Agile people management

On the 17th of November I participated in a HR Conference, #HRUBarcelona Technology. I presented about Agile People Management. (click to see the presentation slides.).

I spoke about how to gain more productive time and how to improve communication between the leader and their team by using modern project and people management tools.

In my previous job what I most disliked was the huge amount of emails received and generated per day (200-300 received and around 100 sent). It got to the point when I said “I give up, it’s impossible to always be up to date with all the emails”. I’m also that type of person who gets frustrated if they have a pending task, so email became a constant stress source.

I heard from many companies that email is an issue and that they would like to find another faster and more agile way to communicate.

Therefore first objective is to reduce amount of emails. I looked for modern project management tools with this aim. In the slide deck I presented a few, but the most effective seemed to me was Redbooth, as PM tool and to have short chats with your team instead of hundreds of chains of emails the best is Slack.

My vision is to have a PM tool combined with a People management tool and you can use it for an ongoing appraisal system, which allows you give constant feedback to your team members. Unfortunately this tool still doesn’t exist on the market.

Why is so important the constant feedback? My generation (X) grew up by working under macro management, little supervision, we got used to be self-motivated, since we were lucky if we got a feedback once or twice per year.

I ran a team of more than 50 people, the average age was 26 years, and I can tell you Millennials need much more feedback. They need to hear from you constantly that their work is worthy, that they contribute to the big picture and that they are doing fine and if not what they should change.

The popular Simon Sinek attributes this need to the failing parenting which caused a lack of self-confidence. Could be, but I’m not convinced. What I definitely disagree with is what he suggests to companies about how to adapt to Millenails’ lack of confidence behavior. He is saying if your team member didn’t submit the report by the deadline, the leader should react “it doesn’t matter, I´ll help you”. I just laughed when I heard it. Seriously, that’s your suggestion?

In the first place, in a fast pace environment (nowadays all the companies are) there’s no time to do their jobs and yours at the same time. You don’t even have enough time for yours.
Secondly, If you hold the hand of your team members and just say no worries about deadlines, you just reproduce the fail parenting behaviors: no demands on kids, and celebrate the same way even if they lose or win any competition. With that we devalue the hard work, the drive to exceed our personal barriers and become better and better no matter what we do.

Companies, keep your deadlines, don’t lower your standers, but give much more feedback, use agile modern tools and coach your people!