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Insights Four management skills that are essential in today's business landscape

The world is progressing, with diversity, technology, sustainability, remote working, and other elements making big impacts on the global business landscape. For organisations to be successful, and for leaders to be effective, good management skills are crucial. Those who foster good management skills can make the difference between motivating employees who perform well, or leaving employees dispirited and unengaged. Everybody has a different style of working and learning so managing diverse teams can be complex, but good leaders know how to support their employees.

But what are the core management skills that are essential in today’s business landscape, and how can you develop them?

image of a team in discussion


Those in positions of management require good communication skills so that information can be shared sufficiently, and most importantly, understood. Good communication enables collaborative working within teams, with clients, and with other stakeholders, ultimately meaning that mistakes are avoided.

Communicating effectively is a trait that can be learned, so it’s a valuable skill for leaders to demonstrate and for team members to identify and use as they progress in their own careers. Additionally, micro-managing is not efficient for business or helpful for those wanting to develop, so it is essential to be able to communicate and delegate tasks, trusting teams to deliver work to a good standard.

Planning and organisation

Being organised and planning is a vital part of successful management. It enables productivity and accuracy, ensuring work is delivered on time and within budget, and therefore avoiding costly mistakes. Planning ahead allows you to stick to time schedules, track progress and make changes where necessary, to improve or create efficiencies, continually evaluating and balancing conflicting requirements to achieve client goals.

Projects don’t come without their complications, so it’s also important to be agile and factor in the time and resources needed. This will help you to deal with unplanned events that can cause delays or extra expenditure, just like we have seen with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Problem-solving and decision-making

With unanticipated changes also comes risk. To manage this and mitigate potential implications, those in management positions must be able to act swiftly in the face of unanticipated changes. They must often solve problems and make difficult judgement calls. Problem-solving is fundamental in business, and since 2020, COVID-19 has been adding more obstacles to overcome, including reduced workforces and supply chain delays.

There are four useful steps in the problem-solving process, which entails identifying the cause of the problem, considering solutions, evaluating priorities, and implementing resolutions. Whilst major problem-solving is typically undertaken by managers, they must also guide their employees to develop problem-solving techniques, supporting them in their rationalisations and giving them the confidence to make important decisions.


Being able to inspire a team and keep them motivated is an essential skill in management. Ensuring people feel valued is key and maintaining a regular dialogue can facilitate this. With COVID-19 steering many people to regularly working from home, motivating a team, and creating a positive work environment remotely can be difficult. However, a good technique is allowing people the freedom to work in ways they find the most productive and ensuring they have a balanced workload.

Another method to motivate teams is to offer constant learning and development opportunities that allow people to define and progress their careers. This can be in the form of training courses, promotions, giving them the responsibility of dealing with interesting tasks, and including them in the problem-solving process, whilst not putting them under undue pressure.

How can you develop these skills?

Across the wider AtkinsRéalis Group, including our brands Atkins and Faithful+Gould, we believe that the best way to develop new skills is by collaborating. Therefore, our people, whether they are in their early careers or are qualified professionals, have accessibility to leaders and technical advisors which stimulates their appetite to constantly learn and improve. This enables them to connect and share new ways of working with years’ worth of expertise, cultivating a culture of learning and development which helps them grow through the global business, constantly upskilling, reskilling and flourish in a nurturing environment.

Invest in your management career by joining AtkinsRéalis

We inspire our people with observable behaviours, so we are all aligned and working towards one goal for the business, whilst also focusing on our own learning and development.

Management roles are multifaceted and complex, but ultimately rewarding. If you’re interested in a career in management, browse our project manager jobs and start your journey with AtkinsRéalis .

If you can’t quite find something that suits you, sign up to our job alerts so you’ll never miss an opportunity to invest in your career.