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Managing is the art and craft of getting a team to work productively and consistently. This encompasses budgeting, planning, organising, breaking down issues, building and utilising management systems, judiciously designating assets and giving performance feedback. Managing is basically complementary to leadership.

The role of managers wraps around a number of basic responsibilities that diversify into several other responsibilities as well. Let’s look at the four basic responsibilities/functions of managers.

  • Planning: This is a significant responsibility of managers. They ought to figure out what the organisation’s long term and short term objectives are and how to achieve them. This is connected to all parts of the process and also a repetitive procedure, as such plans and objectives are subject to change based on internal and external factors. If you’re an entrepreneur who is the primary decision-maker of the organisation, this essentially becomes your burden. However, if you have managers reporting to you, it is in your organisation’s best interest to get them involved in the planning process and helping them develop the ability to plan. Always remember that if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.
  • Organising: This is simply about achieving the optimum resource utilisation. When organising, a manager should look into the resources required to achieve the set goals and their proper allocation. It is tied in with setting up the structure of the organisation / team also, as the ‘human resource’ is one of the most valuable resources of an organisation. Imagine you are going to open a new outlet for your business. Then, ‘organising’ includes allocating funds, obtaining the building space, assigning responsibilities to staff members, setting up the office facilities and so on.
  • Leading: It alludes to taking the task plan in order to accomplish the objectives of the project. In other terms, this is about being a good leader. In an organisational context, the ‘leading function’ includes numerous delicate skills like clear communication, motivating the team and conflict resolution. When leading, a manager should also be able to empower his / her subordinates, which enables them to act autonomously. Let’s go back to the new outlet example above. If you are appointing a store manager to look after its operation, you should clearly communicate his / her responsibilities and the targets set. Further, he/she should be given authority to take timely decisions on his / her own, as consulting you all the time could be practically impossible.
  • Controlling: Controlling is the evaluation of actual results against the set goals, thereby taking corrective actions to help organisation navigate its course. This does not mean suppression or reduction as the term suggests since some ‘controlling’ measures could increase spending as well. In our outlet example, if you expect a daily average net profit of Rs. 5000.00 but generate only Rs. 2000.00 on average over the first three months, you might need to reconsider your promotional activities. Similarly, if your electricity bill is excessively high, you could replace the lighting with energy-efficient fixtures (CFL, LED etc.). This is why controlling should be a continuous process, as it may be a little too late if you wait till the end of the year to take action on the things that went wrong. It will be beneficial for you to read more on the PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Action) Cycle.

With these, managers’ functions are many and varied. A manager’s role feels a great deal like a “plate spinner” at a circus. We have listed down a set of typical responsibilities of a Manager below (depending on the organisation and the managerial role, these can vary).

  • Recruiting new employees
  • Training new employees
  • Coaching the existing employees
  • Supporting decision-making and problem resolution
  • Monitoring performance and taking steps to strengthen them
  • Controlling the budget
  • Conducting timely performance evaluations
  • Planning and setting goals of a company for future
  • Reporting to senior management 

The best managers comprehend their job about their group and its performance and not about themselves. They endeavour to build up the skills and appreciate the triumphs of their colleagues. So, are YOU the best manager one can be?

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