Question # 1
Personal Development Plan as Middle Manager
As new middle manager must following are the responsibility for maintaining and developing management quality.
Develop and appoint new managers
Introduce new managers
Appraise and counsel managers
Provide a motivating environment for managers and staff
Develop managerial competence
Deal with underperforming managers
Organizational Life-Cycles and Management Styles
Organizations go through different life-cycles just like people do. Start-up organizations or founders of the organization have to do whatever is necessary just to stay in business. Leaders make highly reactive, seat-of-the-pants decisions. They fear taking the time to slow down and do planning. There is a strong relationship between the life-cycle stage of an organization and the nature of its leadership.
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Managers have to perform many roles in an organization and how they handle various situations will depend on their style of management. A management style is an overall method of leadership used by a manager. Management style depends upon the life cycle of an organization. As my organization is at the stage of building and exploration, so the management style focuses on details. It is based on interpersonal relationships and long term plans.
Nature of Organization
visionary, one product, debt
passionate faith in product
get organization started!
single leader, many ideas, not listen well, not like details
ideas to actions; broaden customer base
success lies in faith in Prophet
get product to market
high control and direct action; no delegation
simple, few if any systems
Builder and Explorers
now showing a profit
focus on efficiency; expand market and products
create means to production of product; conquer market
focus on detail; few focus on long-term plans; based on interpersonal relationships
organization is growing rapidly
Personal Training and Development programs
Organizations must provide training and development programs to groom the next generation of leaders. Without training and development programs, organizations will lose talent. There are seven types of training and development programs.
- Technical Training
- Quality Training
- Skills Training
- Professional Training
- Functional Training
- Team Bonding Activity
- Managerial Training
Out of above, I have identified following training and development programs as new middle manager:
Quality training includes customer service training. Quality training in a manufacturing plant involves knowledge of total quality management. Quality training involves finding solutions to improve processes and products. Quality training is an on-going effort to instill the philosophy of continuous improvement.
Organizations needs professionals in various departments. However, organizations generally do not have the expertise to provide professional training. They send their employees for courses to obtain professional qualifications.
The organization pays money to engage employees in team-bonding activities. The purpose of this training is to develop leadership and teamwork. Team-bonding activity usually took place outdoor. Organizations use rock climbing, canoeing, and other outdoor activities as part of a team-bonding program.
Some organizations encourage their managers to attend expensive seminars as part of managerial training.
These trainings will continue time to time depending upon the approval from HR and finance departments.
Question # 2
Factors Involved in Management Decisions
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
Managerial decision making is the key to superior performance at work. One has to refer to critical data, past records and performance metrics and analysis before making decisions. Executives often end up referring to wrong sources, which lacks scientific rigor and credentials in its finding, for arriving critical decisions. Just because one strategy works for a particular organization may not prove to be equally effective for other enterprises.
It's actually a real problem which many strategist face and typically too much of analysis may lead to complicated or erroneous conclusions if the context of the reference is not verified. Sometimes a single factor can be picked up as a major perceived thereat and instead of finding a meaningful and objective solution based on organizations own reality decisions may be unduly influenced by halo impressions.
The following are the factors influencing managerial decision making
- Preparation of Budget:- Decision-making involves budget allocation i.e., resource allocation to various aspect of decision. Budget may be allocated to various factors of production.
- Future Development:- Strategic plans are usually expected to have a significance future prosperity of the organization. This is because there is a long-term commitment. In case of absence of long-term commitment the firm cannot achieve future development.
- Orientation:- Strategic planning should keep in view of the competition existing in the market. Some times firms have to face non-price competition.
- Factors of Environment:- Plans are always influenced by business environment always influencing factor for decision-making. There may external or internal that influence business. Buyers, Suppliers, government and competitors are likely to react in accordance with changes in environment. Thus business also should act in the same passion. 5. Risk:- Strategic plans mostly face the problem of risk. The plans should able to tackle the risk bearing capacity. Risk and uncertainty are two important aspects, which can not be expected by business man.
The following are the various important decisions in different functional management.
- Planning:- It is a stage of “Strategic Formulation”. Strategic formulation includes forecasting, formulating objectives, policies and goals.
- Organizing:- It is strategy implementation process. It includes all those managerial activities that result in a structure of task, authority and responsibility relationship.
- Directing:- It also comes under strategy implementation process. Directing involves efforts directed towards shaping human behavioral. It includes; leadership, communication, motivation, morale, organizational change etc.,
- Staffing:- Recruitment is an important function of Staff. Man power is required to implement strategies.
- Controlling:- It can be called as Strategy Evaluation. Controlling refer to all those activities directed towards assuring that actual results are consistent with planned targets.
Presentation infront of Management Team
Leaders of organizations, as well as government leaders, need to be mindful of the importance of making clear-cut, well thought-out decisions. Unfortunately, many organizational leaders do not do a particularly good job of this. Our research shows that only one out of two employees believes the leader of his organization makes sound decisions.
Good decision making is especially important during these challenging economic times, as leaders are being called upon to make big decisions about reducing costs, identifying new strategic directions, and whether to implement previously planned investments in the future.
If employees trust their leaders and believe they make sound decisions, they will follow them even when they don't agree with their decisions. The key is that they believe their leaders can provide them with a clear, consistent direction.
One of the more common mistakes in decision-making is to fail to consider every department, employee, and task that may be affected by your decision. The failure to communicate then creates mistrust with the affected employee - how much depends on your previous history and your willingness to admit the mistake, no matter how small.
Question # 3
Stakeholders in the Organization
Stakeholders are individuals or groups that have some claim on the company. They can be divided into internal claimants and external claimants. Internal claimants are stockholders and employees including executive officers and board member while external claimants are all other individuals and groups affected by the company's actions. Typically, they comprise of customers, suppliers, governments, unions, competitors, local communities and the general public.
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Following are the stakeholders of the company:
- Trade unions
Stakeholders agree that effective corporate governance requires the following principles:
- Transparency: Full disclosure of financial and non-financial information
- Accountability: Ensuring that management is effectively overseen (and, where necessary, replaced) by appointing an independent and competent governing body
- Fairness: Equitable treatment of investors
- Responsibility: Ensuring the corporation fulfills its proper role in society
Corporate governance systems vary in how they achieve these goals, but by focusing on one group --in this case employees-- we can further develop the notion of how a stakeholder group can strengthen the corporate governance system.
Meeting the conflicting demands of different stakeholders,is the responsibility of a firm's leadership. This is no easy feat balancing the needs of internal stakeholders with the needs of external stakeholders and aligning the needs of these conflicting constituents with the mission and goals of the organization. The mission statement is the outward face to external stakeholders. When managers create a set of goals to measure organizational effectiveness, they must make sure that the official goals and operative goals work together to enhance effectiveness. In addition to the organizational mission and goals, leaders must develop communication skills to balance the competing demands between internal and external stakeholders.
Question # 4
A person specification describes the requirements a job holder needs to be able to perform the job satisfactorily. These are likely to include:
- Education and qualifications
- Training and experience
- Personal attributes / qualities
How should a person specification be created?
The most common approach now used by recruiters is to use what are known as "competencies" to design the person specification. These are then classified as "essential" or "desired" to determine which are most important.
Competencies might include some or all of the following:
- Physical attributes (e.g. state of health, aged, speech)
- Attainments (e.g. highest level of education completed, relevant market experience, ability to supervise/manage)
- Aptitudes (e.g. verbal reasoning; numerical aptitude)
- Interests (social activities; sporting activities)
- Personal circumstances (e.g. ability to work shifts; full or part time)
Person specifications have to be prepared and used with great care. In particular, it is important to ensure that the list of essential or desired competencies does not lead to unlawful discrimination against potential employees.
A well-crafted person specification has several benefits:
- it enables potential applicants to determine whether they are capable of meeting the requirements of the job, filtering out unsuitable candidates at an early stage
- it helps employers to identify what qualities are required to do the job
- it can be used as a guide when devising job advertisements and application forms
- it provides recruiters with a tool to systematically judge whether candidates meet the requirements and to compare one candidate with another
- it can reduce bias in the recruitment and selection process by ensuring candidates are judged against criteria which are relevant to the job, and all candidates are judged systematically on the same criteria
- it helps to ensure that your selection decisions can be justified using objective criteria should they be called into question at a later stage
- once you have appointed a new employee, the person specification and job description can be used as the basis for staff development, appraisals, or promotion
How does this compare with a job description?
A job description describes the job ; a person specification describes the person needed to do the job. A person specification can, therefore, form the basis for the selection of the most suitable person to fill the job.
Preparing a job description is not a legal requirement but it can be useful for deciding the scope of the work, advertising the job, and clarifying what applicants will have to do in the job. It can also help to assess a new recruit's performance and determine training needs.
A job description should include:
- the job title
- the position in the company, including the job title of the person to whomthe employee will reportand of those who will report to them, if any
- the location of the job
- a summary of the general nature and objectives of the job
- a list of the main duties or tasks of the employee
A good job description:
- Serves as a reference guide for determining comparable industry salaries.
- Helps maximizes dollars spent on employee compensation for the position by ensuring experience, and skills needed for the job, are detailed and matched to prospective applicants.
- Functions as a foundation for developing interview questions.
- Details information about the position that can be incorporated into “help wanted” ads.
- Discourages employees from refusing to do something because “it is not my job.”
- Provides a basis for employee reviews, salary increases, setting goals, and growth paths.
- Serves as legal documentation that can be useful in the event an employee files a termination or discrimination lawsuit against the company.
Why both are important?
The job description and specification are important parts of planning the workforce needs of any business. So what are they?
- A detailed explanation of the roles and responsibilities of the post advertised
- Most applicants will ask for this before applying for the job - they want to know what is involved!
- Refers to the post available rather than the person
- Sets out the kind of qualifications, skills, experience and personal attributes a successful candidate should possess.
- A vital tool in comparing and assessing the suitability of job applicants
- Refers to the person rather than the post
Question # 5
Quality within Department
Quality objectives are defined either during the QMS development stage or as part of the ongoing management review process. Management review is the routine self-assessment by the management team to ensure that the quality management system is documented, implemented, effective and meets pre-determined criteria. What is it important to recognise about these objectives?
- They must be meaningful for the organisation and comply with the tone and content of the quality policy;
- They must be realistic and measurable. There is a series of potential quality objectives, but they include external measures such as supplier performance, customer service levels, or consumer complaints. Internal performance measures commonly used are non-conformance data, rework or reprocessing statistics, order response times, or compliance with delivery times;
- Organisational objectives need to comply with other forms of organisational or supply chain benchmarks
- In the absence of measurable quality objectives and performance indicators it is impossible for the organisation to determine current performance or the degree of continuous improvement.
Care needs to be taken when determining these objectives to ensure that they:
- Cover all organisational activities;
- Can be easily communicated to the work-force;
- Can be managed and monitored by specified individuals
- Have agreed timescale for completion.
It is critical to communicate quality objectives to both internal and external customers and the standards that have been defined for the organisation to achieve. Unrealistic targets that are unlikely to be achieved within the agreed timescale will ultimately undermine individuals and business strategy. Conversely, benchmark standards that can be easily achieved can allow an organisation to become complacent, stagnate and ultimately be overtaken by their competitors!
Question # 6
Development of Skills and capabilities
As a manager, skills and capabilities can be developed through training programs. Training has a significant role in modern business era. Not just to equip them with latest tools your company has implemented, there is a lot more to it.I have sorted down them in a list.
Training is important because
- Rapid technological innovations impacting the workplace have made it necessary for people to consistently update their knowledge and skills
- People have to work in multidimensional areas , which usually demand far more from their area of specialisation.
- Change in the style of management.
- Due to non-practical collage education.
- Lack of proper and scientific selection procedure.
- For career advancement.
- For higher motivation and productivity.
- To make the job challenging and interesting
- For self and development
- For employee motivation and retention
- To improve organisational climate
- Prevention of obsolescence
- To help an organisation to fulfil its future manpower needs.
- To keep in pace with times
- To bridge gap between skills requirement and skills availability
- For survival and growth of organisation and nation
The benefits of training can be summed up as:
- Improves morale of employees- Training helps the employee to get job security and job satisfaction. The more satisfied the employee is and the greater is his morale, the more he will contribute to organizational success and the lesser will be employee absenteeism and turnover.
- Less supervision- A well trained employee will be well acquainted with the job and will need less of supervision. Thus, there will be less wastage of time and efforts.
- Fewer accidents- Errors are likely to occur if the employees lack knowledge and skills required for doing a particular job. The more trained an employee is, the less are the chances of committing accidents in job and the more proficient the employee becomes.
- Chances of promotion- Employees acquire skills and efficiency during training. They become more eligible for promotion. They become an asset for the organization.
- Increased productivity- Training improves efficiency and productivity of employees. Well trained employees show both quantity and quality performance. There is less wastage of time, money and resources if employees are properly trained.
Ways/Methods of Training
Training is generally imparted in two ways:
On the job training- On the job training methods are those which are given to the employees within the everyday working of a concern. It is a simple and cost-effective training method. The inproficient as well as semi- proficient employees can be well trained by using such training method. The employees are trained in actual working scenario. The motto of such training is “learning by doing.” Instances of such on-job training methods are job-rotation, coaching, temporary promotions, etc.
Off the job training- Off the job training methods are those in which training is provided away from the actual working condition. It is generally used in case of new employees. Instances of off the job training methods are workshops, seminars, conferences, etc. Such method is costly and is effective if and only if large number of employees have to be trained within a short time period. Off the job training is also called as vestibule training,i.e., the employees are trained in a separate area( may be a hall, entrance, reception area,etc. known as a vestibule) where the actual working conditions are duplicated.
Question # 7
As a manager, it is my job to make sure that the work gets done right and in a timely manner. But, at times, that doesn't happen. Deadlines get missed. Orders get filled incorrectly. And customers are starting to complain about our service..
Stop thinking it'll get better. Deal firmly and promptly with a poor performer. If certain behaviors --- coming in late or not filling out forms right --- appear acceptable, then the person will see no reason to change. The problem continues. Our good performers will have to then pick up the slack. Morale goes down.
Here are three steps to quickly put out poor performance fires.
1. Get a handle on the problem:
Before confronting the poor performer, stop and determine
- How often and under what circumstances does it occur?
- What's the impact or consequences of the poor performance?
- What actions will correct the situation and lead to better performance?
2. Find out the real cause(s) of the problem.
Now go into a coaching mode and find out if the problem is due to the lack of
- Clear goals and expectations? Sometimes people don't know specifically what they are supposed to do. Performance management starts with a carefully charted direction.
- Resources, tools and information? What do people require to do their job well? At times, all that is needed is access to data or a job aid or a software upgrade.
- Recognition and motivation? People work for different reasons but most of us like to be recognized for doing a good job. We become motivated to work harder.
- Skills and knowledge? Do people need additional training or coaching to increase their capabilities? Remember, learning is on-going not a one-shot deal.
3. Resolve the problem.
If the poor performance is due to a lack of understanding of the proper procedures, then perhaps the answer is to have a co-worker show the person the right process in handling an order. Or, if the poor performer doesn't have the proper tools to do the job well, then find a way to get them. Don't expect to get extraordinary performance from mediocre resources. Perhaps all that is needed to improve employee performance is a simple and inexpensive morale booster like a pizza lunch or a dozen cookies.
An effective leader not only delegates work but also does not disappears until it's time for the yearly performance appraisal. She steps in to stop poor performance before it escalates into a raging brush fire.
Question # 8
Report to the Management Team
Management is a team sport that makes similar demands on its players. Unfortunately, many managers do not understand how managerial jobs are similar and yet different across organizational levels and functions. This lack of mutual understanding makes it harder to appreciate each other's contributions and to coordinate work activities.
In addition to work coordination, executives who understand the similarities and differences in managerial jobs are better able to:
- Communicate performance expectations and feedback to subordinate managers
- Prepare others and themselves for transitions to higher levels of management
- Predict how an individual manager would perform if placed in a higher level job
- Ensure that management development efforts are targeted at the proper skills
- Diagnose and resolve confusion regarding managerial roles, responsibilities and priorities
First Level Managers: One-to-One with Subordinates
The most critical skill for supervisors is the management of individual performance. This includes:
- Motivation and discipline
- Monitoring performance and providing feedback
- Improving communications and individual productivity
The next most critical skill is helping subordinates learn how to perform their jobs effectively, including such tasks as:
While both these skills are important for first-level managers, they are decidedly less so for middle managers.
Middle Managers: Linking Groups
The requirement to manage group performance is the hallmark change in the transition to middle management. This new responsibility includes:
- Measuring and managing group-level performance indicators
- Defining areas of responsibility
- Providing feedback on the performance of subordinate managers' workgroups
- Communicating about group performance to senior management
Another important cluster of tasks for middle managers involves planning and resource allocation. Examples include:
- Determination of group resource requirements and distributing them
- Translating general objectives into specific plans
- Determining evaluation criteria to measure progress and performance
A third critical task - one that is shared with executives - is the coordination of independent groups. This involves:
- Reviewing the work and plans of multiple groups
- Bringing the efforts of multiple groups together to create a unified approach
- Promoting the sharing of resources and information among groups
Executives: An Eye to the Outside
Upon entry to the executive ranks, the requirement to monitor the business environment becomes critical. The executive must:
- Have an increased awareness of business, regulatory, and economic trends
- Develop and maintain relationships with senior-level customers or clients outside the organization
- Participate in task forces to identify new business opportunities
Common to All Levels: Represent the Workgroup
Managers at all levels must be the spokesperson for their staffs. This requires them to:
- Represent the workgroup to others
- Communicate the needs of the workgroup
- Help subordinates interact with other groups
- Develop relationships with other managers that can be leveraged to obtain necessary information, products, services or resources
Building a Winning Team
Through training and other developmental activities, organizations can help managers build the skills they need at their current level. Moreover, they can anticipate the requirements for higher levels and start developing those skills early. The result will be a winning management team.