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People manager

Find out what a people manager does and the skills
you need to do the job.

Updated: March 30, 2022

Introduction to the role of people manager

As a people manager at Skylight, you ensure your reports feel valued, celebrated, motivated, and heard. You’re their advocate and their support system. You help them achieve their goals and grow their careers. You ensure each report is delivering excellent client experiences and contributing to Skylight and our community. You’re a champion for Skylight’s values and foster a culture where everyone can thrive.

Required skills

Empathy

You’re people-focused. You show a sincere interest in the needs, hopes, and dreams of your direct reports. You demonstrate that you care and are paying attention. You check in regularly with your reports and ask questions. You let them know that they’re heard. You listen to the challenges your direct reports are facing. You provide a sympathetic ear and coach them through those challenges.

Delivering feedback

You regularly and frequently give positive and constructive feedback. Your feedback is authentic, actionable, and designed to bring positive change. You’re compassionate and objective when delivering feedback. You listen and ask questions during feedback sessions.

You set a good example by asking others for feedback and taking visible actions to improve.

Relationship building

You put people first. You build trust with your direct reports. You ensure your direct reports feel valued, celebrated, motivated, and heard. You pause and focus on your direct reports. You show concern for their success and well-being, helping develop their careers and talent. You communicate well, listing and providing relevant and timely information. You’re there to lend an ear, exchange ideas, and offer help.

You get involved in company-wide activities to build relationships across Skylight.

Organizational and administrative skills

You’re organized and consistent at following through on administrative tasks. You have the ability to juggle multiple tasks and complete all of them efficiently and effectively. You pay attention to detail. You take a consistent and ongoing approach to planning, estimating, managing uncertainty, and contingency planning.

Representing Skylight’s values

You use Skylight’s values as a foundation to influence your reports in a positive way that encourages joyful client experiences and excellence in results. You use Skylight’s values to help you make decisions and hold yourself accountable for these decisions. You make suggestions to improve Skylight’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. You ensure your reports understand Skylight’s values. You work towards building a culture of growth, empowerment, and integrity. You help your reports find ways to give back to the community through volunteering or sharing knowledge.

Empowerment and helping others grow

You help your reports grow by coaching and mentoring. You help them feel comfortable and confident in the work that they do and help them accomplish their goals. You ensure reports understand how their individual efforts contribute to high-level goals. You include others in your decision-making process, give them a role that capitalizes on their expertise and judgment. You care about the input of everyone on your team. Above all, you drive your reports forward with passion, enthusiasm, inspiration, and motivation.

Business acumen

You strive to gain comprehensive knowledge of the different aspects of how our business achieves its goals and objectives. You understand the context under which we operate. You keep up with civic technology news. You stay updated on government programs and policy changes that can affect our business. You seek to find out what motivates our clients. You know when to prioritize the needs of the client vs. the needs of the employee. You understand our strategic objectives and the part each of us has to play in achieving them. You’re able to answer employees’ questions about time codes, staffing, benefits, and time off.

People manager career pathway

Level I

  1. I
  2. II not completed
  3. III not completed

As a new manager, you’re likely a senior level or higher in your career field. You’ve taken initiative to help others grow professionally and have a good framework for your own personal growth.

Skills needed for this level

Empathy

You check in regularly with your direct reports to listen and ask questions. You demonstrate your care and are paying attention. You help your direct reports resolve any challenges they’re facing. You act with kindness and respect.

Delivering feedback

You provide regular feedback in 1:1s. Your feedback is objective and actionable. You provide guidance on how to improve. You might ask for help delivering certain types of feedback.

You proactively ask for feedback.

Relationship building

You build trusted, supportive relationships with your direct reports. You ensure your direct reports feel valued, celebrated, motivated, and heard. You work with leadership to help develop their careers. You’re there to lend an ear, exchange ideas, and offer help.

Organizational and administrative skills

You’re adept at time management and are productive under pressure. You can juggle multiple tasks, prioritizing between client work, people management, and administrative tasks. You ensure your reports complete their administrative duties on time (e.g. time cards, expense reports).

Representing Skylight’s values

You use Skylight’s values as a foundation to make decisions and guide your direct reports. You ensure all of your reports are familiar with our values and how to apply them in the day to day. You help improve Skylight’s diversity, equity, and inclusion. You work towards building a culture of growth, empowerment, and integrity. You help your reports find ways to give back to the community through volunteering or sharing knowledge.

Empowering and helping others grow

You use the Career Pathways to help your direct reports understand their role and expectations for growth. You care about the input of everyone on your team. You drive your reports forward with passion, enthusiasm, inspiration, and motivation.

Business acumen

You have some understanding of the different aspects of our business. You’re learning about the context in which we operate. You keep up with civic technology news. You understand our current strategic objectives. You’re able to answer employee questions about time codes, staffing, benefits, and time off.

Level II

  1. I completed
  2. II
  3. III not completed

You have enough experience managing people that you feel comfortable overseeing both people and project teams. You’re able to quickly build relationships and quickly identify how you can best support people and teams that are experiencing unique challenges.

Skills needed for this level

Empathy

You adapt your listening support and management style to the needs of each unique individual. You check in regularly with your direct reports to listen and ask questions. You support their needs, hopes, and dreams. You act with kindness and respect.

Delivering feedback

You provide regular feedback in 1:1s. Your feedback is objective and actionable. You provide suggestions and guidance on how to meet career goals and improve performance. You help your direct reports make a plan of action. You collect and synthesize feedback from clients and peers. You help create psychological safety by soliciting regular constructive feedback and making plans to improve.

Relationship building

You build relationships with your direct reports and ensure they also build relationships with each other. You build trusted, supportive relationships. You ensure your direct reports feel valued, celebrated, motivated, and heard. You help develop their careers and talent. You use your relationships across Skylight to get your direct reports the specialized help and advice they need. You’re available to lend an ear, exchange ideas, and offer help.

You get involved in company-wide activities to build relationships across Skylight.

Organizational and administrative skills

You have a proven ability to multitask. You’re adept at time management and are productive under pressure. You delegate work when necessary. You help make processes and procedures at the team level more efficient. You’re comfortable planning for and managing uncertainty. You pay attention to detail.

Representing Skylight’s values

You use Skylight’s values as a foundation to influence your reports in a positive way that encourages joyful client experiences and excellence in results. You make suggestions to improve Skylight’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. You ensure your reports understand Skylight’s values through regular activities. You work towards building a culture of growth, empowerment, and integrity. You help your reports find ways to give back to the community through volunteering or sharing knowledge.

Empowering and helping others grow

You use the Career Pathways to help your direct reports understand their role and expectations for growth. You’re skilled at coaching others to set goals, track progress, and hold employees accountable. You empower others through trust and by giving them guidelines to make their own decisions. You drive your reports forward with passion, enthusiasm, inspiration, and motivation.

Business acumen

You have a strong understanding of the different aspects of our business. You understand the context in which we operate. You keep up with civic technology news. You have an appreciation of how changes in government policy and programs can affect our business. You ensure your reports further our strategic goals and objectives. You know when to prioritize the needs of the client vs. the needs of the employee. You’re able to answer employee questions about time codes, staffing, benefits, and time off.

Level III

  1. I completed
  2. II completed
  3. III

You’re a manager of managers. You’re able to support and grow new managers in the organization. You’re able to both manage a department of people that’s constantly evolving and adapt to the changing needs of the people in the company.

Skills needed for this level

Empathy

You can help teams create empathetic and supportive environments. You coach other people managers to be more empathetic leaders.

Delivering feedback

You foster a culture of continuous feedback. You provide regular feedback in 1:1s. Your feedback is objective and actionable. You provide suggestions and guidance on how to meet career goals and improve performance. You help your direct reports make a plan of action. You collect and synthesize feedback from clients and peers. You help create psychological safety by soliciting regular constructive feedback and making plans to improve.

Relationship building

You build relationships with your direct reports, help them build relationships with each other, and ensure that they build diverse relationships across the organization. You build trusted, supportive relationships. You ensure everyone feels valued, celebrated, motivated, and heard. You help develop careers and talent across the organization. You’re available to lend an ear, exchange ideas, and offer help. You coach other managers on how to build relationships.

Organizational and administrative skills

Not only are you good at organizational and administrative tasks, you also design and improve processes that help the company operate. You help others prioritize their tasks and coach them on time management. You can juggle multiple tasks, prioritizing between client work, people management, and administrative tasks. You ensure all your reports complete their administrative duties on time. You help others adapt to changes that require training or education.

Representing Skylight’s values

You create activities and workshops to ensure everyone understands Skylight’s values. You coach managers on how to guide reports and enforce values. You lead some of Skylight’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. You work towards building a culture of growth, empowerment, and integrity across the organization. You help the organization find ways to give back to the community through volunteering or sharing knowledge.

Empowering and helping others grow

You create mechanisms for everyone to learn and grow across the organization. You provide mentorship and coaching across the organization, but especially to other managers. You empower others through trust and by giving them guidelines to make their own decisions. You drive your reports forward with passion, enthusiasm, inspiration, and motivation.

Business acumen

Based on what you hear from reports, you help identify ways to improve our business operations and policies. You suggest new service offerings to support changes in government focus. You ensure your direct reports understand the current business goals and objectives and their roles in helping achieve them. You’re able to answer complex questions about time codes, staffing, benefits, and time off. You understand the importance of talent acquisition and how it helps the company grow. You help ensure new employees have the right skills, are well-supported, and otherwise set up for success. You help other managers achieve comprehensive knowledge of the different aspects of the business.

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