Functions of a manager are the various roles played by the manager in an organization. A manager is accountable for all the happenings in the firm and is answerable to the management. The seven major roles played by the manager are −
Now, let us see what exactly are these roles and their importance. Starting with the first role.
Planning − The basic step required for any project, big or small, is the planning stage. The manager needs to plan the schedule and give the blueprint of how the task is to be done with all the necessary details, and also the manager should have a backup plan that if this doesn’t work then what next. Example − There is a new project, how to start, human resource required, resources required, etc., everything should be planned.
Organizing − Next comes the organizing part, where the manager needs to synchronize and have to make sure everything is going according to the plan. Everything should work as per the plan, and if not then the manager needs to look into the issue and make it work as planned. Example − A software tester is required, so organize the venue, date and time to interview those eligible for the post.
Staffing − In simple words, staffing means grouping of people into different teams and allotting different tasks to them. If the team members have some disputes then the team member needs to report to the team leader who will forward it to the manager and the issue will be taken care of. Example − Assembling a new team for a new project.
Directing/Leading − It is a manager’s responsibility to guide the employees in all situations in order to avoid conflicts and delay in the task. Manager has to lead the employees so that they can get a clear idea about what is to be done and how to do it. Example − a team needs a team leader to look after each task that is accomplished, in-process, or aborted.
Coordinating − It means bringing all the employees together by forming an efficient relationship and making them feel comfortable to share their views and issues freely. Example − Coordinating the schedule for a project.
Reporting − The manager has to keep updated information about all the ongoing tasks, and it is the sole responsibility of the manager to report the updated status to the higher authorities; while all the employees are bound to report to the manager. Example − Keeping the respective directors informed about the progress on their respective projects.
Budgeting − A task has to be completed within the given time frame as well as it should be cost efficient. The manager needs to be double sure that all the amount invested in the project doesn’t exceed the budget given and in case of imbalance, the budgeting manager has to report to the management. Example − If budget allows to place three employees then five employees cannot be assigned for the task.
Controlling − Last but of course not the least role played by the manager is having everything under control. Whether it is the budget, or resource allocation, everything should be in order. Example − All members of a team cannot be granted leave on the same day, as it affects work delivery.
We have seen the different roles a manager as to play in order to maintain the workflow balance in an organization. With all these responsibilities, there are some tough challenges a manager has to deal with while trying to balance everything. Following are some challenges a manager has to deal with −
Managing workforce diversity − Manager shouldn’t create or encourage discrimination among employees. Employees from different background, culture, and ethnicity should be treated as equal and rewards should be given only on the basis of work.
Improving quality and productivity − It is the sole responsibility of the manager to increase the productivity without hampering the quality. It can be done in two ways −
Totally quality management − That is constant focus on customer satisfaction by improving organizational process.
Process of engineering − Focusing on the manufacturing of the product, so that the quality is not compromised.
Responding to labor storage − If there is a labor shortage then the manager should quickly respond to solve this problem by arranging for the workforce required so that the product delivery is not delayed.
Eradication of labor shortage − The manager needs to take quick action, if there is a labor shortage and should assure with backup plans so that there is no labor shortage in future.
Improving customer service − Manager faces the challenge to constantly improve customer service to survive in an ever-competitive environment.
Improving ethical behavior − Managers should make sure that the employees behave properly and maintain the decorum of the company. These are few major challenges a manager faces while trying to complete a project. To maintain work-life balance and for the betterment of the organization, the manager should try level best to resolve these challenges.