The job of a manager is vital in an organization. The manager is a planner, producer, coordinator, and marketer. An organization’s success will depend on the caliber of managers in utilizing the resources to achieve business goals. Managers are pivotal figures in the task of creating wealth. Technology, methods of production, the financial setup, and marketing techniques change rapidly, and managers should be competent to cope with the changes.
Definition of a Manager
The manager is someone in an organization who directs the activities done by other people. Managers do their work at different levels, and they have different names in an organization. First line managers are called supervisors, or in construction or manufacturing, they are called foremen. Middle-level managers include various levels of management between supervisors and top-level managers in an organization.
The managers may also be called plant heads, functional managers, and project managers. There are top managers near the top of the hierarchy. The top-level managers are responsible for making decisions in an organization. They also set strategies and policies that affect different aspects of the organization. These people may also be called managing directors, vice presidents, chief executive officer or chairmen.
Managers have to perform functions like organizing, planning, staffing, directing and controlling. These functions are necessary for running of an organization and achieving objectives. Planning is essential for establishing strategies and setting goals for coordinating activities.
The organization function of a manager helps in determining the tasks to be done, how to do them and how the tasks are grouped. The staffing function of a manager is essential for employing different types of people and doing different activities such as development, training, compensation, appraisal, and welfare.
The directing function of managers requires the giving of instructions and motivating the subordinates to achieve their goals. Managers should perform the controlling function to ensure that they are being done as planned and correcting any mistakes.
Managers have a number of responsibilities. Managers should have proper skills for them to perform different roles. Managers should have three essential skills; human, technical and conceptual skills. The importance of these skills varies depending on the level of the manager within an organization.
Managers should have the ability to work well with others both in a group or individually. Managers should have human skills to get the best from the people working with them. They should also know how to communicate with people, motivate them, lead them and inspire trust and enthusiasm. The skills are essential by managers at every level, but the topmost managers need them the most.
Managers should have the necessary technical skills. They should also be able to work with the tools, resources, procedures, and techniques to achieve the organizational goals. Many middle managers and first-line managers should be involved in a lot of technical aspects within an organization. Some of the technical skills that managers should have include knowledge of proficiency in different specialties such as computers, engineering, manufacturing or finance. Even if the need for technical skills is less when managers go higher the hierarchy but still it is essential for a manager to have technical skills to help in decision making.
Managers should be able to coordinate and integrate different activities within an organization. Managers should have the ability to conceptualize and think about abstract solutions. They should be able to see the organization wholesomely and the relationships among the subunits in an organization to be able to visualize how the organization fits in its broad environment. Conceptual skills are also critical in decision-making. It is necessary for all managers to take the necessary decisions. Conceptual skills become more essential as managers make up the hierarchy of the organization.
Qualities of a Good Manager
Managers should be able to undertake different functions from controlling to planning. They have to make decisions for different types of activities in an organization. The decisions that managers take to influence the working of an organization. A manager should have the following qualities:
Managers should have the right educational background. Nowadays, managers should have management education besides other qualifications. Education is vital because it widens the mental horizon and also helps in understanding different things and interpreting them properly. Therefore, managers should be knowledgeable in the business environment to be able to deal with various problems the organization may face.
Managers have the responsibility of directing and motivating people working in the organization. They provide leadership to the subordinate staff. The energies of the subordinate employees should be channelizing of properly to achieve goals. If managers have leadership skills, they can motivate the subordinate staff in improving their working and performance to their full capacity in order to benefit the organization.
Managers have to perform more duties than other people in the organization. Their level of intelligence should be higher than other people in the organization. Intelligence is crucial because it helps managers to assess the present responsibilities as well as the future possibilities for the business. Managers should be able to foresee things in advance and take the necessary measure at the appropriate time.
Managers should acquire managerial skills. The skills consist of human skills, technical skills, and conceptual skills. The skills should be acquired through guidance, education, and experience. The skills are necessary for all levels of managers.
Managers should have technical knowledge of different activities in the organization. They will be in a better position to inspect and guide if they have the knowledge of those activities.
Managers should have a positive attitude. Managers have to deal with a lot of people from the inside as well as from the outside of the organization. They should be positive and sympathetic to different suggestions. They should not pre-judge people they deal with. They need to understand people’s problems and try to help them.
There are other skills such as confidence, foresight, maturity, and more skills that a manager should possess. Being a manager is not an easy role and it’s definitely more than just a title. Managers need to be able to make decisions, often with little detailed knowledge, and then they need to deal with the consequences of those decisions.