To direct means to issue orders and instructions so that jobs are accomplished. The directing function of management includes guiding, teaching, and supervising subordinates. This includes the managerial responsibility for developing the abilities of workers to their maximum potential by directing, teaching, and coaching them effectively. It is not sufficient for a supervisor just to plan, organize, and have enough employees available. The supervisor must positively motivate them as they go about their work. Directing is the day-to-day process around which all supervisory performance revolves. Directing is also often called influencing, leading, or motivating, since it plays a major role in such factors as employee morale and satisfaction, productivity, and communication. It is through the directing function that the supervisor seeks to create a climate which is conducive to employee satisfaction and which at the same time achieves the objectives of the department. A supervisor will spend a large part of the time directing subordinates; as a matter of fact, probably most of a supervisor's time is spent with this function.
The managerial function of controlling involves those activities that are necessary to make certain that objectives are achieved as planned. Controlling means to determine whether or not plans are being met; whether or not progress is being made-toward objectives; and to act, if necessary, to correct deviations and shortcomings. Here, again, you can see the importance of planning as the first function of any manager. It would not be possible for a supervisor to check whether or not work was proceeding properly if there were no plans against which to check. Thus, controlling not only means to make sure that objectives are achieved; it also includes taking corrective action.
Functions of Executives
One way is to analyse the major functions of managers. Examine the things managers typically do. See what major kinds of problems exist, and decide how they should be handled. According to the classical approach there are three main functions of a manager: planning, controlling and organising. The task of planning is to set goals and the means to achieve them. Controlling enables managers to make sure that plans are succeeding. Organising establishes a structure of poles for performance. Some scholars say that, the total task of management can be divided into organising, planning, leading, and controlling. They say that leading energises the organisation, just as a battery energises an automobile starter. Some authors list the functions of management as (1) the undertaking of risk and handling of uncertainty; (2) planning and innovation; (3) co-ordination, administration, and control; and (4) routine supervision. Although in the very small firm all the above functions may be performed by the owner, in a company of any reasonable size these tasks are dispersed among various members of the entire management team. Some authors point out also such functions as: directing, staffing, innovating. They say that Directing is the motivational function. An organised effort requires complete co-operation and, in directing operations, management seeks to obtain a high level of production from employees through motivation and proper guidance. Staffing is the process of finding the right person for each job. It involves matching individual qualifications to job specifications. Staffing is an ongoing function because once a position is filled, performance must be evaluated and employee growth encouraged. Further, the chain of promotions, retirements, resignations and terminations is never-ending and always results in staffing needs. Innovating is the creative function. Changing times require new approaches, advancing technology demands new procedures. Finding new and better ways to do the job, handling the staff, and getting additional money are only some of the creative tasks managers often deal with.
All levels perform different management functions, however, the emphasis is given to each and the nature of the specific tasks within each major function are different.
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