The reality facing today’s manager is that the world is changing so fast and as such, they must be prepared to deal with the changing expectations from them. With intense global and political uncertainties, changing technology and highly competitive market situation, for managers, it is no longer business as usual. It’s time to shove off excuses and start getting things done.
Every organization, regardless of size, location or goals, needs a manager(s) to pilot its affairs. Before we go further, it would be nice that we answer the following questions. Who actually is a manager? What is his/her responsibilities?
Who is a Manager?
A manager is someone who coordinates and oversees the work of other people so that organizational goals can be accomplished. A manager’s job has to do with helping others to effectively and efficiently do their work. In a nutshell, the duty of a manger is to ensure that organizational tasks or activities are carried out effectively and efficiently.
Efficiency refers to getting the most out of something. It is about maximizing output using the least amount of input. Off course, the input am referring to is the scarce resources including time, money, people, facilities and so on. Managers achieve efficiency by minimizing wastages and maximizing results (outputs).
On the other hand, effectiveness simply means getting things done. It involves doing things in a manner that enables organizational goals to be accomplished. Every organization has goals and objectives, and it is the job of the manager to ensure that such goals are met as fast as possible. Effectiveness means achieving those goals or objectives within the shortest period of time.
While ensuring effectiveness and efficiency in organization, managers perform four key activities or functions.
There is a popular saying that “failing to plan is planning for fail”. In order words, when you fail to plan, you are in turn planning to fail.
Managers plan by setting out goals and establishing strategies for achieving the goals. One thing is to have a clearly defined goals, and the other thing is figuring out how to achieve the goals. In order to achieve efficiency and effectiveness in their organizations, they develop plans to integrate and coordinate activities of the employees.
Having set up a plan with goals and strategies for achieving the goals, the next is determining tasks to be done, who is to do them, how tasks are to be grouped, who reports to whom and so on. If managers fail to organize, there would be chaos in the organization and chaos breeds unproductivity. Your job as a manager is to ensure that tasks are properly defined and assigned. There should be orderliness for smooth operations in an organization.
Organizations is made up of people working together to achieve the organization’s goals. Working with people, especially from diverse social, ethnic, cultural, and religious background demands leadership. While working with other people to accomplish goals, you are required to lead them.
You are required to inspire or motivate them in order to get the best from them. You should be able to reward good performance to encourage productivity. As a manager, you are required to make the work environment conducive for work through conflict resolution, disciplinary actions, and so on.
Setting clear goals and expectations is crucial, but needs to be matched with consistent control and measurements to be effective. Controlling here does not mean coercing, instead, it means monitoring of activities to ensure that they are in line with the overall goals of the organization.
This does not imply micromanaging employees, rather, ensuring that things are moving as planned without cohesion and friction. It is about constant evaluation of activities with the view of consolidating what is working and scrapping or correcting what isn’t working.
The job of a manager is challenging and ever changing. To thrive, managers should realize that it is a combined efforts of motivated and passionate people working together that organizations accomplish their goals.
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