


Key points:

Did you know that we have a wide range of free, downloadable templates to help you to manage people in your workplace? Our Managing staff templates include appraisal forms, absence records, equality forms and documentation related to Shared Parental Leave and homeworking.

What is the role of a manager?

The role of a front line manager, supervisor, or team leader is to ensure that their team functions as required and meet, or exceed, their goals or targets. While duties may vary slightly, it will usually involve:

Leading and communicating with team members

Effective leadership encourages high performance and cultivates a culture of success in the workplace. Poor line management may lead to low productivity levels and high staff turnover that can have serious consequences for the organisation.

Tips to help be an effective leader and build good working relationships include:

  1. Be as open as possible with team members and trust them to do what is expected of them

  2. Get to know each team member and take the time to listen to their concerns and ideas

  3. Understand employment rights 

  4. Deal with concerns and potential disciplinary matters promptly

  5. Set objectives with clear outcomes

  6. Communicate clearly and honestly, and hold regular team meetings

  7. Listen to the ideas of team members on how best to achieve goals

  8. Treat all team members as you would want to be treated yourself

  9. Promote training and development opportunities to keep team members interested and motivated

  10. Give credit where due and highlight successes.

Additional responsibilities when managing people

In addition to the day-to-day management of team members, it may sometimes be necessary to take on some additional responsibilities. These may include:

Recruiting new staff

A manager may be in charge of recruitment within their own team. When recruiting a new member of staff, a manager should:

For more information go to Recruitment

Monitoring absence

At some point, team members will become ill and unable to attend work. While short-term absence can cause difficulties, it usually has less impact on the team than long-term absence. It is important to handle long-term absence sensitively and consistently.

A manager will need to know why the team member is off, when they are expected to be able to come back and consider how the rest of the team may manage in their absence.    

For more information go to Managing absence

Conducting an investigation

A manager may be required to conduct an investigation into a matter to establish the facts. Not completing a reasonable investigation where necessary, may make a decision or action unfair and leave an employer vulnerable to legal action.

For more information go to Carrying out investigations in the workplace

Discipline and grievance

While most matters are usually best dealt with informally, sometimes formal action may be needed. The Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance procedures gives practical guidance for handling these issues in the workplace. Failure to follow the Code doesn't make a person or organisation liable to proceedings, however, an employment tribunal will take it into account when considering relevant cases.

For more information go to Discipline

Acas training courses

Acas run practical training courses to equip managers, supervisors and HR professionals develop the necessary skills to deal with people management issues and to create more productive workplace environments.

You can view an overview of our training here

Or view related Acas training and dates of events in your area for:


Acas also offers free e-learning which can help your managers and supervisors develop their skills further. View or register for Acas e-learning today.

Workshops, projects and business solutions

Let us know how we can help