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The Functions of Management

Jul 13, 2008
So, after years of working as an employee, you are finally a manager in your own right. You definitely want to perform your tasks well, and are already keyed up for optimum performance. But how do you start?

Management is different from being an employee

First off, you have to realize that the days of working at your old tasks are over. A management position requires a whole new level of skills that are very different from what you might have been used to in the past.

Some of these skills involve the following:

Good Planning

Much of your tasks will involve charting courses, laying down policies, and setting goals. This means that you will not be receiving tasks like you did before, but will be assigning them.

Be discriminating

With the bulk of your experience, you should now be able to know the potentials and the limits of one person's performance, and what might be properly considered as "achievable" goals. Make sure to pick goals that can be realized or achieved, and set a reasonable time limit. Nothing is more irritating or frustrating than goals that are beyond deadlines or simply cannot be met.

Once you've done this, start planning in greater detail what should be done, over specific increments of time in the process of achieving those long-term goals.

Organizing

Next, identify the resources available to you for achieving your goals. Maximize those resources which you do have, and plan for the acquisition of others which you might not currently have.

The ability to maximize the resources available to you involves, first off, the identification of possibilities. What can you use to accomplish which tasks? Which person would be best to perform certain tasks and duties?

Next, take good care of the resources available to you. Take good care of the people working for you. Make sure that they are sufficiently motivated so that they perform at their best. Minimize inter-office politics and conflicts as best you can, acknowledge and reward well-performed tasks.

Take care of equipment and materials necessary for your goals. If you need hired skills for cleaning or maintenance, then do so. Sometimes they can even be less expensive than eventually having to replace destroyed and irreparable equipment. Moreover, factor in these expenses early on.

Leading or Motivating

This appropriately involves your adeptness in human relations. If you were once engaged in personal politicking or even backbiting, now's the time to stop. Nobody likes a manager who gets embroiled in personality politicking.

Instead, it would be best to devote your energies towards affirmative motivational behaviour. That is, acknowledge and encourage fruitful and creative efforts, diffuse conflicts by good and rational communication, lay down appropriate standards in the beginning, and be clear to people that you expect those standards to be met.

Controlling, monitoring and evaluating

Check against your initial plan constantly. Are you making good progress? Are there areas where you would have to adjust your initial expectations? Are there areas where you can afford to raise levels or standards of performance without jeopardizing the overall performance?

Evaluate areas of concern and work to rectify insufficiencies or mistakes. Consistent and periodic evaluation can help prevent greater mistakes later on.
About the Author
Benedict Smythe recommends PDL Courses for training in most professional skills including assertiveness skills and Supervisory Management skills
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