Effective Management Strategies
HOW TO BECOME AN EFFECTIVE MANAGER
To be an effective business-level manager it is critical to establish department objectives that are aligned with the corporate-level strategies and stated mission of the company. In order to accomplish this, there needs to be a formulation of precisely what the business-level objectives are, and the goals these objectives are intended to attain. The objectives need to be communicated in writing to the staff to eliminate any ambiguity of expectations. Documenting the objectives will also provide an effective way of defining the set targets for the department. Written reports will also provide permanent records of the purported functions, targets and goals for the staff and the manager.
The manager should hold regular meetings to inform staff of any changes in the business-level tactical plans, and to ensure that each member of the team has an intricate understanding of the targets that are set for the department. The meetings will also provide an opportunity for the manager to explain to the subordinates how the business-level targets align with the corporate-level strategic plans. This understanding of the plans together with the individual skills and talents of the staff will facilitate a clear vision of the goals and objectives of the organization.
In addition to the internal roles of the manager, it is necessary to have a good marketing plan for the company to succeed in the external market. The manager must successfully mix the four P’s product, price, place, and promotion to create the marketing strategy that will allow the company to maintain its competitive advantage in today’s challenging economic times. A properly designed marketing mix will help the manager successfully navigation through an often volatile external market.
SOME MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES
In accordance with the Management By Objectives (MBO) principles, as prescribed by Peter Drucker, the focus of the department should be on the results of the entire team, rather than the individual tasks. The targets and the deadlines need to be clearly defined, put into writing, and distributed to every member of the team. In using MBO, the method of supervising the department will consist of “a system of management whereby the manager and the subordinates jointly identify objectives, define individual major areas of responsibility in terms of results expected, and use these objectives and expected results as guides for operating the unit and assessing the contribution of each of the members.”(1)
It is imperative that the process of MBO for the department is at all times specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based (SMART). The objectives must be specific in order for the workers to recognize their individual purposes and follow in the right direction towards achieving those purposes. The objectives need to be achievable and realistic because if the team considers the objectives to be unrealistic or unattainable they will never buy-into what the manager’s plans for the department.
The manager is responsible for selecting the final solution to problems that arise; however, before that final decision is made the manager needs to thoroughly consider how the decision will affect all personnel and operations involved. In order to establish the best solution to any problem there needs to be an “identification of alternatives of the possibilities to choose from among. The alternatives available will influence the criteria applied, and similarly the criteria that is established will influence the alternatives that are consider.” (2)
The SWOT analysis is another useful research tool that a good manager uses to predict trends in the target market. Results from the SWOT analysis can be used to create action plans designed to exploit the strengths of the department’s human capital and the opportunities that exist in the market. The action plans can be used to determine the conditions needed to ensure that the department keeps abreast with the evolving market demands.
Ancillary to the managers’ roles within their department is the need for them to network with other department heads to ensure cohesion in opinions throughout the organization. Networking with other managers will provide an opportunity for corporate-level policies and procedures to be reviewed and discussed. The different department heads can exchange their success stories; failures can be examined with a view to getting viable solutions for colleagues.
TRAITS OF A GOOD MANAGER
A good manager provides a stimulating and rewarding work environment that promotes a good corporate culture.This congenial environment will help empower the staff as well as motivate them to perform their jobs. Managers must also possess excellent organizational and interpersonal skills in order to understand the business operations and personnel dynamics required to command respect and cooperation from the people that they manage.
1., Drucker, Peter. Management by Objectives
2. Harris, Robert. “Introduction to Decision Making.” http://www.virtualsalt.com/crebook5.htm