Management is the process of planning, organizing, leading and controlling of human and other resources to attain organizational objectives effectively and efficiently. The performance of the organization is the measure of how effectively the management uses resources to satisfy customers and achieve organizational goals. The following are the functions of management; planning, organizing, leading, controlling, staffing and motivation.
These management functions are vital for every organization. My previous employer, Gateway Manufacturers, was always sober in application and implementation of these managerial functions. Below are these functions and their effectiveness in Gateway Manufacturers.
This is the process where managers choose and set organizational goals and take necessary actions. Planning involves setting of predetermined goals, deciding on the actions to take and finally on how to use and allocate resources. The competence in planning by the managers determines the performance of the organization. Managers need to set objectives and strategies concerning what goals to fulfill, the actions to take and how to use the resources to achieve those goals.
For example, the chief executive officer of Gateway manufacturers decided to manufacture plastic containers and sell them to both wholesalers and retailers. For them to counter their competitors, he had to set his goals, which were to sell cheaper plastic containers; then he decided on the action to take by doing both direct sales to his clients and studying the skills of his competitors. He had also to look for a cheap way to obtain raw materials and how to advertise his products to existing and potential customers. After the business acquired momentum, the CEO had to invent new and more sophisticated strategies on what goals to pursue, what action to take and how to allocate resources to achieve these objectives.
Leading can be defined as a process of directing resources like human, physical and ideological to achieve organizational goals and objectives. Leadership is based on power, authority, vision and efforts put together. Here, the influence is exerted on people; they are inspired, motivated and directed to help each other achieve group or organization goals. Various leadership styles are used to mold the best employees. These styles include; contingency models of leadership, transformation leadership, gender and leadership, and finally, emotional intelligence and leadership. The CEO of Gateway Manufacturers embarked mostly on leadership skills and the outcome was high employee performance. In Gateway Manufacturers, hardworking and committed employees are developed through leadership. The management always ensures prompt resolution of disputes, which would cause bitter quarrels and power fights. A good leader always ensures to support and appreciate his/her subordinates regardless of whether they succeed or fail. Such leaders encourage them to aim higher because they are capable of doing all sort of duties and responsibilities. The managers of Gateway Manufacturers focus on emotional intelligence to implant a vision of their organization in motivating their subordinates to commit to the mission and vision as well as energizing them to enthusiastically work together to achieve better results. The CEO and the managers use this skill of emotional intelligence strategy to develop an identity their organization and instill high levels of trust and cooperation throughout the organization. They also ensure to maintain the flexibility that is required for the everyday challenging and changing situations.
Controlling involves evaluation of how competitively the organization is achieving its chosen goals and takes action to maintain and improve a performance. Depending on the results, the management takes appropriate precautions to ensure that the organization does not lose its bearing of achieving its goals. Managers ensure to be well updated with the progress of performance through putting up reporting systems. Using these systems, they set standards and take corrective action where there are cases of variances. In order to exercise effective control, managers decide what goals to measure; pertaining to productivity, quality, or responsiveness to customers; they should then design efficient and effective information and control systems that provide the data they need to asses performance. The controlling function also allows managers to evaluate how well they are faring. The Gateway Manufactures CEO encountered problems in laying effective control systems resulting from rapid growth of the company, and thus, lack of experienced managers. This weak management resulted in financial losses and poor labor utilization. To solve all these and other control problems, the CEO of the company hired skilled and experienced managers to achieve and develop the right control systems. As a result of this control activity, Gateway Manufacturers Company was able to reduce its cost of production by 20%, which gave them an upper hand over their competitors. Just like the four other management functions, controlling is a continuous, always changing process that needs constant attention and action. Therefore, management should always make sure that controlling is not ignored in the event of quenching other managerial functions.
Staffing involves the placement of the right, competent and experienced staff in the available positions in the organization. This activity is undertaken by the Human Resource Manager with the help from other associate managers. For an organization to get the right manpower for these available positions, they need to conduct an effective planning process. These competent people need to posses the required competent skills, compelling knowledge and a reliable attitude. After the selection of the employees, they go through effective familiarization, which is necessary for assisting the adjustment of these positions. Induction is an essential requirement for the operational layout, rules and risk in particular operations. It is always important to avail a copy of operating instructions where possible. After the new employees have been introduced to the organization, they undergo a special training. This training can either be done through on-job (in-plant) or institutional (outside) programs. Training instills the right skills, knowledge and culture. Staff development is the next step after training, which ensures that imparted skills are nurtured to create an improved and increased level of production. Staff development is implemented through the following ways: counseling, instilling positive work-attitudes, promotion, job expansion, job enhancement and design which also helps to better perform in the work place.
In Gateway Manufacturers, the CEO always made sure that there was enough staff in all the departments. These people always possessed the compelling knowledge, competent skills and the required attitude. They went through vigorous training that equipped them with the needed skills to tackle their tasks. They were made familiar with the culture of the company and the rules that they were subjected to. After the training followed the induction process, where each and every individual was absorbed by their respective jobs that they would be performing during their stay in the company. Finally the employees were developed to ensure that they have become an integral part of the company. Developing of the employees gives them a sense of belonging, which, in return, reduces the level of labor turnover. Development entails motivating an individual into producing better results. A motivated person is able to produce better pay even at low wages than unmotivated employee who receives twice as much. The CEO and his managers always sought to deal with employees’ problems promptly to ensure that the production is not affected negatively.
Organizing comprises implementation phase or execution of the whole management process. It is the arrangement of various organizational resources in a productive manner of action execution. During this process the organizational managers establish a structure of working associations that allows their members to socialize and cooperate in order to achieve the set goals. It is concerned with grouping people into classes according to the type of job-specification task that they perform. Here managers also outline the authorities and responsibilities among different individuals and groups, and they decide how to manage resources best, especially human capital.
Organizational structure helps the company to learn about how organization’s resources can be used in order to create trading goods. As Gateway Manufacturers Company continued to grow, the CEO faced difficulties with how to create organizational structure. At first, he could hire 50 people every month and decide how to arrange his managerial hierarchy to motivate their activities. As the company continued to grow, he and his managers continued to create progressively complex organizational structures to help Gateway Manufacturers to attain its set objectives. Through organizing, Gateway has been able to cope with everyday’s growing technology and has eventually become one of the best plastic containers in its region. It has also been able to establish a healthy relationship between its managers and their subordinates. This has served as an arena to create a’ home’ where each and every member wants to be associated with this company therefore reducing turnover rate.
Management functions like planning, leading, staffing and organizing are a critical requirement in every organization. They act as a tool to measure the progress of every business organization. They direct the organization and give a clear visionary pathway that helps the organization to keep focus and avoid deviation. These roles are the engine that drives the vehicles of corporate progress, and thus, should always be emphasized for the management to stay at its best.