Directing can be defined as that function of management, which helps in guiding and leading people to work in such a manner so as to perform efficiently and effectively for the attainment of organizational objectives. Directing is the managerial function, which initiates organized action.
It is one of the most important fundamental functions of management and is a part of every managerial action taken because the direction is primarily concerned towards various other function of management like leadership, motivation, and communication.
According to Koontz and O ‘Donnel; “directing is a complex function that includes all those activities which are designed to encourage subordinate to work effectively and efficiently in both the short and long-run.”
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. Let us study the importance and principles 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Continuous Activity
It is a continuous function as it continues throughout the life of organization irrespective of the changes in the managers or employees.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Ingrates Efforts
Directing integrates the efforts of all the employees and departments through persuasive leadership and effective communication towards the accomplishment of organizational goals.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.