There are middle managers in every field. From accounting and production to marketing and sales, managers ensure that business runs smoothly. Managers implement the strategies of their superiors. They are responsible for motivating people and getting results. In order to be an effective manager, it is essential to understand exactly what management is, what managers do, and why management is so important.
What is Management?
Management is vital to the success of every organization. Management is not about telling people what to do; it is coordinating and organizing the team based on the policies, goals, and objectives of the organization. Part of management is choosing how a business should run, and directing people based on these decisions. Managers need to be both effective and efficient in their jobs. Efficiency involves doing things correctly. In order, to be effective, however, goals are reached and maintained, which may mean changing processes.
- Task oriented
- Develops strategies to reach goals
- Uses job descriptions to define how work is done
- Goals are based on priorities
- Predicts and adapts to change
- Consistently evaluates and looks for ways to improve current methods
- Work oriented
- Strives to keep the present system running well
- Adheres strictly to job requirements
- Avoids change
- Monitors work and procedures
What Do Managers Do?
Middle managers have obligations to senior managers and employees. The job is not easy, and requires juggling many different responsibilities. A target metric is provided to most managers. Each managerial role is different, but most managers share several key responsibilities.
- Meet business goals, vision, and objectives.
- Supervise and be responsible for the performance of team members.
- Hire, train, and develop employees.
- Identify problems and come up with solutions.
- Share responsibility for the growth and success of the company.
With the number of jobs a manager must perform, it can feel like a juggling act. Successful managers are able to perform these roles by prioritizing their tasks. Again, it is important to weigh effectiveness and efficiency.
- Effectiveness: How important is the task in light of company goals or standards? Is it realistic to achieve?
- Time: How long will the task take, and what is the affect on labor?
- Cost: What is the cost of the task in terms of labor, supplies, and other resources?
What Does It Take to Be a Manager?
There are many managers in the workforce. Some managers are respected and others are despised. So, what does it take to be a manager? Each manager is unique, but a successful manager will embody certain characteristics.
Characteristics of a Manager:
- Integrity: A successful manager is trustworthy and will lead by example.
- Communication: Middle managers must be able to communicate effectively to senior managers and their employees.
- Analytical Thinking: Managers need to think analytically in order to make decisions.
- Focus and Composure: It is important that managers remain focused and composed at all times.
Why Does Management Matter?
Middle managers are often what hold a company together. Most employees will never meet the CEO or other members of senior management. Middle managers are the face of the organization to the employees on their teams. Managers determine how a team functions, and how successful the projects are. A bad manager will cost the company money in the form of turnover and training. Even in times of economic change, strong management is important.
- Steven Covey: Management works in the system; leadership works on the system.
- Robert Heller: Effective management always means asking the right question.