All the school of thought guide towards the accomplishment of goals with the minimum of inputs and maximum of outputs. The overall job of any manager is to create within the enterprise an environment that will facilitate the accomplishment of its objectives. In order to accomplish organizational objectives the functions of management must be used. They are planning, organizing, staffing, leading and controlling. These functions can be used on any job in management, whether it is government, education, sales, productions or research. They are discussed below in detail.
Planning is the process of decision making because it involves selecting a definite course of action from among established alternatives. Plans give the organization its objectives and set up the best procedures for reaching them. It is the responsibility of managers to plan, whether they are at the top, middle or bottom of the organization structure. Planning is deciding in advance what to do, when to do, how to do, who and why to do. Planning is looking ahead and concerned with the future. Planning is necessary for proper utilization of human and non-human resources. Without plans, managers cannot know how to organize people and resources effectively. Without a plan, they cannot lead with confidence or expect others to follow them. So planning is crucial.
Organizing is also a crucial function of management. When planning has taken placed; the next function of manager is organizing. Organizing involves the arrangement of various jobs so they will get done in the most efficient way. Managers take four fundamental steps when they begin to make decisions about organizing:
a) Grouping of activities (Division of work).
b) Assignment of these activities to organization groups. (Departmentation).
c) Delegation of authority (Hierarchy).
d) And establishment of relationship among working divisions. (Coordination).
Staffing determines all recruitment and personnel needs of the organization that become necessary as the work is organized. It involves hiring, selecting, training and development, performance appraisals, compensation, promotion and transfer and fire. The main purpose of staffing is to hire right person for the right job for organization, when they are needed. The organization may need more or fewer employees and managers from time to time. Staffing is also important, because if a company wants to increase productivity with new automated equipment, but if the company does not hire and train people to operate the equipment, it may remain idle for weeks or months.
The manager success depends upon his ability to influence the actions of others. He must also lead. Leading involves motivating, communicating, guiding and encouraging employees to achieve organizational goals. It requires a manager to coach, assist and problem solve with employees. Leading improves the performance of workers. It motivates team to work with zeal and confidence. By establishing the proper atmosphere, managers help their employees to do their best.
Finally, the manager must be aware of the actions of the organization’s members. Control compel events to take place according to plan. Controlling events to go as planned means made the workers responsible for the deviations from the plans and then necessary steps are taken to correct them and improve performance. Controlling means to look back, while planning is to look ahead. Through controlling function, the manager keeps the organization on track. The process of control involves:
a) Establishing standards.
b) Measuring performance.
c) Compare actual performance with standards.
e) Correction of deviations.