General functions of management

A stereotype of a busy, sweaty and always tired manager, working “24 hours a day”, without whom everything may fall apart is going to history. Contemporary manager is elegant, smiling, well-dressed and do not have to or even should not “work hard”, likewise his subordinates. However, should behave and work in a deliberate and effective manner that is clever and intelligent.
Along with growing complexity of human labour, change of attitude and behavior of employees, and in the sense of responsibility for work results, an idea of people management has evolved. Approximately from the early 50s a conception of so-called scientific management consisting in that the manager was talking and the performer was listening was in force. However, a complexity of work was low at that time as well as the sense of the responsibility of workers for the results.
Between 1947 and 1970 the conception towards growing working complexity, when the manager was talking and listening to what the performer said to him, was used.
Since the beginning of the 70s, when the work complexity has began to be high and at the same time personal responsibility for its effects has increased the conception of management was popularized according to which information exchange between the manager and the performer was both way: the first one and the second one either asked and listened.
Contemporary management consists in achieving aims through other people.
Main management functions are:

  • description of operational aims;
  • making decisions;
  • planning;
  • organizing;
  • actuating;
  • work motivation;
  • controlling;

Management also include:

  • effective management of human resources and material means e.g. money, facilities, time, materials etc.;
  • adapting the tasks to its performers;
  • description and estimation of work;
  • delegation of powers and responsibilities;
  • advising and communication;
  • problem solving and decision making;
  • leadership, i.e. such motivational influence, that necessary tasks would be performed without commands.

Effective management is an ability to achieve goals. Effective management, control and human activity are measured by the achievement of earlier established goals.
Operational effectivity or profitableness is – relation of an expenditure to achieved results
Effectivity=expenditure/results

The above definition is comparable with the definition of labour efficiency. In simplification:

  • efficiency – means performing a given task (purposefulness of the task),
  • effectiveness – means performing a given task well (result of performance).

In order to understand the difference between efficiency and effectiveness contrasting “hard-working” and “effectively-working” persons can be helpful. Nobody wants to work hard, though it has been a synonym of efficiency and effectiveness for years. Practically, it was the symbol of inefficiency and bad management of the whole system.
Experienced manager knows that an employee, especially a new one, is carefully observing his environment and tries to understand what is going on in the company and a given team, who is actually in charge, who and what requires and what are the chances of gaining better salary, “earn money on the side” etc.
A reasonable manager understands that his employees know about their work and the nearest environment more than their superiors. That is why they should be good listeners, inspire for further reflections, encourage to improvements and innovations. In that way managers gain partners not thoughtless performers. Below has been presented a typical record of employee’s expectations towards new workplace and superior’s behavior

Famous American consultant, the author of many books about management, P.F. Drucker, suggests the following rules for the effective manager:Effective manager carefully organises and control his own time as well as analyses his work pursuing to eliminate waste of time. Often, this is the beginning of new distribution of work, commissioning of powers by managers and dealing with key business on which there is usually lack of time.Manager’s attention should be focused not on “what one is doing but on what has to be done”. Fundamental success factor of every conscious manager is perceiving his job through results of the whole organisation.Tries to use his energy to support and enforce so-called “strong points” of one’s own and employee’s. Manager’s attitude should indicate to the employees that the best work would be highly evaluated such as punctuality and accuracy etc. In this way a manager concentrates foremost on one’s own and his employee’s usefulness, not on weaknesses.Another rule of an effective management constitutes effort focusing on chosen activities – works in a particular time on one or several tasks. It should be decided which information, meetings and contacts should belong to the manager and which can be passed. Choose the most important tasks, consciously picking those related to the future not past. Solve problems which may occur tomorrow and thanks to such proceedings minimise the intensity of arising “today’s” problems and difficulties.Do not ignore favourable circumstances for achieving goals and takes advantage of various opportunities that occur. There is a view that ability to perceive those opportunities is more significant than the ability to solve minor problems.Last from the chosen rules is the ability to take such attitude which enables the manager to take advantage of constant feedback from his employees in order to check the results of decisions and activities. Complying with rule of “open door” for employees, make use of information about results of one’s own proceedings, whether they are favourable or not, enables quick decision making.Table below represents how management rules changed through years of managing evolution.

Employee Superior
What do we do here? Clear designation of goals in the company and team section
What are the requirements?
What should I do?
What can I do?
Clear definition of responsibilities and requirements
Where (in a team) is my place? Sympathy, full description of a role and function
What would be my salary if?
– I complete required task well
– I do not complete the task well
– What the penalty/reward would be?
Motivating: feedback
Advantages and disadvantages
Following the rules
What risk I bear while submitting my ideas and observations to the superior?
How am I treated in relation to other employees?
How am I getting along?
Listen carefully
Encourage and support
Consistent compliance with the principle of equal treatment of all employees
Periodic evaluation, clarity of norms
Acknowledged till now Required nowadays
Know the rules Know the atmosphere, team and informal team moods, attitudes towards management, environment
Know key outcome areas Know key, prevailing values of organizational culture in the company
Assess work results not actions, reward according to the outcome Don’t forget about needs of higher order eg, satisfaction, recognition, influence on others etc.
Be concerned with the future Not only the future of company but also employees
Attain good economic results Acceptance of the company’s environment Live in harmony with the natural environment
Comply with regulations and managerial ethics Acceptance of the company’s environment Live in harmony with the natural environment
Personal emotions, treat others in common with reasonable actions
-learn to recognize private and other people feelings
-learn to control emotions
-learn to establish and maintain contacts with
other people

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