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Acas launches essential new guidance for line managers to help run effective teams and make businesses more productive

Wednesday 07 September 2016

Well trained front line managers are crucial for business performance but need the right tools to help them do their jobs, according to new guidance from workplace experts Acas.

Acas is calling on small businesses and larger companies to use the guidance to ensure that staff are equipped to manage and care for their teams.

Acas Head of Guidance, Stewart Gee, said:  

"Poorly trained front line managers are bad for business and productivity. People skills, setting team goals and planning work ahead are just some of the essential skills that managers of well-run companies need.
"Our new guidance is an essential toolkit that employers can use to ensure that they train their people to be effective leaders and make their businesses better. 
"Any aspiring manager can also take advantage of this invaluable advice, which includes tips on team management as well as how to build relations with more senior managers."

The new guide highlights leadership, people management and strong organisational skills as three key areas where team leaders need strong skills:

  • How to lead and motivate - Managers should know how to build trust and respect with their teams, listen to their concerns and ideas.
  • How to manage tricky situations with people - Typical scenarios could be staff members having family problems, two colleagues accusing each other of bullying, or jealousy in a team over nominations for training and bonuses.
  • Organising day to day tasks - A good manager should be effective at planning team work, rotas, budgets, and balancing their own time.

Acas' top tips on how best to tackle management challenges that arise in the workplace include:

  • Managers should prioritise staff career development.Annual appraisal meetings can be a good time to establish training needs.
  • The transition from team member to manager can be a challenge. New managers should establish the 'new' working relationship with each team member to manage the change.
  • Understanding staff employment and contractual rights is an essential part of the job. For example, employers must deal with incidents of discrimination.
  • Performance management and staff appraisals need care and attention. Managers should hold regular informal discussions about individual performance.
  • A manager should follow any established disciplinary and grievance procedure.
  • Working with trade unions. A manager should try to build a good working relationship with trade union reps.

The Managing People guidance is available on our guidance webpage

Notes to editors

  1. Acas stands for Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. Acas provides free and impartial information and advice to employers and employees on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law. We support good relationships between employers and employees which underpin business success. We also provide good value, high quality training and tailored advice to employers. Our expertise is based on millions of contacts with employers and employees each year. Acas is an independent and impartial statutory body governed by a Council made up of members from business, trade unions, academia and the law.
  2. For media enquiries or to receive an embargoed copy of the guidance, please contact Steven Mather, Media and Internal Communications Manager on 020 7210 3749. For out of hours media enquiries please call the out of hours duty press officer on 020 7210 3600.