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The Manager’s Role

  • Understanding Your Role As A New Manager

Being appointed to a management role for the first time means undertaking fewer operational duties yourself, and instead requires you to start allocating time to performing management functions. Your role now is to get things done by motivating and managing your people

This may seem a bit scary at first, but as you gain a clear sense of what is expected of you, then your confidence will grow. Five key management functions to perform in your new role include …..

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1.  PLANNING

Firstly, as a manager you need to clearly establish the outcomes that your workgroup need to achieve. Any goals and objectives set for your work group are set in the light of broader business goals. However because most organisations are operating with fewer resources, it’s likely that more is asked of your workgroup than what can be delivered.

 So a key part of the forward planning process is assessing capabilities and defining priorities for your staff. You will need to decide which objectives may be more important than others at any particular time, so that you can make informed decisions about allocating the limited resources at your disposal  (be they people, time, equipment, or money.)

Forward planning also requires you to think ahead and anticipate emerging customer demands, problems, trends and pressures and to consider how your workgroup can best prepare to deal with such issues.

2.  STAFFING

So as the manager, you will be setting goals, objectives and priorities – but you need good people to achieve the plans that you have made. The staffing function of management involves the recruitment, selection and induction of new staff into their specific role. It requires you to ensure that the ongoing training and development needs of your peopleare being met.

3.  ORGANISING & CO-ORDINATING

As a manager, your role now is to make decisions about resource allocation – deciding the best combination of staff, time, equipment, raw material and money that will enable your work group to most efficiently achieve the required outcomes. Also, organising requires you to arrange work flows, procedures, systems, and work-rosters. It also involves associated administrative duties – a lot more paperwork!.

4. DIRECTING & LEADING

As a manager, it is up to you to ensure that your staff have a clear sense of direction. You need to ensure you have communicated clearly the goals and performance standards expected of them. Directing involves guiding, coaching, motivating and leading staff so they work together to the best of their abilities as well as cohesively as a team.

5. MEASURING, CONTROLLING & IMPROVING

Controlling involves making sure that what has to be done actually does get done. This requires you to  monitori the performance of your staff, assessing their performance against the standards expected of them. This is the basis of performance appraisal. If the actual performance of an employee is below the standard expected, hen you will need to promptly engage them in a constructive discussion about how to improve the situation.

  • Benjamin Zander on Leadership

In the following short video clip, Ben Zander the respected orchestra conductor, shares some thoughts on leadership ….

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