Directing is the heart of management function. All other functions of management such as planning, organizing, and staffing have no importance without directing. Leadership, motivation, supervision, communication are various aspects of directing.
Directing refers to a process or technique of instructing, guiding, inspiring, counselling, overseeing and leading people towards the accomplishment of organizational goals. It is a continuous managerial process that goes on throughout the life of the organization. Main characteristics of Directing are as follows:
1. Initiates Action
A directing function is performed by the managers along with planning, staffing, organizing and controlling in order to discharge their duties in the organization. While other functions prepare a platform for action, directing initiates action.
2. Pervasive Function
Directing takes place at every level of the organization. Wherever there is a superior-subordinate relationship, directing exists as every manager provides guidance and inspiration to his subordinates.
3. Continuous Activity
It is a continuous function as it continues throughout the life of organization irrespective of the changes in the managers or employees.
4. Descending Order of Hierarchy
Directing flows from a top level of management to the bottom level. Every manager exercises this function on his immediate subordinate.
5. Human Factor
Since all employees are different and behave differently in different situations, it becomes important for the managers to tackle the situations appropriately. Thus, directing is a significant function that gets the work done by the employees and increases the growth of the organization.
Importance of Directing
1. Initiates Action
Each and every action in an organization is initiated only through directing. The managers direct the subordinates about what to do, how to do when to do and also see to it that their instructions are properly followed.
2. Ingrates Efforts
Directing integrates the efforts of all the employees and departments through persuasive leadership and effective communication towards the accomplishment of organizational goals.
3. Motivates Employees
A manager identifies the potential and abilities of its subordinates and helps them to give their best. He also motivates them by offering them financial and non-financial incentives to improve their performance.
4. Provides Stability
Stability is significant in the growth of any organization. Effective directing develops co-operation and commitment among the employees and creates a balance among various departments and groups.
5. Coping up with the Changes
Employees have a tendency to resist any kind of change in the organization. But, adapting the environmental changes is necessary for the growth of the organization. A manager through motivation, proper communication and leadership can make the employees understand the nature and contents of change and also the positive aftermaths of the change. This will help in a smooth adaptation of the changes without any friction between the management and employees.
6. Effective Utilization of Resources
It involves defining the duties and responsibilities of every subordinate clearly thereby avoiding wastages, duplication of efforts, etc. and utilizing the resources of men, machine, materials, and money in the maximum possible way. It helps in reducing costs and increasing profits.
Principles of Directing
1. Maximum Individual Contribution
One of the main principles of directing is the contribution of individuals. Management should adopt such directing policies that motivate the employees to contribute their maximum potential for the attainment of organizational goals.
2. Harmony of Objectives
Sometimes there is a conflict between the organizational objectives and individual objectives. For example, the organization wants profits to increase and to retain its major share, whereas, the employees may perceive that they should get a major share as a bonus as they have worked really hard for it.
Here, directing has an important role to play in establishing harmony and coordination between the objectives of both the parties.
3. Unity of Command
This principle states that a subordinate should receive instructions from only one superior at a time. If he receives instructions from more than one superiors at the same time, it will create confusion, conflict, and disorder in the organization and also he will not be able to prioritize his work.
4. Appropriate Direction Technique
Among the principles of directing, this one states that appropriate direction techniques should be used to supervise, lead, communicate and motivate the employees based on their needs, capabilities, attitudes and other situational variables.
5. Managerial Communication
According to this principle, it should be seen that the instructions are clearly conveyed to the employees and it should be ensured that they have understood the same meaning as was intended to be communicated.
6. Use of Informal Organization
Within every formal organization, there exists an informal group or organization. The manager should identify those groups and use them to communicate information. There should be a free flow of information among the seniors and the subordinates as an effective exchange of information are really important for the growth of an organization.
Managers should possess a good leadership quality to influence the subordinates and make them work according to their wish. It is one of the important principles of directing.
8. Follow Through
As per this principle, managers are required to monitor the extent to which the policies, procedures, and instructions are followed by the subordinates. If there is any problem in implementation, then the suitable modifications can be made.
Controlling is one of the important functions of a manager. In order to seek planned results from the subordinates, a manager needs to exercise effective control over the activities of the subordinates. In other words, the meaning of controlling function can be defined as ensuring that activities in an organization are performed as per the plans. Controlling also ensures that an organization’s resources are being used effectively & efficiently for the achievement of predetermined goals.
- Controlling is a goal-oriented function.
- It is a primary function of every manager.
- Controlling the function of a manager is a pervasive function.
How Controlling Function Helps Managers
Managers at all levels of management Top, Middle & Lower – need to perform controlling function to keep control over activities in their areas. Therefore, controlling is very much important in an educational institution, military, hospital, & a club as in any business organization.
Therefore, controlling function should not be misunderstood as the last function of management. It is a function that brings back the management cycle back to the planning function. Thus, the controlling function act as a tool that helps in finding out that how actual performance deviates from standards and also finds the cause of deviations & attempts which are necessary to take corrective actions based upon the same.
This process helps in the formulation of future plans in light of the problems that were identified &, thus, helps in better planning in the future periods. So from the meaning of controlling we understand it not only completes the management process but also improves planning in the next cycle.
Importance of Controlling
After the meaning of control, let us see its importance. Control is an indispensable function of management without which the controlling function in an organization cannot be accomplished and the best of plans which can be executed can go away. A good control system helps an organization in the following ways:
1. Accomplishing Organizational Goals
The controlling function is an accomplishment of measures that further makes progress towards the organizational goals & brings to light the deviations, & indicates corrective action. Therefore it helps in guiding the organizational goals which can be achieved by performing a controlling function.
2. Judging Accuracy of Standards
A good control system enables management to verify whether the standards set are accurate & objective. The efficient control system also helps in keeping careful and progress check on the changes which help in taking the major place in the organization & in the environment and also helps to review & revise the standards in light of such changes.
3. Making Efficient use of Resources
Another important function of controlling is that in this, each activity is performed in such manner so an in accordance with predetermined standards & norms so as to ensure that the resources are used in the most effective & efficient manner for the further availability of resources.
4. Improving Employee Motivation
Another important function is that controlling help in accommodating a good control system which ensures that each employee knows well in advance what they expect & what are the standards of performance on the basis of which they will be appraised. Therefore it helps in motivating and increasing their potential so to make them & helps them to give better performance.
5. Ensuring Order & Discipline
Controlling creates an atmosphere of order & discipline in the organization which helps to minimize dishonest behavior on the part of the employees. It keeps a close check on the activities of employees and the company can be able to track and find out the dishonest employees by using computer monitoring as a part of their control system.
6. Facilitating Coordination in Action
The last important function of controlling is that each department & employee is governed by such pre-determined standards and goals which are well versed and coordinated with one another. This ensures that overall organizational objectives are accomplished in an overall manner.