Online course in Business & Management

Managing People: Engaging Your Workforce

Learn how to understand and get the most out of people in the workplace, with a course that's ideal for those in management roles.

Managing People: Engaging Your Workforce

  • Duration 10 weeks
  • Weekly study 4 hours
  • Certificate Available

Why join the course?

In this ten-week course you will learn how to get the most out of people in the workplace. Aimed at people who have, or are about to have, managerial responsibility in any type of organisation, this course will introduce you to reflective practice in people management.

“The conventional definition of management is getting work done through people, but real management is developing people through work.”
Agha Hasan Abedi

Think back to your last few days in the workplace. Were you and your team energised, focused and all delivering real benefit to the organisation? As managers our task is to deploy resources so that we can achieve results. In our rapidly changing world this is never easy, especially when our delivery is based on the efforts of other people. People can be hugely creative and enthusiastic, or negative and distracted. People are much more than a source of labour; we are complex and are all different from each other.

So how do we energise a disparate group of people and get them pulling together – and keep them pulling together? The course will arm you to deal more effectively with the challenges you regularly face. It will provide you with different ways of looking at difficult situations and will give you a broader range of techniques to use when dealing with them.

We will cover aspects of management theory and psychology, but our premise is that management is as much an art as it is a science. We cannot make you a great artist in ten weeks but we can set you on the path.

“Management is, above all, a practice where art, science, and craft meet”
Henry Mintzberg

Who is this course for?

The course is primarily designed for people who are already working and who have, or are about to have, managerial responsibility. However, the course does not presume any prior knowledge of management theory. The nature of the organisation in which you work – or hope to work – is immaterial.

The depth of thinking and analysis will broadly be at a post-graduate level thus making this an ideal taster course should you be thinking of pursuing a masters degree in business or management in the future. However, you don’t need to have a degree to participate.

What might I learn and how might this benefit me?

  • How to manage people and get them engaged.
  • How to get the best out of people.
  • What good management practice is, and how it could be developed sustainably through a process of continuing reflection.
  • Tools and techniques to help you deal more effectively with challenges you may regularly face.

What will the learning experience be like and what will be expected of me?

The course will take place online and will consist of a variety of videos, articles, discussions, quizzes and activities based on your experience.

You must be willing to think about the ideas we will discuss in the context of your experiences of managing (and being managed) and to reflect on more effective approaches. Indeed, sharing your experiences and reflections with others on the course will help you to get the most out of it.

Delivered by the Henley Business School

This course will be delivered by Henley Business School, a triple accredited, world-renowned business school, part of the University of Reading. Henley offers a full suite of business education from undergraduate and postgraduate study, to executive education and the Henley MBA.

You can find out more on the FutureLearn blog: see what the team at thought of this course or read Martin Bicknell’s post “Beyond the template manager.”

Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 10 secondsHello, I'm Martin Bicknell. As somebody who's had a long career in management, prior to joining the Henley Business School here at the University of Reading, I've always found people to be the most fascinating, rewarding, and yes, let's admit it, challenging part of the role. When it comes to the management of people, we have to remember that it's not just what you know that matters-- it's what you do with that knowledge. We have to recognise that management is as much an art as it is a science. And I suppose this course is really about hastening you along the journey to becoming a better artist.

Skip to 0 minutes and 48 secondsWe'll do that by arming you with a wider range of responses to the challenges you'll face and getting you to think deeply about what it really means to be an effective manager of people. If we want to take theory into practise, how do we go about teaching that? Well, we do it by working together-- by sharing experiences and learning from them. The FutureLearn platform, with its huge variety of students, is going to be a fabulous place to do this. I do hope that you'll sign up and that we can work together to explore that most fascinating of topic-- you, me, us, people at work.

Who is the course for?

Who will you learn with?

Patrizia  Kokot

Patrizia Kokot

Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour at Henley Business School

Researcher into elites and inequalities in the workplace

Follow my twitter @accforgender or go to

Martin Bicknell

Martin Bicknell

Martin teaches at the Henley Business School on a number of people-related modules on our Professional Management Programmes. He was previously a management consultant and is a trained chef.

Who developed the course?

University of Reading

The University of Reading has a reputation for excellence in teaching, research and enterprise.

Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate

You can buy a Statement of Participation for this course — a personalised certificate in both digital and printed formats, to celebrate taking part.