As the saying goes “people leave managers, not companies” — effective people management is the linchpin of organisational success in today’s dynamic business landscape. A manager with excellent people management skills has the power to foster a motivated team, boosting productivity and cultivating a positive work environment.

In this article, we’ll explore a range of free and paid people management training courses designed to enhance your leadership abilities, improve communication and sharpen your conflict resolution skills. Whether you’re a new manager seeking a solid foundation or an experienced leader looking to fine-tune your approach, these courses offer valuable insights and strategies.


edX Becoming a People Manager course

#1 [FREE] edX: Becoming a People Manager

“Becoming a People Manager” on edX is aimed at individuals making the transition from employee to manager. The course introduces you to people management skills that promote building trust, managing your time, delegating work and keeping score of how you and your team are doing.

Developed and taught by Professors at Indiana University, you’ll learn how to build trust within a team with multiple personalities, establish goals and team objectives, enable productive communication, and how to avoid common pitfalls people managers make.

By completing the course, you’ll have a solid foundation in people management principles and practical skills, enabling you to inspire your team, navigate challenges, and foster a positive work environment. The course is fully online, self-paced with an estimated duration of 4 weeks at 2-3 hours of study per week.

Course: Becoming a People Manager: Taking Charge with Care
Platform: edX
Duration: 4 weeks
Cost: Free (Audit Track), $199 (Verified Track)
Certification: No


Coursera How to Manage a Remote Team course

#2 [FREE] Coursera: How to Manage a Remote Team

“How to Manage a Remote Team” is a free course on Coursera and a game-changer for managers seeking to excel in leading and managing remote teams. With the rise of remote work, this course equips you with the essential people management skills and knowledge needed to tackle the unique challenges of virtual team environments and maximise team performance.

The course is offered by GitLab, which is a software development platform and an all-remote organisation. Throughout the course, experts at the company teach learners how to manage the intricacies of remote team dynamics, master effective communication techniques, and strategies for managing remote team performance. You’ll learn how to implement best practices for remote work and oversee the transition and adaptation period from in-office to remote environments.

The course content is fully online and self-paced, delivered via interactive video lectures, readings and quizzes. Rated 4.77 stars with 372 ratings, learners can be certain that they are signing up for a credible course.

Course: How to Management a Remote Team
Platform: Coursera
Duration: 11h
Cost: Free
Certification: No


Coursera: A Practical Guide to Managing People at Work course

#3 [FREE] Coursera: A Practical Guide to Managing People at Work

On the flip side of managing a remote team is managing in-person at the workplace. Whether you’re already in a management role or aspiring to be one, “Practical Guide to Managing People at Work” is a comprehensive program designed to equip you with the knowledge and strategies needed to lead and manage teams effectively.

Offered by the University of London on Coursera, the course teaches learners key people management skills including team dynamics, communication, motivation, conflict resolution, and performance management. You’ll learn to build strong relationships, give constructive feedback, and foster a collaborative work environment at any workplace.

Rated 4.7 stars out of 3,3000 ratings, this people management skills course is fully online and self-paced. With over 28 hours of video lectures, reading materials and quizzes, there is enough content here to help you succeed.

Course: A Practical Guide to Managing People at Work
Platform: Coursera
Duration: 28 hours
Cost: Free
Certification: No


LinkedIn Learning: Develop Conflict Management Skills course

#4 [PAID] LinkedIn Learning: Develop Conflict Management Skills

No matter if you’re managing a big or small team, one of the key people management skills to have is conflict management. Great managers are capable of resolving conflicts in a manner that satisfies all parties and keeps the team moving forward towards the same objective. We all know that conflicts can be tricky to navigate, both personally and professionally. That’s where the LinkedIn Learning Path “Develop Conflict Management Skills” can help.

This learning path consists of 6 short courses that will help you obtain a deep understanding of conflict dynamics, effective communication techniques, and powerful negotiation strategies. Imagine being able to transform conflicts into opportunities for growth, collaboration, and positive change — well, this learning path will equip you to do just that.

The course content is taught via a mix of video lessons and quizzes. From assessing conflicts to mastering communication during challenging moments, to honing negotiation techniques, managing your own emotions, and learning how to deal with different personalities, this course covers all the essential topics to make you a skilled conflict resolver.

Course: Develop Conflict Management Skills
Platform: LinkedIn Learning
Duration: 4h 30min
Cost: $27.24/mth
Certification: Yes


LinkedIn Learning: Coaching Skills for Leaders and Managers course

#5 [PAID] LinkedIn Learning: Coaching Skills for Leaders and Managers

Coaching is one of the most important aspects of people management skills. A good mentor/coach is a force multiplier that can unleash the full potential of their teams. Coaching isn’t just for entry-level employees, staff of all levels can use coaching to improve their work performance, achieve goals and find fulfilling careers.

“Coaching Skills for Leaders and Managers” on LinkedIn Learning is your ticket to mastering the art of coaching and driving exceptional performance. Enrolling in this course opens the door to a comprehensive understanding of coaching principles, techniques, and best practices. You’ll dive into the secrets of effective communication, motivation, goal setting, progress tracking, and providing constructive feedback. These people management skills are vital for empowering your team members, nurturing their growth, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

The course is delivered via engaging video lessons with real-world case studies and quizzes. Rated 4.7 stars out of over 6,800 reviews on LinkedIn, it’s clear “Coaching Skills for Leaders and Managers” is well-regarded by PMETs all over the world.

Course: Coaching Skills for Leaders and Managers
Platform: LinkedIn Learning
Duration: 35 min
Cost: $27.24/mth
Certification: Yes


Udemy: Practical Leadership Skills course

#6 [PAID] Udemy: Practical Leadership Skills

Rated 4.7 stars out of over 64,000 ratings on Udemy, “Practical Leadership Skills” is one of the most popular courses teaching people management skills on the platform. In this course, Chris Croft, one of the UK’s leading management trainers teaches you practical leadership skills and techniques you can use in every stage of your career and across various professional settings.

Chris delves into the core principles of effective leadership, from mastering communication to making sound decisions, resolving conflicts, and building high-performing teams. He discusses strategies for motivating and inspiring your team members, managing change with finesse, and fostering a positive work culture that breeds success.

The course content is primarily delivered via video lessons. Chris is an entertaining presenter who manages to keep his learners engaged and amused while providing real-life examples to bring his concepts to life.

Course: Practical Leadership Skills
Platform: Udemy
Duration: 2h 30min
Cost: $98
Certification: Yes


FutureLearn: People Management Skills course

#7 [PAID] FutureLearn: People Management Skills

The “People Management Skills” course on FutureLearn is a comprehensive program designed to empower professionals with the knowledge and abilities needed to excel in managing and leading teams. Developed by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) — you’ll have the opportunity to develop a wide range of essential skills for people management.

By completing this course, you’ll acquire a skill set to thrive as a people manager. You’ll explore managing absence and supporting employees returning to work, assessing labor market conditions, and implementing effective recruitment and induction practices. Additionally, you’ll also learn how to develop both teams and individuals, address performance shortfalls, and promote a healthy workforce.

Course contents are taught via a mixture of bite-sized video lectures, short and long-form articles, and practical exercises that encourage active learning. There’s also the opportunity to engage with fellow learners and gain valuable insights from diverse perspectives.

Course: FutureLearn: People Management Skills
Platform: FutureLearn
Duration: 5 weeks
Cost: $39.99/mth
Certification: Yes


FirstCom Academy: Effective People Management course

#8 [PAID] FirstCom Academy: Effective People Management

Unlike the other online courses on this list, FirstCom Academy’s “Effective People Management” stands out for being conducted in-person. This program offers a unique opportunity to learn people management skills, practice and receive real-time guidance from experienced trainers.

The course stands out for its interactive nature, enabling active participation in discussions, role-playing scenarios, and practical exercises. By immersing yourself in a dynamic learning environment, you’ll directly apply learned concepts to real-world workplace situations, receiving valuable feedback to boost your skills and confidence in managing and leading teams.

Throughout the course, you’ll learn valuable techniques for managing differences and aligning teams, evaluating team competency, as well as how to facilitate skill development amongst your staff. By the end of the course, you’ll be equipped to create a comprehensive development plan for your team, foster a shared sense of purpose, and enhance your coaching skills.

Upon completion, you’ll earn recognised certifications from FirstCom Academy and Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ), validating your professional development in people management — valuable credentials to showcase your enhanced skills and knowledge to current and future employers.

Course: Effective People Management
Platform: FirstCom Academy
Duration: 2.5 days
Cost: $240 (with SkillsFuture subsidies)
Certification: Yes


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