Functions of management
The management position requires one to wear many hats. Therefore, there are separate hats that correlate to the five basic management functions. Manager’s in every organization spends a great deal of time leading, but they also have to plan, organize, staff, and control and is dependent on what level of management and responsibility involved. In order to be a successful manager, it is important to become a master within all five of these functions.
One of the first and most important functions in management is planning. Planning consists of the process of evaluating the goals of an organization and creating a plan to meet these goals. Both Koontz and O’Donnell state that “planning is deciding in advance on what to do, when and how it will be done, and who will be doing it” (Akrani). Therefore, planning is the foundation of the management role, and plays a critical part to the success of an organization by determining the means and the methods in order to achieve the objective. A key element and starting point of this process should include the development of a Mission and Vision Statement to which aids in the way an organization functions. The mission statement is the explanation of the organization’s existence, while the vision statement is the motivator in which defines the purpose and direction of the organization for not only the manager, but the employees as well (Rothbauer-Wanish).
As our textbook states, “when you fail to plan, you plan to fail” (McConnell). Therefore, planning in management is important for several reasons the most important reason is it allows for management to make effective decisions. In addition, the importance of planning is that it plays a vital role to the survival and growth of an organization as it ensures accuracy, economy, and operational efficiency (Akrani). Planning also has many different hats for it plays a positive role in the business environment, helps make uniform decisions, sets performance standards, and helps the organization solve problems and challenges that are present every day. Without planning, an organization can expect inefficiency, confusion, disorder, and wasting valuable resources in both human and material.
Another important function in management is organizing and its key roles are the results of the decisions that were made during the planning process. Organizing is what comes after the planning process. Therefore, to me the definition of organizing in management is the bringing together of resources to accomplish the organization’s objectives. It is the ability to identify and coordinate the various role positions along with the jobs that are related, and the direction between authority and responsibility (http://managementstudyguide.com/organizing_function.htm). According to our textbook, organizing tools are what builds structure through policies, procedures, work rules, and job descriptions (McConnell).
Organization is so very critical in management primarily because it helps facilitate efficient management by avoiding confusion and duplication or delays of work (Akrani). When the organizing structure is well defined it can promote harmony by creating direction and cooperation between different departments in the organization by optimizing your available resources. In addition, organization is important to motivating employees, providing growth for both the organizations and its employees, and encourages creativity and innovation. The most important reason that organization is very important is it coordinates relationships of all staff members while directing towards the achievement of the organizations’ objectives and goals (Akrani).
Staffing is considered one of the most important managerial functions for it controls the personnel and recruitment needs of the organization-hiring the right people for the right job (Roberts). In addition, the staffing process is continuous for it includes training and development of employees, performance appraisals, and promotions. If done properly, managers should have the ability to foresee the staffing needs and at the same time to be organizing resources so the appropriate procedures can be administered. Therefore, staffing is centered on two other management functions which are planning and organizing.
Staffing is the most important asset to any organization. Without proper staffing, many businesses would fail because of inadequate staff placement. Furthermore, effective staffing will ensure that employees are well managed, receive further training and education so employees are better prepared to do their jobs while serving both their internal and external customers of the organization (McQuerrey). Additionally, efficient staffing is important to employee retention, for hiring costs are expensive due to training and development; even though it fulfills production it creates value for the organization (Banton). Therefore, by having loyal staff only promotes the organization’s reputation and enhances competition within the organization by rotating staff in other areas to further develop their skills while exposing them to other parts of the business (Banton).
Another management function is directing to which involves planning, organizing and staffing. Directing is in the same aspect as leading and is the responsibility on all levels of management. A manager must have the ability to direct/lead their employees for it involves the process of instructing, guiding, and overseeing their insubordinates. Furthermore, directing/leading requires management to motivate, communicate, encourage, and coach their employees as well. This management function also wears many hats such as described above, primarily because of its many different characteristics that are involved. When managers/supervisors direct they must be able to command and motivate employees while providing positive leadership.
Directing in management is very important for the sole purpose is to teach employees either through verbal and written communication. This provides motivation, guidance, creates action, and builds morale and confidence. In addition, leading and directing provides a means to the employees the objectives and goals of the organization that they work for. Employees want to know what is expected of them and when they have the assurance of their management in executing clear directions then they have a better understanding of what is expected of their performance (Heathfield). Most importantly, directing/leading provides employees a sense of trust and support. Without any direction from management, the end result will be a lack of employee empowerment and engagement.
The last of the five management functions is controlling which goes along with planning, it is said that without planning, controlling is meaningless and without controlling planning is useless (http://managementstudyguide.com/controlling_function.htm). This function consists of monitoring, evaluating and reporting on all aspects of the organizations performances and the objectives to ensure that actions during the planning phase are going as planned or to make any corrective actions as necessary-performance measures. Furthermore, controlling is done on a continuous basis and involves all management levels. Having control encourages not only compliance, it also encourages that tasks are being performed in a timely manner.
Control in management is very vital to the organization’s success. Imagine if there was no control by the management, the organization would not have any way in knowing if they are meeting their goals and what actions need to be taken. In addition, control offers employee empowerment by providing feedback regarding employee performance in preventing future problems. Another important reason control is used by management is to protect the organization from various threats such as natural disasters, workplace violence, security breaches by having plans and procedures in place that protects the facility, employees, and its infrastructure. Lastly, control is about ensuring that your organization is on course and running smoothly. Many people view control as being in a negative sense, however when management has control it puts a positive perspective towards accomplishing the goals and in achieving maximum output from all resources.
As stated in the beginning of this paper, management has many hats and I have only touched on the five basic functions. Many of us do not realize how many different processes are involved when managing a department or an entire organization and the importance of being able to effectively plan, organize, staff, direct, and control while maintaining your sanity. However, when you bring all these functions together you can create an efficient system. Throughout this course I have learned that it is not enough to be a successful manager, its being an effective manager that counts. It is really amazing how these different functions correlate with one another, for instance leadership depends on planning and organization in order to meet the deadlines, and control depends on leadership and planning to provide the resources that is necessary to complete the tasks set forth by the organization.
Therefore, with the combination of these management functions it will provide for a manager to successfully run the organization by being result and solution driven, can put together a directed and well-motivated group of employees, and one who can understand while being strict at the same time. It does take skill on the manager’s behalf to be able to convey these various actions on a daily basis while making sure that the objectives and goals are being met. All five of these functions share and is centered on a common theme, employee empowerment and engagement, growth opportunities, and success. This is what I see when all five of the functions are working together, an effective manager.
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Akrani, Gaurav. “What Is Organising? Meaning Definition Process Articles.” What Is Organising? Meaning Definition Process Articles. http://kalyan-city.blogspot.com/2011/07/what-is-organising-meaning-definition.html
Banton, Caroline. “Importance of Staffing Management.” Business & Entrepreneurship. Demand Media, http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/importance-staffing-management-13367.html
Heathfield, Susan. “Want 10 Tips About Motivating Employees?” About.com Human Resources. http://humanresources.about.com/od/motivationrewardretention/a/motivating_employees.htm
Mangunsong, Rully. “Control | Major Reasons Why The Control Function Is Important to Managers?” http://myllurmanagement.blogspot.com/2012/08/control-major-reasons-why-control.html
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