Management Functions essay
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Management functions are critical in creating unity of purpose in the achievement of the defined organizational goals and objectives. The controlling function is significant in ensuring that performance and activities conform to the stipulated standards. Control establishes the expected performance standards and compares the actual achievements in performance against established standards while taking appropriate corrective measures where and when necessary. Managerial functions like planning, organizing and leading use performance standards, which include sales reports, financial statements, consumer satisfaction, production results and performance appraisals, to define the parameters of their functions; however, these managerial functions involve controlling to some extent in their activities.
The leading functions are significant to making strategic decisions, communicating these decisions to the work groups and individual subordinates, while ensuring they are adequately motivated to execute the required tasks. Therefore, a significant level of control is essential in ensuring that individual personalities, attitudes or emotions do not interfere with work-related tasks (Lammond, 2004). Hence, control and leadership are essential in taking the appropriate action to ensure activities in the work environment are consistent towards contributing to the overall accomplishment of departmental goals and organizational objectives.
The allocation of human resources and the development of the organizational structure are characteristic to the organizing function; however, control is required to establish the standard requirements of each organizational structure, human resource assessment and appraisal, in ensuring effective and efficient structures are in place in the realization of objectives. Organizing is critical to job designs, departmentalization of jobs; therefore, the control function is necessary to ensuring the jobs designs are within the stipulated organizational standards while ensuring effective coordination of strategies and functions, in effecting appropriate standards in each organizational structure (Lammond, 2004). Therefore, control is an integral aspect of each management function, which creates a synchronous unity in overall organizational objectives and goals.
Planning provides essential environment for effective control in the organization; therefore, planning creates critical performance objectives and standards. Planning determines the objectives to be set and the methodology of their execution; hence, awareness of existing environmental conditions affecting the organization and forecasted future probabilities are critical to controlling the available resources in the strategic achievement of the organization’s mission and vision. The analysis of organizational, competitive edge, strengths and weaknesses and the determination of organizational position in the environment for effective and optimal competition are critical to the control function. The development of action, strategic and tactical plans precede an effective and adequate control of available resources strategically while aiming at achieving the planning objectives and goals. These enable the establishment of potential deviation from standards while determining optimal deterrence from set standards. The scope of control and planning overlaps each other; hence planning creates the basis for control activities while control creates meaningful application of planning activities. In a dynamic management environment, these two functions of management reinforce one another.
Human Resource Measures
Performance evaluation is an equitable measure of an employee’s effectiveness and efficiency in the designated jobs. This aims at establishing an employee’s contribution to the organization while producing precise appraisal documentation aimed at obtaining improved levels of quantity and quality in the work environment. Performance evaluations are critical to the development of powerful workers and work teams. Performance evaluations enforce the acceptable and expected levels of performance, creating effective communication, encouraging staff recognition and motivating workers to perform exemplary. However, performance evaluations should be conducted in a fair and consistent method to prevent deviations from performance evaluation objectivity. This protects the interests of the employee and the employer.
The evaluation results should be communicated to the employees in balanced criteria. The strengths and weaknesses of the employee should be pointed out. The weakness should be pointed out to ensure they are understood; hence they can own their performance creating room for corrective action on their part. Employees should be given adequate support to correct their weakness; however, an outline of their expected areas of improvement should be provided. This illustrates the employer expectations and areas of assistance to be provided in an effort to improve performance (Poister, 2003). Hence, the employee is encouraged to give feedback on the basis of the evaluation; this provides a forum for information exchange that enables the employee and employer to understand each other opinions and perspectives. However, if an employee continues to perform poorly despite the employers efforts, disciplinary action and termination procedures should be implemented. These define the action taken in the event performance does not improve.
Employee Satisfaction Survey
Employee satisfaction survey is an aspect that aims at determining the extent of employee’s satisfaction or dissatisfaction with their jobs. Hence, reliable and accurate results on employee satisfaction are obtained through questions developed by professionals. These professionals are required to illustrate an understanding in acquiring unbiased information while considering the organizational culture in conducting effective research and analysis (Poister, 2003). Employee satisfaction surveys aim at building integrity, honesty and trust with the organizational, human resource structures. Therefore, the survey results should be adequately communicated and acted upon by the management.
Therefore, an effective employee satisfaction survey should consider asking critical questions, which are considered significant by the employees. Given the organizational dynamics, the survey should attempt to identify perceived dislikes, likes and challenging experiences in the organization. Each question asked is assessed to ascertain they do not lean towards a desired response, but rather should indicate impartiality and equitability. Employee surveys should be carried out within the organizational structures or in the work environment; this indicates that no harm will come to the employee in the event they provide unfavorable answers towards the management or the organization. An effective employee survey requires absolute control of data to ensure the surveys objectivity and integrity of purpose is not compromised (Poister, 2003). Therefore, employees under the survey should not be allowed to self-select for inclusion and participation in the survey. These prevent clustering of highly satisfied or less satisfied employees from clustering and giving a biased opinion; therefore, compromising the integrity of the survey.
The organization should make an effort to address significant concerns highlighted by the employee`s satisfaction survey. Inclusion in strategic decision making on factors that directly impact on employees is crucial in the maintenance of positive work relationships amongst the organization, management and employees. The employee`s satisfaction should be a benchmark in which the organization measures its motivational aspects in lieu of the achievement of stipulated organizational goals and objectives.
Change in Sales Level
Sales are critical indicators of the organization's performance trends; hence, changes in sales level are indicators of the improvement or decline of organizational performance in the market. Sales have a significant impact on the organization's revenue; therefore, any changes in sales level require critical analysis and assessment. Sales level can be influenced by internal or external factors in the organization. Internal aspects include production and product costs, pricing, distribution channels and promotional mix; while external factors include organizational factors in respect to environmental changes, demand and supply, politics, social-cultural effects and consumer attributes, physical, ecological and economic forces (Poister, 2003). These factors critically influence the sales level, hence organizations performance. A decline in sales level indicates a downward trend in the organization, while an increase in sales level is characteristic to the improvement in organizational position. Each change in sales level has contributory effect towards the realization of organizational objectives; understanding the causes of change in sales level gives the organization a competitive edge in mitigating or improving its sales performance.
However, in a declining sales level, the organization must attempt to take corrective action. For instance, if a decline is caused by high product costs as a result of high costs of raw materials; the organization should attempt to source materials from relatively cheaper markets or outsource its material supplies from regions with lower tax implications. Hence reducing production costs and mitigating the decline in sales level. In the event, of an increase in sales level, the organization should identify the cause and improve on it; thus, improving the organization's performance towards achievement of its objectives.
Budget Comparisons and Analysis
Budgets involve the allocation of available and expected resources to designated resource centers. Therefore, budget comparison and analysis critically evaluate the previous performances and projected expenditures to determine the optimal allocation of resources. These are characterized by financial reports, statements and projections on the basis of available historical data. The indications of variances between actual and budgeted resources are indicators of the performance trend of the organization. Budgets are aimed at providing an accurate estimation of the expected achievement in the projected budget period.
However, significant variances in expenditure illustrate error margins incurred in the budget as a result of deviations in the business environment. Therefore, a critical analysis of the budget is carried out to establish the causes of the variances. This is done through budget comparison reports, significant expenditure trends and analysis of revenue variances (Poister, 2003). Significant budget variances create deficiencies in the organization resource allocation structures. Therefore, set objectives and goals may not be realized as a result of insufficient budgetary allocations.
However, after the review of the budgetary report, the variances must be analyzed to ascertain whether they are significant to warrant the implementation of corrective measures. The variances are assessed to determine, if they have a recurring pattern, or they occurred only once. For instance, marketing strategy may be changed in the event that sales have fallen below budgetary constraints consistently for a given period. However, variances may arise due to prevailing economic conditions; in this case, budgetary expenditures may be reduced in an attempt to bridge the gap between the actual and budgeted revenues. In either case, the reasons for budget variances must be explained by the responsible managers and corrective action taken.
Customer Satisfaction Survey
Organizational success is determined by customer satisfaction levels. Therefore, a customer satisfaction survey is significant in product innovation and development to meet consumer requirements. However, an informative customer satisfaction survey should focus on the consumer perception of the product or service and the organization. Therefore, to acquire unprejudiced feedback several methods are employed, which include: face-to-face interviews, telephone calls, questionnaires and invitations to participate in the survey (Poister, 2003). A customer satisfaction survey aims at establishing what changes should be incorporated in the product or what should not be changed in the product. Hence basic questions are asked to determine, if the customer is satisfied by the product or service, level of satisfaction, the likelihood of buying the product again and recommending it to others. It is essential to conduct customer satisfaction surveys as often as possible; for the purposes of getting as much information as possible.
Customer satisfaction surveys should establish trends in different regions and products. Therefore, the organization should take appropriate actions to address customer satisfaction concerns raised during the survey. The corrections and complaints raised should be addressed as soon as possible while improvement in critical aspects of the products is implemented. Changes effected to suit customer requirements should be communicated to them through individual responses or marketing and advertising campaigns.
Number of Customers Served
Customer demographics indicate the performance of a given product or service. The number of customers served in a given period acts as a performance benchmark for measuring how receptive the consumers are towards the product or service. Large numbers of customers served over a short period are an indicator of consumer preference towards the product; therefore, the product or service performance is high (Poister, 2003). In this scenario, the organization remains favorable in the market; however, when a small number of customers are served over a long period reflects on the poor performance of the product or service. Therefore, the organization should identify the factors leading to the poor performance and take corrective measures.
Small numbers of customers being served may be caused by high pricing, cheaper complimentary product, negative perception towards the organization, or dissatisfaction towards the service or product. The organization should identify the contributing factors towards the small number of customers served and implement the concerns raised by the customers. The number of customers served is a critical indicator of the product reception in the market as a result of consumer satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Therefore, the organization should factor statistical data on consumer demographics in product and service purchase trends in it strategic decisions in product innovation and development while improving the marketing and selling strategies.
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