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Managerial and Supervisory Roles
Free essay example:
Ravi TG: 13
Unit 11: Managerial and Supervisory Roles
This unit requires me to write a report on the role and skills of one manger or supervisor. It will require conducting research and provides detailed analysis on that role taking into account their business environment including stakeholders.
A supervisor is generally a more junior role of management overseeing what others are doing example of the supervisor in any store. They tend to get paid les money and have less status and responsibility than more senior mangers.
The business context within which the report will take shape
Managers and supervisors often have a range of tasks that are performed in different ways from business to business but there are a common set that most of them will do. These are known as common functions. Each of these functions will be explored in details taking into account other variables that affect them including:
- Culture of the organisation
- Objectives of the organisation
- Structure of the organisation
- Availability of resources within the organisation
Culture of the organisation
Culture is the set of the vales that the business has developed over time. Culture is about what is expected of an employee or manger by that business and how they should behave. Cultures are positive where employees are encouraged to make comments get involved and they feel valued at work. Other cultures are negative where employees feel unable to have their say or feel criticised. There may be problem with industrial relations in such business with strikes or industrial action.
There are four main types of culture which are:
Power culture- Within a power culture, control is the key element. Power cultures are usually found within a small or medium size organisation. Decisions in an organisation that display a power culture are centralised around one key individual. That person likes control and the power behind it. As group work is not evident in a power culture, the organisation can react quickly to dangers around it as no consultation is involved. However this culture has its problems, lack of consultation can lead to staff feeling undervalued and de-motivated, which can also lead to high staff turnover.
Role culture - Common in most organisations today is a role culture. In a role culture, organisations are split into various functions and each individual within the function is assigned a particular role. The role culture has the benefit of specialisation. Employees focus on their particular role as assigned to them by their job description and this should increase productivity for the company. This culture is quite logical to organise in a large organisation.
Task culture -A task culture refers to a team based approach to complete a particular task. They are popular in today's modern business society where the organisation will establish particular 'project teams' to complete a task to date. A task culture clearly offers some benefits. Staffs feel motivated because they are empowered to make decisions within their team, they will also feel valued because they may have been selected within that team and given the responsibility to bring the task to a successful end.
Person culture - Person cultures are commonly found in charities or non profit organisations. The focus of the organisation is the individual or a particular aim.
Objective of the organisation
Objectives of the business are plans that and business will set out in order to achieve that overall aims.
Aims of an business are the very purpose of why that business exists for example: to
- To expand the business
- To survive as an organisation
- To promote awareness
Objective help to support those aims by breaking them down in to achievable plans.
To be effective objectives should be SMART (specific, measurable, agreed, realistic and time constrained)
Structure of the organisation
Most of the structure of the business will also have thoughtful effect on the way that mangers or supervisors operate. There are three main types of structure which are:
The chain of command is the communication path that goes from the most senior manger down to the most junior employees. A long chain of command means that the message may get altered on the way down.
In contrast to a tall organisation, a flat organisation will have relatively few layers or just one layer of management. This means that the “Chain of Command” from top to bottom is short and the “span of control is wide”. Due to the small number of management layers, flat organisations are often small organisations.
Example of the flat structure
In a hierarchical organisation employees are ranked at various levels within the organisation, each level is one above the other. At each stage in the chain, one person has a number of workers directly under them, within their span of control. A tall hierarchical organisation has many levels and a flat hierarchical organisation will only have a few.
Example of Hierarchical structure
A Matrix structure organisation contains teams of people created from various sections of the business. These teams will be created for the purposes of a specific project and will be led by a project manager. Often the team will only exist for the duration of the project and matrix structures are usually deployed to develop new products and services.
Example of Matrix structure
The type of structure that exists in a business will also influence the culture of that business. A hierarchical organisation is likely to have a power culture as a few senior mangers will make decision for the majority of employees. A matrix structure is more likely to have a task culture as teams are bought together for specific projects.
Availability of resources within the organisation
The availability of the resources whether they are financial, technological or human will expand or constrain the ability of a manger to do their job.
An business with a limited budget is likely to operate management techniques that involves costs cutting or trying to increase the productivity of workers as much as possible. A business that has lot of resources available is likely to invest in new machinery and therefore need to employ additional staff or undertake training. The availability of resources will be influenced by the culture, objective and structure within the business.
For any business planning is an important part of a management role and takes several different forms. There are four main types of planning which are:
- Strategic planning
- Action planning
- Tactical planning
- Contingency planning
Often long term planning is referred to as strategic planning. Most of the time the senior mangers work out the direction of the business and how they want things to progress in the longer term. Strategic planning has four key elements to it and these form cycle whereby plans are made and then reviewed.
Strategic planning gives more of a direction or feel for where the business wants to go in the future but does not in the first stages necessarily give specific data about how this is actually going to be put into place. Strategic planning gives an outline so that aims and objectives can be put into place.
The four parts of the strategic planning cycle
Action planning gives mangers the ability to review progress and in the shorter term to see how things are going and make changes if necessary.
A manger will produce a list of actions that they want to achieve during a week and delegate them to their subordinates to make sure they take place. Action planning may be especially important if seasonal changes or festivals affect the business.
Tactical planning is another form of planning that responds to what Is happening In the environment around the business. It is used to respond to changes that are happening more quickly and that may not have been so well planned for. Strategic planning dictates where the company want to go but tactical planning is often a reaction to what a competitor is doing.
Lots of mangers have responsibility for planning what needs to happen in the cent of an emergency. Producing a plan like this is know as a contingency plan and will provide details about what the business should do in the event of a major incident like fire or a bomb.
Contingency planning is about judging what should be done in emergency situations. It is possible to plan and mange every possible situation that might happen buy trying to deal with as many scenarios as possible is important.
The extent to which contingency planning will be successful will depend on the culture within the business. A power culture where decisions are made centrally should support such planning as long as resources are made available to provide adequate back up.
It is important that mangers organise staff and other resources which is one of the duties of the manger. After a manger making plan about what needs to be achieved the next step in management is actually making sure that all the right resources are put into place so that these plans are actually achieved. It is vital that mangers find out who is best placed to do which tasks and how the work is going to be divided out.
Most of the manger would make sure that workload is spread evenly so that everyone gets fair share. A manger will have to ensure that everyone knows what they are doing and are working together as necessary. Business can take many different forms.
When a manger is well organised it will be more effective and be able to help their team more.
Motivating staff is an important part of management and there are a number of theorist’s examples:
Motivation means the influence on and within people that encourage and maintain them to work to the best of their ability. The extent to which the employee can feel motivated in the workplace will be influence by the culture and techniques the mangers use improve motivation within their workplace. If the manger improve the motivation will mean that employees are happier in their jobs and this should increase productivity.
Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856 – 1917) put forward the idea that workers are motivated mainly by pay. His Theory of Scientific Management argued the following:
Workers do not naturally enjoy work and so need close supervision and control Therefore managers should break down production into a series of small tasks for Workers should then be given appropriate training and tools so they can work as efficiently as possible on one set task. Workers are then paid according to the number of items they produce in a set period of time- piece-rate pay. As a result workers are encouraged to work hard and maximise their productivity.
Taylor’s methods were widely adopted as businesses saw the benefits of increased productivity levels and lower unit costs. The most especially supporter was Henry Ford who used them to design the first ever production line, making Ford cars. This was the start of the era of mass production.
Taylor’s approach has close links with the concept of an autocratic management style (managers take all the decisions and simply give orders to those below them) and Macgregor’s Theory X approach to workers (workers are viewed as lazy and wish to avoid responsibility).
However workers soon came to dislike Taylor’s approach as they were only given boring.
Elton Mayo explored Taylor’s ideas further in the 1920s and 1930s as he recognised there seemed to be more to motivation then just pay. He thought that the motivation can be done by having their social needs met whilst at work (something that Taylor ignored). He introduced the Human Relation School of thought, which focused on managers taking more of an interest in the workers, treating them as people who have worthwhile opinions and realising that workers enjoy interacting together.
Mayo conducted a series of experiments at the Hawthorne factory of the Western Electric Company in Chicago. He isolated two groups of women workers and studied the effect on their productivity levels of changing factors such as lighting and working conditions. He expected to see productivity levels decline as lighting or other conditions became progressively worse
What he actually discovered surprised him: whatever the change in lighting or working conditions, the productivity levels of the workers improved or remained the same.
From this Mayo concluded that workers are best motivated by:
- Better communication between managers and workers ( Hawthorne workers were consulted over the experiments and also had the opportunity to give feedback)
- Greater manager involvement in employees working lives ( Hawthorne workers responded to the increased level of attention they were receiving)
- Working in groups or teams. ( Hawthorne workers did not previously regularly work in teams)
In practice therefore businesses should re-organise production to encourage greater use of team working and introduce personnel departments to encourage greater manager involvement in looking after employees’ interests.
Abraham Maslow (1908 – 1970) along with Frederick Herzberg (1923- ) introduced the Neo-Human Relations School in the 1950’s, which focused on the psychological needs of employees. Maslow put forward a theory that there are five levels of human needs which employees need to have fulfilled at work.
All of the needs are structured into a hierarchy and only once a lower level of need has been fully met, would a worker be motivated by the opportunity of having the next need up in the hierarchy satisfied. For example a person who is dying of hunger will be motivated to achieve a basic wage in order to buy food before worrying about having a secure job contract or the respect of others.
A business should therefore offer different incentives to workers in order to help them fulfil each need in turn and progress up the hierarchy. Managers should also recognise that workers are not all motivated in the same way and do not all move up the hierarchy at the same pace. They may therefore have to offer a slightly different set of incentives from worker to worker.
Frederick Herzberg (1923-) had close links with Maslow and believed in a two-factor theory of motivation. He argued that there were certain factors that a business could introduce that would directly motivate employees to work harder (Motivators). However there were also factors that would de-motivate an employee if not present but would not in themselves actually motivate employees to work harder (Hygienefactors).
Motivators are more concerned with the actual job itself. For instance how interesting the work is and how much opportunity it gives for extra responsibility, recognition and promotion. Hygiene factors are factors which ‘surround the job’ rather than the job itself. For example a worker will only turn up to work if a business has provided a reasonable level of pay and safe working conditions but these factors will not make him work harder at his job once he is there. Importantly Herzberg viewed pay as a hygiene factor which is in direct contrast to Taylor who viewed pay and piece-rate in particular.
Herzberg believed that businesses should motivate employees by adopting a democratic approach to management and by improving the nature and content of the actual job through certain methods. Some of the methods managers could use to achieve this are:
- Job enlargement – workers being given a greater variety of tasks to perform (not necessarily more challenging) which should make the work more interesting.
- Job enrichment - involves workers being given a wider range of more complex, interesting and challenging tasks surrounding a complete unit of work. This should give a greater sense of achievement.
- Empowerment means delegating more power to employees to make their own decisions over areas of their working life.
There are lot of ways that employers can seek to increase the motivation of their employees including:
- Job security
- Job enrichment
- Job enlargement
- Home and work life balance
- Job sharing
The basic way to make employees feel happier in their job is to make them feel secure in the job.
If the employee think that their job is safe they are more likely to work harder and try to progress within the business. If the employees jobs are safe than motivation of them is likely to improve by making job more interesting or challenging through increased responsibility or tasks that require more effort on the employees behalf.
Most of the business can’t provide with complete job security due to increasingly difficult to provide in the business outstanding to costs cutting, changes in technology and increasing competition from the UK and abroad but the business should try to make employees feel secure for the job.
It is important that employers make job more interesting to employees which can be known as Job enrichment.
Job enrichment provides the employees with addition higher level tasks that will challenge and motivate them. Sometime there re problems with enriching jobs hat need to be managed carefully. It would helpful of employers to provide extra training to help employees do the extra tasks and the attitude of employees towards those tasks. This only works if the employers want the extra responsibility.
This is a another method of motivate employees but this is different from enrichment where the task are made more difficult and challenging, job enlargement gives employee more task to do of a similar nature. This would mean that employee is less likely to be bored in the work as they have a range of tasks to do. Most of the task are all of a similar level but avoid too much repetitive work and therefore increase interest. Similar to enrichment job there may be issues about motivating workers in this way as they may not want additional tasks to do and may need extra training resulting in increased costs.
Work and home life balance
One of the ways to increase motivation of the employees is to make them feel more valued by giving them special working arrangement to help the employees balance their home and working lives. This would be known as the work and home life balance. Sometimes some employees might want flexible working hours such as flexi times which means that work a set numbers of hours per week but employee can choose when actually do that work between about 6am and 8pm at night depending on the employer. Some of the employers allow employees to work additional flexi hours and claim extra days as holiday rather than paying overtime. This means that the employees feel more motivated to work as hard as they possibly can.
Sometimes if the employer gives employees some responsibility for example helping with decision making can make them feel more important. This would be known as empowerment and should also increase motivation in the employee.
Sometime empowerment can be formalised into making teams entirely responsible for their own working methods and decision making. This is known as team autonomy.
Empowerment can also have its limitation as it can sometimes be viewed by employees as a way to cut costs by delayering an organisation. This is because more responsibility is passed down the organisation to more junior employees who are paid less. Sometimes it is difficult for mangers to pass on responsibility to more junior employees when they have to remain responsible for the work being done as they are accountable for it. This would mean that the types of tasks put forward as part of empowerment may not be as challenging as they should to be fully motivating an employee.
To some employees home and work may be difficult to balance and in order to motivate them job sharing might be he answer. Job sharing is when two employees share the workload of a job to make up the equivalent of one full time person. This work when one employee works afternoons, morning or two or three day per week and he person they are sharing with will do the opposite. This can be ideal for both parties as they feel they are doing a job with full time responsibility but for only half time.
Monitoring and directing
Monitoring and directing lead on from both organising and motivating in that monitoring is the process of actually checking back with an employee to see that they are making process. Directing employees is giving them a pointer as to where they are going wrong or what they need to do next. The methods of monitoring and direction used within a business will very much depend on the type of people who are employed there and the culture of that business.
There are two types of monitoring which are formal monitoring whereby mangers are checking or watching the employee in some way and the second types of monitoring is informal monitoring where by the mangers are making subtle judgements about how an employees is fitting into h workplace or noticing if that employee may have some kind of problems.
Most of the business will have very firm monitoring policies whereby staffs are monitored at all times throughout their working day. Formal monitoring may also be necessary in order to comply with the law. Some employers also carry out drug and health test as part of monitoring in the workplace, for example hospitals may test their medical workers for diseases like tuberculosis so they don’t pass them on to the employees or patients required to use machinery may be tested for drugs.
The best way to ensure that formal monitoring is conducted properly is to have a formal monitoring policy that can be used by mangers and that employees are aware of in order to make sure that everyone knows what is happening.
Most of the time informal monitoring is a much less scientific approach to monitoring and needs extra care and attention in order to ensure that the manger does not intrude too much on an employee’s privacy. Sometime monitoring can make employees uncomfortable so it is important that employers make employees feel happy.
Lot of time informal monitoring may be used to help mangers assist their employees in ways to improve or may be used at review times during the year. It is important that some kind of monitoring has taken place within the work place but what is really important is that it is very carefully done whether formal or informal.
Problem solving is important as it try to find resolve or reduce difficulties that the business may have had or makes changes that will help them in the future. Problem solving is extremely diverse because of the very nature of the world problem itself.
Sometimes a problem for one manger may not be a problem for another manger so it will need to carefully analyse any relevant issues. It is the developed skilled of a manger that help them to recognise how big or significant a problem actually is and what impact it will have on all business.
Looking for problems
Looking for problems is called in other hand proactive approach as this type of mangers actually looking out for problems to solve. This means that the manger is constantly looking for ways to improve their business and by solving smaller issues before they become problems in first place. This type is likely to link their management roles with the need to constantly make improvement and this is know as continuous improvement or Kaizen. Theses process require everyone in the business to make improvement in some small way so that the quality of the products or services is continually being improved.
Solving problems as they happen
Lot of the mangers uses the problem solving technique of dealing with problems as they arise and in order of how urgent they are. If the manger has too many problem in one go and they keep having to deal with one after another this is known as “fire fighting” as it is just like trying to put out fire when new flames appear as quickly as the once have just put out. Working in an environment where fire fighting is common management technique for a problem solving can be very stressful and tiring.
Avoiding or ignoring problems
The mangers that avoid or ignore problems can be described as putting their head in the sand in that they choose to not see problems in front of them or if they do to avoid them. Some problems that are not dealt with might go away by themselves anyway.
Innovators and adaptors
Michael Kirton has developed a theory on the way that mangers problem solve based on the ideas that there are two styles of approach which are:
- Innovators –theses are two people who solve problems based on their own intuition and feelings
- Adaptors – these people who use logic and dependability to get the problem solved
Management tools for problem solving
Problems solving tools
- Mind mapping
- Cost/benefit/risk analysis
- Priority ranking
- Slip technique
- Drilling down
- Gantt charts
- Cause and effect diagrams
- Pareto charts
There are lot of approach that can help mangers, whatever their approach to problem solves more efficiently. Mangers may already use some of these as part of study techniques. A number of them are given in the list above but this is by no mean a complete list and it is likely to find within a business. A few of the techniques have been briefly outlined below.
Lot of time cost/benefit/risk analysis is used by mangers to measure the cots of doing something compared to the amount of benefit they will get a result. It also considers the opportunity cost of taking decisions.
Example of cost/benefit/risk analysis:
Cost / Benefit / Risk Analysis
There are numerous similar methods of analysing costs, benefits and risks associated with a decision or plan. The general procedure involved is as follows:
Cost / Benefit
1. Define, or breakdown the plan / decision /process into its elements by drawing up a flowchart or list of inputs, outputs, activities and events.
2. Calculate, research or estimate the cost and benefit associated with each element. (Include if possible direct, indirect, financial and social costs and benefits)
3. Compare the sum of the costs with the sum of the benefits.
Benefit / Risk
4. Rank the elements into a hierarchy that reflects their impact of their potential success / failure on the whole process. If the variation in the potential impact of the ranked elements is significant, then:
5. Assign weighting values to each element.
6. Estimate the likelihood of success or failure of each element.
7. Multiply the likelihood of success or failure for each element by its weighting value.
8. Compare the risk (result of 7) with the costs and benefits associated with
Pareto chart is copied from the Pareto principle that was discovered by vilfredo Pareto. Parteo discovered that 80 per cent of the wealth in Italy was owned by 20 per cent of the population and that 20 per cent of customers accounted for 80 per cent of sales. Although 80/20 is the figure used it is really only a guide so mangers may find the actual figures are calculate are slightly higher or lower but the principle remains.
The pareto principle states that not all causes of something occur the same number of times or in the same way. This would mean that by working out the most frequent factors it is possible to make best use of problems to tackle recourse.
Example of Pareto diagram
Causes and effect diagrams
Cause and effect diagram can help mangers is good way to problem solve by drawing out on paper what the issues involved are before being able to come to a solution about what should happen next. Producing a cause and effect diagram is also sometimes referred to as the fishbone technique because the completed diagram looks a bit like fish bones. The purpose of using this method to problem solve is to give the mangers full access to all the possible causes and their effects in order to be able to come up with a solution.
Example of causes and effect diagram
Critical path analysis and Gantt chart
Both of the above method of problem solving uses diagrams to help the managers to work out what to do. Critical path requires mangers to draw out stages that the problem needs to go through I order to solve it including the length of time for each stages. By drawing up critical path it is possible to see the minimum amount of time needed, known as the critical path.
Gantt chart works in a similar way but rather than using a variety of shapes like critical path each stages is represented by a horizontal bar again allowing the mangers to work out how long a problem will take to be solved.
Example of critical path
Example of Gantt chart
By using directories lot of people are able to drill down to get the information that people need by using headings and then exploring the options within those headings. Mangers solve in same technique either on computer or on paper.
Training and mentoring
Trainingtakes number of different forms and may take place on an individual or team basis. Most of the time the skills of the mangers is to make sure that employees feel that training is identified to meet their own personal development but at the same time it meets future business needs. A manger needs to plan for how the training is going to take place and who is going to do it. Part of the process may be train a limited number of employees externally and cascade that information within the business.
On and off the job training
There are two types of training in the business world which are on-the-job and off-the-job.
On- job- training this carried out by management team as it involves the employee being trained whilst actually working.
Off-job-training is more complicated and may involve a referral to an external agency such as collage or training provider.
The external training like this is supported depends on the culture of the business concerned with regard to how much they value and are prepared to pay for such training.
Budgetary constraints may also limit the amount of training that is possible so there may need to be a prioritisation of whose training needs are highest and whether or not the outcomes of training can be cascaded down to other. Lot of the business have a requirement that if someone has been on a training course they must share the information with their colleagues as soon as they get back from the training. It is important that mangers to organise who should go on such courses and how that information will be shared.
Requirements for training
Some types of training is required by law which is the health and safety training due to this mangers need to arrange for such training to take place on a regular basis and for external agencies to come in and support that training. The businesses also wish to gain accreditation for training by opening for investors in people status. This is a mark to show that the business invests in its staff and training.
Training for the future
The mangers should consider giving employees training for future this may move on to other jobs in the business or will need some way of improving themselves as mangers or able to get promoted in the future. Giving training to allow employees to progress in the way is part of succession planning.
Future training needs can also be established by completing a skills audit, where existing employees are audited to see if they already have skills needed to do a new role. Businesses would use these employees instead of employing new staff.
Most of the mangers are mentor to employees there would support and encouraging employees within the workplace in order hat they can achieve the best performance possible. The person the manger is supporting is know as mentee, may be a subordinate or someone on the same grade. The relationship is one to one with the mentor passing on all their knowledge, experience, behaviour and knowledge to the other person.
A key benefit to someone of having a mentor is that their ideas can be discussed with mentor and judgements made about the way forward.
When a employees enter a new workplace they are often given a supervisor or mentor to look after and support them. This person is there to help or answers any questions that a new employees have. A good mentor will not see the person that they are working with a threat but will treat the success of the mentee as a success for them as well.
E-mentoring is now another popular way for mentoring to take place as well as the face to face versions. By using electronic methods of communication a mentor can give encouragement to individuals in other counties or in different time zones.
Appraising is a meeting between a manger and a employee that gives an opportunity for the performance of that employee to be reviewed. They can take place at different times during a year depending on the business involved. Some businesses like to do mini appraisals every three months with one being identified as a more formal appraisal once year. Other business carries them out six monthly and other only annually. There are numbers of different measurements or scales that can be used within an appraisal system including target or ratings.
Setting targets for an appraisal
Employees and mangers would look at set of target or objectives that were set at the last appraisal and review them to see how much progress has been made. Some employers may give an employees eight relatively simple targets whereas others may concentrates on only one or two more difficult targets that will requires a high levels of performance.
It is important that targets are relevant to the employees as well as the employer so that everyone is aware of what needs to be achieved and the target are relevant o the business needs.
It is important that unpopular targets are included within the appraisal system if needed. This requires careful management by the appraising mangers to persuade the employee that such targets are in their best interest.
At the review meeting those targets will be measured against what has actually happened and then a judgement can be made about success.
Using rating scales
Other option that can be used as part of an appraisal system include rating the performance of an employee. A set of performance criteria are outlined within the appraisal system and then the mangers and employee discuss the level that they feel the employee is working at.
By having no “middle” point score a manger is forced to acknowledge good or weaker performance from every employee.
Another version of this type of scaling is to have a set of statements and then to have a set of responses to all expectations such as:
A - Exceeded expectations
B – Achieved expectations
C – Fell below expectations
D – Unacceptable performance
Linking appraisals to pay
Appraisals are used by many different businesses to get some kind of measurement of individual employee performance and may also be used to motivate and identify gaps where training needs to take place. Some of the appraisals are linked to pay whereby that individual is rewarded with cash bonus if their performance is at the right level or higher than expected. The pay element of the review is commonly only awarded once a year in order that costs do not increase too much. This can limit the amount of motivation that an appraisal system can provide but does attempt to control costs.
Linking appraisals to career development and training
Appraisals may also be used to support employees to take on more responsibility and to help them plan opportunities to improve themselves as part of career development. Appraisals can identify an objective that needs to additional training that may be required in order to achieve this.
Appraisals are a useful enhancement to career development because by identifying what training in needed for the future, employees can plan what they want to do next in their career and not feel stuck in their current position. By linking training to the appraisal system it ensure that training is targeted in the right places and is not undertaken.
The most useful appraisal systems used by mangers tend to have some element of self appraisal by the employee. This means that the employee can consider target for them in order to improve performance and by owing these targets is more likely to work harder and therefore be more productive.
The key to success when using self assessment is to make sure that targets re linked to the best interests of the employees and the business. This means if the employee has very good attendance in work they will receive a bonus but at the same by being in work more they will be more productive and therefore earn more money for the company. This way both the employee and the company would benefit.
Another method of appraisal is also used in some large business and that is where the appraiser and appraise give a report on each other so communication is form the manger to the employee and vice versa when giving judgement about performance.
Using such a method can help employees to feet empowered as their options are taken into account more when judging management performance.
Issues involved in appraisal systems
Normal businesses have some kindof appraisal system in place whether formal or informal but this does not mean that appraisals are always used successfully and usefully within business.
Appraisals may also cause problem when there is a personality clash between a manger and employee.
Can be linked to payment so rewards are given for good performance
Needs to have achievable target but at the same time not too easy as this is likely to take away their worth and costs may go up if performance is exceeded
Is a formal system for monitoring and measuring satisfactory and unsatisfactory performance
Targets needs careful control to ensure that they are not too difficult to met as this may causes employees to feel demotivated
Allows an employer and employee to discuss and work together on improving performance leading to better use of recourses or more profits
Will only be useful if both the employer and employee believe in it and see it is valuable. If it is just added to the organisation it may cause damage as employees and mangers will not believe in it
Allows the business to plan training and development so that future work force needs can be met
Budgetary constraints may mean there is a limited amount of money available for training and therefore needs identified within the appraisal system may not be able to be met.
Planning how to gather information for the report
Most of the business will need to consider the aims and objective that will support that aims. What do you hope to achieve overall and which objective can set business in order o measure your progress?
In planning a report the most important thing you need to consider is the following:
- The sources of information that you are going to be able to access and the time limits restricting your access including technological resources
- Whether it is possible to access the mangers or supervisors stakeholder (anyone that is affected by them example subordinates, employees, more senior mangers and the manger themselves)
- Preparing a questionnaire or set of interview questions in advance of meeting or writing to the person you are studying may provide you with required information
- You may also find it useful to work shadow your respondent(the person you are studying) to observe them at work
When making a report it is useful to make sure of the management tools such as SWOT or Gantt charts to help to plan.
Researching into the business context and analysis of the information that is collected
It is important to choose the right methods and make sure that research is focused and targeted appropriately. Also it Is important to use both type of method which is primary and secondary research within the business report.
Primary research methods
Primary research has not been collected before and will give insight into how the manger or supervisor at the business actually manages. There are a number of ways that primary research can be collected including questionnaires, discussion, visits and interviews.
Questionnaires can be useful tool when collecting research information as they can help to gather a lot of information about the manger or supervisor in one go. They are also very useful as they can be referred to at a later data so the person can ask numbers of questions and then spend time considering the responses. It is important to remember that questionnaire should not be long that they put off he manger/supervisor from answering them is the normal maximum length for a questionnaire. Also consider when the information is relevant and what is not relevant for the purposes of the report.
I will have to producing a report demonstrating the role of the management function in order to relate it to management theory. It is very important to ask many questions about management as possible. Don’t ask questions which are not irrelevant to the report such as:
- The age of your manger/supervisor
- Where they live
- Their gender
- He job title
It is important that questionnaire is put into appropriate sections including relevant questions on each section. It might be helpful to label the sections using the subheadings.
Face to face
Face- to-face is a good way of gain information from the supervisors /mangers and has the added benefits which can be asking extra questions as they come up, unlike a questionnaire that may restrict answers or may be completed without being present. The other befits of face-to-face discussion when gathering information is that can be picked up extra clues from the mangers about how they feel about their job and judge their reactions.
In a face-to-face discussion it is important to be very well prepared and have a number of areas and question that are need to be explored.
Visit can be a very useful way of collecting data about the mangers at the first hand. It help to see how the mangers fits into the workplace and how the other works behave towards the mangers. It may help to interview or survey relevant stakeholders of the manager being studies such as subordinates, co-mangers, owners, suppliers or even customers. By do this it will help gain information about how management is perceived within that business from a number of different viewpoints that should eventually lead to a more reliable conclusion about the management.
Secondary research method
Secondary research methods are important to show in the report. It will help some kind of bibliography within report, perhaps as an appendix giving detailed and relevant information about management and the business including the sector that the manager operates within.
There are lots of relevant journals, books and website containing information that could be including within the report.
It is important to show understanding of a number of different managerial/ supervisory styles which include:
Keep considering he style of management adopted by the manger/supervisor taking into the account the culture, structure, objectives and resources of the business. The wider the span of control of the manger, the less likely it is they will feel able to consult all their subordinates and the more likely it is hey will adopt a more autocratic style of management.
When looking at each of the management styles consider the extent to which mangers may operate using more than one management style.
Democratic management style is used by someone who leads their subordinates by listening to opinions and allows them to have influence over their working lives. Majority decisions are important in that whatever most people want will usually be he way that the manger is also their employees. These types of mangers also highly likely to delegate to their subordinates o share out the workload. There are a lot of two way communication with this type of manger so view are listened to at a more senior and junior level.
The positive side of democratic management style is that it is useful if complex decision need to be made as lots of different view points are taken into account.
The negative side of democratic management style is that decision making may take a long time and in real terms cost the business money. The democratic management is also highly decadent on the number of employees involved a wide span of control may make decision making difficult to manage.
The consultative manger actually asks employees their views and opinions when making decisions. This process may take place on an individual basis with a single employee, a group, a team or even involve unions in order to work out the best way forward. This means that they are likely to be able to build team based business. The type of consultative that takes place will very much depend on the level of the manger involved and how senior they are.
The difference between the democratic and consultative management style is that whilst the democratic mangers listens to views and goes with listen to all view and goes with the majority decision, the consultative manger will listen to all view points but finally go with own decision.
Autocratic management style is when a manger who believes that they know what is best and will not listen to the view points of employees.
Mangers will direct and tell employees what to do and not listen or ask for any feedback at all. Mangers that use Autocratic have very little confidence in their subordinates and will have a system of threats in place if an employee does not do as they told this is known as punitive feedback.
Autocratic management style is commonly found in more low-skilled professions where the mangers have little confidence in the opinions and judgements of their subordinates, believing their methods to be the best.
Autocratic management may not work well in all institutions as lack of decision making in more skilled professions may lead to demotivation as employee feel they are not being listened to.
Supportive management style is where employees get change of growing and developing within their working environment. This management style allows employees to consider promotion opportunity as a supportive manger doesn’t feel afraid or threatened by progress but welcomes the improvement of employees as something positive. Supportive management style is useful if an employee is having personal difficulties that may be affecting their ability to do their job. This style of management will help the employees and get them back on track.
Supportive mangers can allow employees to be embowered and therefore bring new and exciting ideas to the business. Also by supporting employees more this way the employees would be motive and this would mean more productive at work and less likely to leave.
Collaborative mangers are someone who works as a part of a team also takes part in activities as well as manger. Collaborative manger needs to have excellent people management skills as they are managing the team and working with it and need to be able to:
- Define what needs to be done
- Resolve conflicts between team members
- Delegate tasks
- Prepare regular report
- Evaluate individual and team progress
Collaborative manger also needs to be able to work with people at different levels within and outside the business. is important that collaborative manager has very good listening and multitasking skills as they will need to be able to listen to what is going on and participate in a project as well as suggest improvement to performance.
Passive mangers are someone who lets everything happen around them and doesn’t make any decision themselves. Passive can be very challenging and liberating experience for some employees as they feel they have a complete say and free reign to get on with their work.
The disadvantage of passive management styles is that employees to do as they wish are numerous.
Passive management style may have a lack of coordination present as everyone is doing their own thing which can lead to problems of direction as everyone is moving their own way. The passive manger abdicates responsibility to their team and in doing so become a provider of materials rather than a manger leading everyone forward together.
Directive is one of the most common management style used in top down approach. This means that instruction given by the manager or senior members of staff and than it is cascaded down the business by the next most junior person being told what to do. Directive management style is very useful in times of emergency when direction is needed in order to get things done quickly.
This management style is one way communication and may create stress for both the manger and employee as the employee may feel they have no influence on their working environment
As they are told what to do and the manger may find it difficult to coordinate what is going on.
Theoretical approaches to management
The theoretical approaches to management of Taylor, Mayo, Maslow and Herzberg and the further important management theories that should be aware of include:
- The systems approach
- Contingency and “what if” modelling – fiedler
- Trait theory- handy
The systems approach
The systems approach management requires mangers to look at their section of the business and how it interrelates with other section in the business. This would mean that managers need to look at the business as a whole and in turn as part of an external environment.
The system approach manger sees both section as interrelating to each other and makes decision based on information from both areas.
By approaching the business as a system it is argued that mangers are more likely to find solution to problems using scientific analysis and as result these solutions will be more effective when carried out.
The business as a system means it needs to interest with the external environment. This is known as an open system and consists of:
- Inputs- materials or human resources are input into the system
- Transformed – these inputs are then transformed by manufacturing or management
- Outputs –finished goods are put back out into the environment wither as product or services
- Feedback is given from the environment
In system there are often subsystems that operate to achieve company goals. The system approach is about working together which means more can be achieved than if each subsystem works independently and shows how the system can develop synergy.
Contingency and “what if” modelling
The person who developed this theory was called Fred E. Fiedler he suggested that a major factor that influence how leader operate is based on the personality of the leader involved.
Who create trait theory said that there is a number of key trait that a manger should have in order to be a good leader or manger. Also is has been said that intelligence, character, physique and social category are important traits but Charles Handy suggest that the following four categories contain the essential traits:
- Use of initiative
- Self assurance
- Able to take an overview of a situation
Production of report
When writing a report you will need skills and can be done in number of different ways which can be you demonstrate that you are able to collect and present information. Producing a formal report can be good way of organising ideas and making sure that it covers all the element of the mark band.
There are four part of a report which are the following, the first and second is terms of reference and producer gives background information as to why doing this report and identify methods of collecting information. Second one is finding should be organised under appropriate headings can be presented in such a way that a reader can be easily follow what is being presented. The last and final is conclusion which should be logical and based on the information that have already presented within the report. In this part it gives a change to evaluate what you have produce in the report.
It is important that the report should be written to be specific requirement of chosen business so try avoid putting in general information analysing any business sector that are not related to the chosen business.
Evaluation of the factor which can influence the environment in which a manager/ supervisor perform his/ her role
The important evaluate factors which can influence the environment in which a manger performs his/her role by considering the four main issues outline below:
- Whether one particular management or supervisory style is more likely to generate result and foster good employee/ employer relations than using alternative management supervisory style
- How a management or supervisory role can be affected by changes to the business’s aims and objective or a change in the culture/ structure of an business
- Whether a certain management style is more likely to be encourage better to employee-employer relation than another
- Whether management suction will change depending on the nature of the business
Good employee- employer relation
In the good employee-employer relation I will have to evaluate how the mangers style affect the motivation and productivity levels of employees compared to the affect there would be if other management style were used. I will also need to analyse the management style that being used by the mangers and consider whether their style helps or hinders employees whether they work.
A creative business such a design company have motivated employees which might not need supervision and operates best with a laissez faire attitude to management. Alternative a factory production line might best operate with autocratic manger.
It will help to analyse the strengths and weakness of the style used in relation to the business. To fully evaluate this section I will need to make judgments that take in into account the style and relate it to the whole business context.
Changing aims and objective
In the report I will need to describe the culture and structure of the business. I will need to consider what is happening within the business and its sector that may force changes to take place also the impact of other changes, such as delayering as part of a cost reduction exercise and the effect on the structure including span of control and change in culture.
The critical but in the evaluation is to consider the impact and positive and negative aspects of that impact followed by a judgement about the final effect overall. Also it is important to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the planning within the business.
The effect of management style
I will have to gain information about the affect of motivation and taking both of this areas in to the account also consider the advantages and disadvantages of the management style used within the business and its effect on the employees and consider whether or not it is the most effective style for the business. I may have to find it useful to add data from other business or make comparison with competitors from the same business sector. I should also consider whether or not the business employees are members of a union, how they negotiate across the business and the strengths and weakness of the process.
Changing nature of the business
The last thing that I need to do is make judgements about how management is affected by the business types and how one management style may work well in one type of the business but fail miserable in another. I should consider the nature of the work:
- Does the business offer a service?
- How skilled are the employees?
- How much management control is needed?
- What are motivational levels like?
- Do different sections of the business have different ways of operating within the business?
- Is there a common style of management for everyone?
- How are management decisions communicated?
- Is there open communication or does a grapevine operates?
At this point I could compare with other businesses in the same sector to try to ascertain how their management style works.
This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Marketing & Research section.
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