Directing: Importance and elements
The directing function of management is concerned with instructing, guiding, inspiring, and motivating the employees in the organization so that their efforts achieve organizational goals. Directing: Importance and elements will be discussed in this post. It is according to the CBSE curriculum.
After the staffing function, the right person is placed in the right position in the organization. But actual work begins only when these people get instructions from their superiors.
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Importance of Directing
- Initiate Action: Directing helps to initiate action by people in the organisation towards attainment of desired objectives. For example, if a supervisor guides his subordinates and clarifies their doubts in performing a task, it will help the worker to achieve work targets given to him.
- Integrates employees efforts: Directing integrates employees efforts in the organisation in such a way that every individual effort contribute to the organisational performance. Thus, it ensures that the individuals work for organisational goals.
- Effective leadership: Directing function does not mean giving orders only but through direction and instructions the superior try to motivate the employees to perform to their best ability. Directing function develops the feeling of belongingness and encorages employees to perform to their best ability.
- Facilitate change: Generally, people have a tendency to resist changes in the organisation. Effective directing through motivation, communication and leadership helps to reduce such resistance and develop required cooperation in introducing changes in the organisation. For example, if a manager wants to introduce new system of accounting, there may be initial ressistance from accounting staff, but if manager explain the purpose, provides training and motivates them, then employees may accept the change.
- Bring stability and balance in the organisation: The directing function tries to create balance in the organisation. Generally, when the employees are working at different levels they develop different attitudes and the balance between their attitudes is made by directing function. For example, employees want more earnings, organisation wants more production. The employees can earn more by producing more which will achieve the organisational goals also.
Elements of Directing
There are four elements of directing: Supervision, Motivation, Leadership, and Communication
It means instructing, guiding, monitoring, and observing the employees while they are performing jobs in the organization. The word supervision is the combination of 2 words, that is, ‘Super’ which means over and above, ‘Vision’ which means seeing.
So, supervision means seeing the activities of employees from over and above.
Role/Importance/Functions performed by a supervisor
1. Ensures issuing of instructions
The supervisor makes sure that all the instructions are communicated to each and every employee.
2. Facilitates control
It means a match between actual and planned output. If an employee underperforms then the supervisor monitors them and provides unnecessary instructions.
3. Optimum use of resources
Under supervision, workers are constantly monitored and due to this reason, they use resources in the best possible manner which leads to minimum wastage.
The strict supervision and guidance of the supervisor encourage the employees and workers to be more disciplined in their activities.
The supervisors are directly dealing with the subordinates. So they are the best persons to give feedback to subordinates which acts as a base for the performance appraisal for the employees.
6. Improves Communication
Supervisors issue instructions and orders to all the subordinates and make sure that these instructions and orders are clear to all the members.
7. Improves Motivation
The relationship with the supervisor is a very good incentive to improve the motivation level of the employees. While guiding the employees the supervisors encourage the subordinates to perform to their best capacity.
8. Maintain Group Unity
The supervisor plays a key role in maintaining group unity among workers working under him he maintains harmony among workers by solving their disputes.
It can be defined as stimulating, inspiring, and inducing the employees to perform to their best capacity. It is a psychological term that means it cannot be forced on employees, it comes automatically from inside the employees as it is the willingness to do the work.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory
Abraham Maslow is well renowned for proposing the hierarchy of needs theory in 1943. This theory is a depiction of human motivation. This theory is based on the assumption that there is a hierarchy of 5 needs within each individual. The urgency of these needs varies.
Assumption of Maslow’s Model
- People behavior is based on their needs. Satisfaction of such needs influences their behavior.
- People’s needs are in heirarchical order, starting from basic needs to other higher level needs.
- A satisfied need can no longer motivate a person’s. Only an unsatisfied need can motivate.
- A person move to next higher level need only when the lower need is satisfied.
These 5 needs are as follows:
1. Physiological Needs
These needs include basic requirements for the survival and maintenance of human life. For example, needs for air, water, food, clothing, and shelter. They can be satisfied are offered by the employer.
2. Safety Needs
Once physiological needs are fulfilled then people start thinking about their future as they want to secure their future by making sure that in the future also they continue to satisfy their physiological needs. Safety needs include physical, environmental, and emotional safety and protection. For example, job security, financial security, family security, health security, etc.
3. Social Needs
It includes the need for love, affection, care, belongingness, and friendship. Once the people satisfy their physiological and safety needs then the social need becomes more active and to fulfill the social needs the manager prefers teamwork, arranges formal and informal get-togethers so that employees can develop social relationships.
4. Esteem Needs
These needs include respect; self-respect, confidence, achievement, and freedom, and recognition; Power, status, and attention. When the above 3 needs are satisfied then people start demanding respect for themselves in a group.
5. Self-Actualisation Needs
This includes the urge to become what you are capable of becoming. This need refers to realizing and reaching the aim of your life. Once the employee becomes what he wants to become it means satisfaction of his actualization need. These needs include growth, self-fulfillment, and achievement of goals.
Financial and Non-Financial Incentives
Incentives means all measures which are used to motivate people to improve performance. These incentives may be broadly be classified as financial and non-financial incentives
1. Monetary or Financial Incentives
The reward or incentives which can be calculated in terms of money is known as a monetary incentive. These incentives are offered to employees who have more physiological, social, and security needs active in them. The common financial incentives include:
- Pay and allowances: Regular increments in salary every year and grant of allowances act as good motivators. To get increment and allowances, employees perform to their best ability.
- Profit sharing: Profit sharing is meant to provide a share to employees in the profits of the organisation. This serves to motivate the employees to improve their performance and contribute to increase in profits.
- Co-partnership/Stock Option: Sharing the profit does not give ownership right to the employees. Many companies offer share in management or participate in management along with share in profit to its employees as an incentive to get efficient working from the employees.
- Bonus: Bonus is an incentive offered over and above the salary to the employees.
- Productivity linked wage incentives: There are certain wage rate plan which offer higher wages for more productivity, for example, under differential piece wage system efficient workers are paid higher wages as compared to inefficient workers.
- Retirement Benefit: Some organisation offer retirement benefits such as pension, provident fund, etc. to motivate employees. These incentives are suitable for employees who have security and safety needs.
- Perks/Fringe benefits/Perquisites: It refers to special benefits such as medical facility, free education for children, housing facility, etc. These benefits are over and above salary and are related with performance of the employees.
2. Non-Monetary/Non-Financial Incentives
All the needs of individuals are not satisfied by money alone. Psychological, social, and emotional factors also play important role in providing motivation.
The incentives which cannot be calculated in terms of money are known as non-monetary incentives. The common means and ways of non-monetary incentives are:
- Status: It refers to rank, authority, responsibility, recognition and prestige related to job. By offering higher status or rank in the organisation managers can motivate employees having esteem and self-actualization needs active in them.
- Organizational climate: It refers to relation between superior/subordinate. These features have direct influence over the behavior of member. Employees are always motivated in the healthy organizational climate.
- Career advancement: Managers must provide promotional opportunites to employees improve their skill and efficiency with the hope that they will be promoted to high level.
- Job enrichment: It is concerned with designing jobs that include greater variety of work contest, require higher level of knowledge and skill which gives workers more resposnibility and provide the opportunity for personal growth and a meaningful work experience.
- Employee recognition: It means giving special regard or respect which satisfied the ego of the employee. Ego satisfaction is a very good motivator. Whenever good efforts are shown by the subordinates then it must be recognised by the superior in presence of other employees.
- Job Security: It ensures safety and security need but it may have negative impact. Once the employees get job secured they lose interest in job. For example, government employees do not perform efficiently as they have no fear of losing job.
- Employee’s participate: It means involving employees in decision making of the issues related to them. For example, if target production is fixed by consulting employees then he will try to achieve the target more sincerely.
It is a process of influencing the behavior of people at work towards the achievement of a specified goal. Leaders always play a key role in the success and excellence of any organization.
Leadership indicates the ability of an individual to maintain good interpersonal relationships with followers and motivate them to contribute to achieving organizational objectives.
1. Autocratic or Authoritative Leadership (Boss Centered Leadership)
An autocratic leader gives orders and expects his subordinates to obey those orders. There exist one-way communication. He centralizes power in himself and takes all decisions without consulting the subordinates. He does not delegate authority. This leader is dogmatic, that is, does not change or wish to be contradicted. This leadership is effective in getting productivity in a factory. Quick decision-making is also observed mostly suited for the uneducated, unskilled labor force.
2. Democratic or Participate Leadership (Group Centered)
Under this style, leaders take decisions in consultation and participation with employees. He delegates and decentralizes the authority. He provides freedom of thinking and expression. He listens to the suggestions, grievances, and opinions of the subordinates.
This style is suitable when the goal of the company is to increase job satisfaction and independence of employees.
3. Free-rein or Laissez Faire Leadership
This style involves complete delegation of authority so that subordinates take decisions themselves. In this style, leaders avoid power. He serves only as a contact to bring information and resources to the subordinates.
This style is suitable when subordinates are well trained and highly knowledgeable. Also self-motivated to assume responsibility.
Communication can be defined as the transmission of exchange of ideas, views, messages, information, or instruction between two or more persons by different means. It is a two-way process as it begins with the sender and ends when the feedback comes from the receiver to the sender. Minimum two parties are involved in the process of communication, that is, the sender and the receiver.
Elements of communication
The sender is the person who conveys the message. The communication process begins immediately when the idea comes into the mind of the sender.
It is the content of ideas, feelings, suggestions, order, etc, which the sender wants to share with the receiver.
It is the process of converting the message into communication symbols such as words, pictures, gestures, etc.
It is the way or means through which an encoded message is transmitted to the receiver. It can be done via phone, internet, message, etc.
It refers to converting encoded messages into the language and understanding the message.
The receiver is the person who receives the communication and understands the message.
It includes all those actions of the receiver indicating that he has received and understood the message of the sender.
It means some obstruction or hindrance to communication. It can include a loud sound made by any vehicle, disturbance in the telephone line, poor network connection. Due to noise, the message is not conveyed to the receiver and the receiver is not able to decode the message in the same manner as expected by the sender.
Forms of Organisational Communication
- Formal Communication
- Informal Communication
It refers to official communication taking place in the organization. This type of communication takes place between a superior and subordinate. Whenever there is an exchange of views or messages or information related to an official matter such as an assignment of task, fixing responsibility, setting a target, etc, then it is known as formal communication. It is generally in written form so as to keep it as proof.
Formal communication is further classified according to the direction of flow:
a. Vertical Communication; which includes downward communication or upward communication
Here the flow of information is from top-level to lower level. In this communication, the manager passes instructions to his subordinates.
When subordinates inform or pass any information to superiors then it is upward communication. This communication flows from subordinates to superiors.
b. Horizontal Communication
It is the communication between the two or more persons working at the same level of authority. Generally different departmental heads discuss the policy of their department with each other, so discussion between two managers of the same rank is a horizontal communication.
The common networks of formal communication:
1. Single chain or chain pattern
Under this, each person gets the information from 1 person that is their immediate boss and passes the information to 1 person who is their immediate subordinate. So, every member is attached to 1 person.
It is the most centralized way of communication. Under wheel pattern, all the information flows from 1 person only who is generally the leader of the group and other members have no communication link with each other.
In the circle pattern, each person communicates with two or more persons in a group. The person may receive or give information to 2 or more persons in the organization. In this type of organization, every member participates equally in the flow of information. That is why it is more decentralized.
4. Free Flow
In this network, each person can communicate with others freely. The flow of communication is fast.
5. Inverted V
In this network, the subordinate is allowed to communicate with his immediate superior and also with the superior of his superior.
Communication that takes place without following the formal lines of communication is said to be informal communication. For example, friendly talks and non-official matters. There is no fixed direction or path for the flow of information under informal communication. The information moves in a very confusing and zig-zag manner. That is why the network of informal communication is known as Grapevine.
Types of informal communication or Grapevine network
- Gossip Network-Under this, each person communicates with all on non-selective basis.
- Cluster Network- Under this individual communicates with only those people whom he trusts. It is the most popular network.
- Single Strand- Under this, each individual communicates to other in sequence.
- Probability- Under this, the individual communicates randomly with other individuals.
Barriers to effective communication
It is generally observed that managers face several problems due to communication breakdowns or barriers. These barriers may prevent communication or filter part of it or carry incorrect meaning due to which misunderstandings may be created. Therefore, it is important for a manager to identify such barriers and take measures to overcome them.
The barriers can be grouped into the following categories:
- These are concerned with problems and obstructions in the process of encoding and decoding of message into words or impressions. Normally, such barriers result on account of use of wrong words, faulty translations, different interpretation, etc.
The main causes of semantic problems are:
- Badly expressed message – Sometimes intended meaning may not be conveyed by a manager to his subordinates. It can happen due to lack of vocabulary, use of wrong words, omitting needed words. For example, increased profit by 20%, according to management, but paying less wages to workers according to them.
- Symbols with different meanings- Sometimes a word may have different meanings, receiver may understand the other meaning. For example, Price or Prize, Principal or principle, right or wright, etc.
- Faulty translation- Sometimes the workers do not understand the language which is used by manager, so workers get it translated. If translator is not efficient he may make mistake in translation. Due to wromg translation, there may be transfer of wrong message.
- Unclarified assumptions – Sometimes the worker may misinterpret the assumptions. For example, boss may instruct the subordinate to “Take care of goods”. He may mean that take care of quality of goods whereas workers may understanf that he is instructing to keep goods safely.
- Technical Jargons – While explaining to subordinate, many specialised experts use technical words which may not be understood by the workers. For example, A manager announces, today there is a meeting of white collar employees. That means meeting of managerial level people. Some employees may understand that employees wearing white shirt have meeting.
- Body language and gesture decoding – Along with verbal communication another important mode of communication is body language and gestures shown by person who is talking. If the verbal communication is not matching with the body language, then workers may get confused and misunderstand the meaning. For example, if manager is telling a joke but there are sign of anger on his face then worker will get confused.
Emotional or psychological factors act as a barrier to communication. For example, a worried person cannot communicate properly and an angry receiver cannot understand the real meaning of the message.
Some of the psychological barriers to effective communication are:
- Premature evaluation- Sometimes people evaluate the meaning of message before the sender completes his message. Such premature evaluation may be due to pre-conceived notions or prejudices against the communicator.
- Lack of attention- It means when receiver does not pay complete attention to the message as a result communication becomes ineffective. The reason can be preoccupied mind of receiver.
- Loss of transmission and poor retention- When communication passes through various levels, this result in loss of information. Specially when oral information is passed, manager may not be able to retain all information for a longer time.
- Distrust- Distrust between communicator and communicatee acts as a barrier. If the parties do not believe each other, they cannot understand each others message properly.
The factors related to organization structure, authority relationships, rules, and regulation, may sometimes act as barriers to effective communication.
Some of the organizational barriers are:
- Organisational Policy – If organisational policy does not support free flow of information it may result in barrier. For example, in centralised organisation most of the information remains at the top level only. People at lower levels may not be able to communicate freely in centralised organistion.
- Rules & Regulations- Rigid rules, regulations may also create barriers as following rules may lead to delay of action.
- Status difference- Status of superior may create psychological distance between him and his subordinates. A status conscious manager, may not allow his subordinate to express their feelings freely.
- Complexity in organisation structure- When the information passes through various levels then there can be screening or filtering of information at different levels.
- Organisational facilities- In large organisation free and effective flow of communication is possible only when some facilities like social get together, complaint box, task force etc, exists. In case these are absent, then it can cause delay and barrier to effective communication.
Certain personal factors of sender and receiver may influence the free flow of information.
Some of the personal barriers are:
- Lack of confidence of superior in his subordinates- If superiors have no confidence and trust in their subordinates then they pay no attention to their advice, opinion or suggestions.
- Lack of incentives- If there is no incentive for communication then subordinates may not take inititaives to give suggestions. For example, if there is not reward for giving some good suggestion then employees will take no initiatives to give good suggestions.
- Fear of authority- Sometimes superior conceal and hide information, if they have fear of losing their authority over the subordinates.
- Unwillingness to communicate- Sometimes employees are unwilling to communicate with superior if they feel it may negatively effect their own interest.
Measures to Overcome Barriers to Communication Or Impriving Communication Effectiveness
1. Clarify the idea before communication
The message can be conveyed properly only if, it is clearly formulated in the mind of the communicator. The message should be encoded in direct and simple language so that the receiver is able to understand it without difficulty.
2. Communicate according to the need of the receiver
The level of understanding of the receiver should be clear to the communicator. The manager should adjust his communication according to the education and understanding levels of subordinates.
3. Consult others before communicating
Before communicating the message, it is advisable to consult others, as all are working towards a common goal.
4. Use of proper language, tone and contents of message
All words, tones, and symbols used in the message must be selected very carefully. It should not offend the sentiments of the listener.
5. Proper feedback
It helps to know the effect or success of communication given by the sender. It also provides suggestions or criticism.
6. Communication for the present as well as future
Communication must meet the need of the present organization as well as for the future organization. There must be consistency in past, present, and future communication.
7. Follow-up Communication
There should be a proper follow-up of the information given by the manager to the subordinate. This follow-up helps to remove hurdles, misunderstandings of instructions given by managers to subordinate.
8. Good Listener
Both sender and receiver should be a good listener and should pay proper attention when any message is delivered.
9. Complete message
A message is effective only when it is given completely. The receiver should not be left guessing, as it may lead to misunderstandings.
Check some related posts:
- What is recruitment? Sources, merits and demerits.
- Types of plans: Single-use plan and standing plan
- Scientific techniques of Taylor
- Importance of Management Principles
- Management as a profession
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