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A management position can be, and can lead to other very rewarding career opportunities. As any good manager should know, such a position requires a sense of responsibility as well as excellent leadership skills, human skills, creativity, and innovation. As more organizations open and others continue to thrive, there is ever an increase in management positions, therefore creating a need for more managers.
The four functions of management are planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Here is an in-depth approach to what exactly that means. Just as with any type of project, planning as it pertains to an organization, is a series of goals that are set and the steps taken to accomplish those goals. A positive strength to have when carrying out planning as a manager is detail orientation. This means the manager takes care to pay special attention to fine details that others may not notice. This helps to assure that the plan has the best potential to carry through and be as free from mistakes as possible (Lewis, Goodman, Fandt, Michlitsch, 6). This is definitely an asset for those in management positions, as it makes it easier to carry out well-thought and defined plans. As with most projects, a source of difficulties when planning is deciding where to start. It seems the best way to get one's thoughts in order is by starting with simple strategies and working up toward the big picture, this can be less overwhelming than diving in full force while still accomplishing all goals.
Organizing is the process of arranging and structuring employees and resources to optimize productivity and efficiency, this ultimately leads to the achievement of the organization's goals. It is an important function in the strategic planning of an organization, as it is a time to arrange departments within the company, divide tasks and responsibilities between employees according to the best fit, and fine tune the entire organization for optimal performance. As a manager, this is a good time to assess the diversity of employees; an organization should be able to draw from their talents, competencies, and ideas, this should be considered a time to lay out on the table any special qualities that employees possess (http://www.zeromillion.com/econ/workplace-diversity.html).
Once the division of departments is organized, it becomes the responsibility of the manager to motivate. A good idea is to find allies within the organization that have a way with motivating peers and keeping them focused on their personal objective and the company's objective as a whole. This is part of the function of leading. A leader should be someone that is likeable, decisive, inspiring, and open to positive and negative feedback. Strong leaders can make all the difference when it comes to attaining a positive corporate culture and building a tight backbone for the organization.
Keeping track of the company's objectives and performance through feedback to make sure it is reaching its potential goal is the focus of controlling. It is important for managers to be able to monitor, communicate, and rectify any problems that may arise as efficiently as possible. This holds true for the performance of employees as well as the organization's procedures.
A must have for anyone in the business world today, but especially at the management level is technical skills. If the hierarchy of an organization does not have competency working with technology and the changes the aforementioned brings, they cannot expect that subordinates will remain informed and versed on the subject. The key to technical skills is not to be afraid of the unknown, but to embrace it and learn from it (Dubrin).
As with any relationship, communication is important, and one aspect of this is interpersonal skills, the way in which people interact with each other. This can make the difference between an enjoyable and productive work environment and a stagnant environment that keeps a department or organization from reaching its goals. Sometimes getting a point across or accomplishing a task can become a source of frustration. Management should take time out to sit back and really listen, communicate their thoughts clearly and precisely, and try to see things from both perspective sides, as a subordinate and as a manager. The better a manager's social skills are when interacting with employees, the better the relationship between the manager and his subordinates (Hayes).
Working collaboratively with interpersonal skills is communications skills. When in charge of other people, the ability to express oneself clearly, with proper grammar, in verbal and written skills is necessary. If subordinates do not understand instructions given by a manager, an incomplete or poorly done job will reflect back upon them costing the company money as well as time. This strength should be mandatory for every level of management. For those lacking, or in need of a brush up, there are business communication courses offered to help improve just this skill.
Problem solving is a key factor of conceptual skills; managers should know how to use data to solve problems at hand. However, when it comes to the corporate level, problem solving is not limited to one unit; the problem solving is for the company as a whole (Dubrin, 16). Sometimes knowing how to implement skills when in this situation can be challenging, however a good manager will know how to weed out important information from an overwhelming amount of data and set the organization on the correct course to reach their objective.
Time is money and time-management is a technique managers use to increase their productivity, finish their assignments, and accomplish their tasks in the most effective way. As managers and employees, at the end of the day it is important to feel satisfied with the workload that is accomplished.
Policies and Procedures
Policies, procedures, and rules are important, without them, subordinates would not have a great understanding of their responsibilities. A policy advises of acceptable business behaviors and rules, and serves to keep things consistent. Procedures act as a guideline for how, and in which way specific tasks should be accomplished.
Some policies it would be a good idea to consider when managing a business are of course any policies that would keep in conformity with local and governmental laws, such as federal regulations like the Food and Drug Act or The Civil Rights Act. Standards of conduct should be applied in detail along with the company's code of conduct; this helps keep employees informed of just what type of behavior is expected of them, whether it be of an ethical or legal manner this is very important for the integrity of the business as well as the employees involved. Dress codes may be applied, such as smart casual; this can be a great alternative to the humdrum of a suit and tie every day, and at the same time serves as a rule for employees to dress comfortably, not sloppily. Certain typed of businesses should consider putting safety rules and policies in place especially in a setting where heavy equipment or dangerous materials are used. Policies for taking breaks and the length of time that is acceptable should be implemented, this helps to optimize work time as well as giving employees a chance to refresh themselves by taking a short time away from their work. Some other policies management should consider are policies for the eligibility of benefits such as health insurance, profit sharing, time off with pay, and bereavement policies (http://humanresources.about.com/od/policiesandsamples1/a/how_to_policy.htm).
These are assets and options that many potential employees elect to take part in when offered a position. Benefits can also be the deciding factor for a candidate when an offer has been extended.
Organizational culture is the values, nature, and mannerisms of a business as a whole along with its philosophy. An adaptive corporate culture seems a logical choice as the culture can be beneficial to the financial outcome of a corporation as well as the productivity of the business. According to Ric Roi, lead researcher and Vice President of Crawford International a study conducted of Fortune 500 companies prepared by Crawford International and HR.com showed the impact of adaptive culture for the upper and lower quartiles of companies participating in this study (http://.hr.com). The financial growth was measured from 1996 to 2004 here are the results:
Net Income Growth:
*Adaptive Corporate Culture 989%
*Non-Adaptive Corporate Culture -47%
Net Income Index Growth:
*Adaptive Corporate Culture 11.5
*Non-Adaptive Corporate Culture 1.7
Stock Price Growth:
*Adaptive Corporate Culture 204%
*Non-Adaptive Corporate Culture 70%
The outcome is actually very impressive. The companies that participated in an adaptive culture environment reported high levels of adaptability of employees and long-term gain in financial performance (http://www.hr.com). A good start to building an adaptive corporate culture as a manager is to be a good example, make employees aware of costs, measure performance, substantiate accountability, and monitor feedback.
Managers need to have superb leadership skills. Those that lead with a mixture of each style, incorporating the delegative, participative, and authoritative are creating a well thought out balance. As a leader, one should be able to share their knowledge with subordinates as well as participate in discussions on a peer level, not just as an authority. Some members of a team may have more knowledge of a subject, and sometimes as a member of management, it is easier to spout out ideas rather than taking a step back and taking in all that is being said and putting what can be very good information to use. As an organization leader, one needs to be open to new ideas and have the ability to make employees feel part of the team by putting their input to use.
Fair amounts of employees tend to be self-motivated; they have goals and desires for their career that they are reaching to achieve. However, when managers find members of their organization need an extra push, many different steps can be taken to boost productivity. Of course, money always seems to be a motivator and there is always plenty of motivation when it comes down to contests with cash prizes, family vacations, and tickets to events. There are however, plenty of other ways to motivate employees without costing organizations extra money. Sometimes just adding something a little different to break up employees' normal routines can peak their interest and make them more productive. Letting employees know that they are appreciated, doing their job well, and how they positively affect the company gives them a sense of accomplishment and pride, everyone wants to feel valued. Employees with challenging goals tend to perform better than those lacking goals. By giving employees a chance at leadership such as having team members take turns at being in charge of weekly meetings, a sense of leadership camaraderie is established (http://www.employer-employee.com/howtomot.htm). Trust goes a long way, if employees feel they are trusted to find solutions to problems they are less apt to point the finger at others and walk away when a problem transpires.
There are also outside training programs that are state funded, that gear themselves toward teaching employees new techniques and technologies in their industry while fully reimbursing the organization for participating, this can be an excellent source of motivation for employees and the organization (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3495/is_8_47/ai_90536354).
Managers take on a large amount of responsibility in their role of hierarchy. They improve productivity; help employees to improve their performance as individuals and from a team standpoint, branch obstacles between employees and their everyday tasks. They help to keep teams and work logically organized while also implementing the following of rules and procedures. At the end of the day, a good manager should leave the organization with a sense of accomplishment and pride in the service they are providing for their company on its way to meeting its goals and objectives.