The following paper describes about how to be a successful manager-one that leads in all ways. The paper starts with describing about the essential qualities and traits of a successful manager in a large company. These traits involve risk bearing, planning, ability to manage stress effectively, dealing with diversity at workplace and employee motivation. The top-level or senior managers must involve the middle level managers in the planning process. They should also receive proper feedback from all their subordinates. The meaning and definition of stress is explained and the various ways by which stress can be handled is mentioned. Successful managers should first cope with work related stress themselves before they help their junior employees.
Employee motivation deals with motivating the employees to make them work efficiently and more productively. Each and every employee must be motivated sufficiently before the task can initiate. Various motivational methods and the role of managers in motivation of employees is explained in the following paper. Lastly, dealing with workforce diversity is explained in details and the topic of diversity training is touched upon to signify its importance in a business organization.
The job of a successful manager in the present times in a good organization is not an easy one. It involves the managers to be effective leaders, facilitators, coaches, consultants and consensus- builders. Transformational leadership occurs when a manager is successful in broadening and elevating the interests of their employees and inculcate awareness and acceptance towards the mission and objectives of the group. To become a transformational leader is not an easy task. A lot of hard work, dedication and willingness to adopt different methodologies and take risks is involved in the process. Furthermore, the organization’s core mission and objectives must not be compromised.
The first step toward strategic management is to develop a strategic plan for the organization (Simon, 2005). There are several key points that are to be kept in the picture so as to achieve the overall organizational goals. One of them is to involve the mid-level management in the decision making process. It is so because the valuable feedback of the mid-level managers benefits the senior managers. They may highlight an error or point out something important that may have been left out of the planning process. The perspectives and insights of the mid-level managers may help in preparing a better and more executable plan. It is also important to involve the mid-level managers as they may feel left out and ignored, otherwise. The senior managers sometimes identify the key objectives and let the mid-level managers complete the jobs as they are the best people suited for a particular task. Overall, the senior managers are responsible for the accomplishment of organizational tasks, they must receive feedback and on the strategies and objectives because they lay out how the organization intends to achieve them (Simon, 2005).
The corporate senior leadership team should encourage sub-organizations to create lower-level strategic plans in the following circumstances:
- The corporation’s size is large enough to support sub-organizations that act as separate business entities.
- There is a diverse product or service line among the sub-organizations
- The creation of a strategic plan at the lower level will not perpetuate a stovepipe culture that the senior leadership team is trying to change
Sub-organizations that are smaller and whose products and services result in the same output as the corporate organization should have a plan that includes strategies and objectives that contribute to the corporate vision, mission, guiding principles, and goals. In this case, representatives from the lower organizations should have been included in the original strategic planning process. If the senior leadership team decides that lower level plans are needed, strategic planning guidance should be developed for the leaders of the sub-organizations. Training and facilitation support is also needed.
In addition to sharing the plan within the organization, consider sharing the plan outside of the organization. For external audiences, a separate plan may be needed that displays only the vision, guiding principles, mission, goals, and strategies. The amount of detail chosen to be included in the plan for external purposes needs to be tailored to each audience (Simon, 2005).
The senior leadership team might consider including the following:
- The rationale for creating the plan
- The process used to create the plan
- A glossary of terms
- Strategic planning team membership
- Implementation roles and responsibilities
- An overview on how current TQ efforts tie into the plan
- An overview on how progress will be measured and evaluated
There is no standard format. How the final document looks is not as important as what it says, how it says it, and how it influences and motivates people. For example, it may be necessary to publish the plan in the organization’s formal policy system i.e., as an instruction, directive, order to foster credibility.
In order to communicate the strategic plan effectively and efficiently, the top-level management should adhere to pre-specified roles and responsibilities. Some of them include:
- Provide overall leadership and guidance to the organization regarding the strategic plan
- Formally and informally communicate the published strategic plan to the workforce, customers, and stakeholders
- Champion the change that the plan represents
- Work with the budget officer to plan for resource allocation to implement the strategic plan
On the other hand the mid-level management should follow the rules and also follow contribute to the communication process in the following manner:
- Support the plan
- Present employee briefings or hold Q&A sessions on the plan
- Translate strategies and objectives into action implications for employees
- Align current work activities with the strategic plan
Stress is defined in terms of its physical and physiological effects on a person, and can be a mental, physical, or emotional strain. Job stress results from the interaction of the worker and the conditions of work. Views differ on the importance of worker characteristics versus working conditions as the primary cause of job stress (Sims, 2002). Job related stress can be caused due to the following organizational factors:
- Pressures to avoid errors or complete tasks in a limited time period, work overload, a demanding and insensitive boss, and unpleasant coworkers are a few examples.
Stress management in a business organization deals with maintaining or reducing stress to an optimal level for both the individual and the organization (Sims, 2002). There are many ways by which the levels of stress can be kept under check. Some of them are:
- Using or developing coping skills – Research has showed that happier people are more likely than depressed people to attribute negative events to temporary outside influences, rather than to a stable personality characteristic.
Some other approaches to manage work related stress can be related to a person’s daily routine. For example, eating a healthy diet, being physically fit, to relax and meditate, to avoid inappropriate self-talk and to learn to react differently in adverse situations. Besides, one can also enroll into a stress alleviation program.
Another very important aspect of being a successful manager at an organization is to master the art of employee motivation. Motivation is the driving force behind which an employee works hard and efficiently in order to perform his tasks in a better way. It is essential for each and every employee of an organization that he is motivated in some way or the other towards his duties. The senior management of an organization plays a significant role in creating an environment where the mid-level and junior level employees can easily motivate themselves (Motivating Employees, 2008).
The upper level management of any company must keep in mind that what motivates them may not necessarily motivate their employees and what that there is no specific dosage of employee motivation (Motivating Employees, 2008). In general there are certain ways by which the senior management can motivate its subordinates that may include the following:
- Build an atmosphere of trust and teamwork, not intimidation and fear – A company that runs on intimidation is a very unhappy place to work at. The managers should ignore minor mistakes of their subordinates and acknowledge the fact that mistakes are an inevitable part of the management process.
- Be consistent and fair in their approach towards all of the employees. Build a spirit of team work with regular briefings.
A successful manager apart from having such traits must also posses another important weapon in his armory, that of dealing with diversity at the workplace.
Diversity means difference. In an employment context, it means ensuring that organizations recruit and retain the best person from the widest possible talent base regardless of gender orientation, age, race, religion or disability. It also means that organizations should recognize the different approaches that are required for different people who have different needs and expectations. Workplace diversity is about acknowledging differences and adapting work practices to create an inclusive environment in which diverse skills, perspectives and backgrounds are valued (Mor Barak, 2011).
When a company or organization decides to implement diversity training into its workplace culture, it is imperative that companies take proactive steps to ensure that diversity initiatives are seen as opportunities to improve the overall productivity of the company and its employees in a bias-free, diverse workplace. Fundamental to the success of diversity training and education is the inclusion and participation of all employees in the diversity training process (Thomas, 2009). It is important to recognize that certain individuals or groups within an organization may be resistant to change because they perceive a diversity initiative as a direct threat to their status and power.
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Mor Barak, M. E. (2011). Managing Diversity: Toward a Globally inclusive Workplace. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications Inc.
Simon, H. A. (2005). Rational Decision Making in Business Organisations. The American Economic Review. Vol. no. 69(4), pp. 493-513. Accessed on 16 August, 2013 from http://www.gillesdaniel.com/papers/1979.Simon.Rational%20Decision%20Making%20in%20Business%20Organizations.pdf.
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