Tag Archives: Management Functions

Management Functions That Will Keep Your Business on Track

What is management? To understand management, firstly, the true meaning of management must be understood. A business combines several functions at small and large scales to execute a common goal through strategies that are not ideal, but effective for the success of the business in the long term.

Several business functions include:

  • Utilizing Resources
  • Managing Resources
  • Coordinating Activities
  • Selling Products
  • Offering Services
  • Creating Jobs
  • Preparing Budgets, Forecasts and Financial Accounting
  • Payroll Activities
  • Human Resource Activities

All the above functions of the business need a force to bind them together. This binding force of the functions of the business is known as management. Management is commonly explained as an art that coordinates people’s efforts to achieve goals and aims of a business using the resources available efficiently.

Management brings discipline to a business environment. It combines the functions of organizing, planning, controlling, formulating policies and steering a firm’s resources in the right direction to achieve the policy’s objectives.

One of the most important management functions these days is organizational development (OD). With a fast change in technology, people’s intellect, and the world moving towards scarce resources, an organization must properly organize itself to use every resource to its benefit rather than wasting it.

Organizational development takes notice of the changing management needs of a business and tries to cope with them and ensuring that the needs are met immediately. Organizational development is a business process that involves efforts to change people’s attitudes, relationship styles, belief systems etc. for collective benefit of the employees and the organization.

Organizational development was previously categorized as HR function but recently the relative importance of this function has made a separately recognized function. OD is regarded as a strategic business management function that executes various roles in a business.

  • It ensures a balanced organizational climate.

The OD management function helps structuralize the organization and educating the employees with the art of multi-tasking. It helps reduce the number of people or employees by using technology making the production or work process more efficient.It encourages teamwork and train managers to treat the business as their own asset adopting appropriate leadership styles at all levels. Periodic training and effective communication are some of the other roles of the OD function.

  • Installation of PMS – Performance Management Systems

This involves setting clear parameters for performance through job targets, policies and procedures and making these performance levels known. Informing about inadequate performance, warnings and ensuring supply of essential resources is key to efficiency.

  • Minding the cash outflow by:

o   ensuring resource accountability, reviewing and monitoring the pattern of resource utilization and eliminating wastage

o   use of latest technology to execute tasks that prove cost and energy efficient

o   developing the thinking of managers and executives to adopt cost efficient  ways of achieving the goal

o   Identifying employees that contribute to increasing costs and monitor their attitudes and behavior during work hours, and counseling them as a cost reduction initiative

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HR Tools for All Businesses

Human Resources is one of the most difficult departments to handle in a business. It has a lot of aspects to it and its assets, the employees, are the key to the whole organization. Good HR management techniques can make or break the entire organization!

There are some tools available online that can greatly help facilitate the HR processes in order to smoothly run the whole department.

Employee Cost Calculator

This calculator requires you to set the default expenses that incur for each employee. These include the equipments cost, the training costs and many other recruitment costs. While hiring the employee, you can either simply put in the numbers or use the default ones to calculate how much the employee is going to cost you exactly.

While this may seem like an unnecessary tool, it is not. At the time of hiring, there are so many aspects to consider that you usually forget a cost or two before calculating the hourly rate for your employee. These small miscalculations, as a whole, can cost you a lot more than you can imagine. This is why it is advisable to keep an Employee Cost Calculator in hand when hiring new employees.

Federal Poster Advisor

The U.S. Department of Labor requires all businesses to put up posters for related laws and regulations across the organization for all employees. The Federal Poster Advisor can help you identify the compulsory posters that you need for your office and provide you with a printable download version of them.

All you have to do is input some relevant details about your business to allow the tool to provide you with a list of posters that apply to your business sector. These posters can include ones for:

  • Equal Employment Opportunity
  • Employee Polygraph Protection Act
  • Fair Labor Standards and Minimum Wage
  • Family and Medical Leave Act

This tool is an excellent method of employing the rules and regulations set by the U.S. Department of Labor without having penalty imposed on your business.

Interview Questions Generator

No matter how expert you are at taking interviews, you can still miss out on important questions that may help you assess the prospective employee candidate for your organization. To help you out, you can use the Interview Questions Generator that has a built in set of questions that can help you assess the potential employee on a number of aspects including:

  • Leadership Skills
  • Teamwork Attitude
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  • Out of the Box Thinking Skills
  • Analytical Skills

Only a good interview, that helps evaluate the prospective employee from all angles, can help you find the ideal candidate for the job on offer.

Salary Benchmarking Tool

This tool helps you find out just how much the salary is being offered for a particular job position in different states of U.S. Using this tool, you can get a compensation report and an hourly rate report for a number of different job positions from a library covering over 800 positions in the U.S. Once you know the popular benchmark, you can easily set your own salary rate for the position at your organization.

Motivating Employees for More Productivity

Motivating employees is one of the key tasks of the human resource department of any business. What most business owners and human resource managers fail to realize is that the aim is not to motivate people but to create an environment which instills motivation in all employees.

Letting Employees Use their Own Creativity

The traditional methods of financial rewards and extreme control by HR managers are likely to fail in today’s environment, where innovation and creativity are extreme necessities. What managers need to do to motivate people is allow them to use their strengths the way they think is best and make them genuinely interested in their work. One of the best ways of doing it is structuring the task at hand in a way that each employee can work using his personal style, without having to adapt much or fear punishment in case of failure.

For example, if you think that a particular employee is more of a follower than a leader, then, assign him tasks with set guidelines, where little or no innovation is required. If you feel that a particular employee will excel more as a leader, giving him a task with restrictions will most likely cause friction and result in failure. Instead, give him a more managerial task, where result is more important than the journey to the result and where he or she can innovate and put his or her ideas to test.

Hygiene and Motivational Factors

Furthermore, there are many other factors that help motivate employees. These can be divided in two groups: hygiene factors and motivational factors. The hygiene factors are important in a way that if they are not present, the employee will feel demotivated but on their own, they result in little motivation. This means that in spite of the presence of all the hygiene factors, there are likely to be situations where the motivation is below expected levels. These hygiene factors include salary, benefits, physical working environment, job status and job security.

These hygiene factors are all superficial and cannot contribute so much in motivating employees. What really makes the employees truly dedicated is work itself. If the work has little or no value, the employee will feel demotivated. The employees need to feel that his or her work is important to the organization and their contribution matters. They should feel that they are being given responsibility and acknowledged for all work done.

Let the Employees Grow

Furthermore, employees expect growth, not only in terms of financial salary and job status, but also in terms of work assigned. For example, if an employee has always been given a low level, basic task, he or she should gradually be assigned to a more difficult task that requires more skills and effort. This will make the employee feel important and recognized. It makes them feel productive and motivates them to work harder.

Materialistic factors like job status and salary can motivate employees to only an extent. What will really drive and motivate them to work harder and be more productive is their genuine love for the work that they do. Assign employees the work that they enjoy doing and reward them with growth prospects and acknowledgments. These motivational factors will go a long way in encouraging employees than the traditional hygiene factors.

Human Resource and Performance Appraisal

Performance appraisal is the evaluation of the employees, based on their work done, to assess their future potential and reward them for their work. Performance appraisal usually creates friction between employees and human resource departments because the employees feel judged by the HR managers. This behavior defeats the entire purpose of performance appraisal and if your employees feel resentment towards it, then it means you are doing something wrong.

The main aim of performance appraisal is the development of the employee as a worker. It should be more of an act of constructive criticism than a form of condemnation and punishment.

Clarify the Purpose

The first thing that HR managers should do as part of the performance appraisal is to clarify the employees about the main aim of it. They should clearly convey that the appraisal is going to be done so that feedback could be provided on how the employees can improve their work and can be rewarded accordingly. Moreover, employees should know well beforehand about the criteria along which they will be judged so that they can work accordingly.

Avoid Formal Appraisal Process

The appraisal process should not be very formal either. A formal appraisal process reflects itself as a judgment rather than an improvisation process. Also, an employee should be appraised not only by the ultimate seniors and the HR department but also by their immediate seniors, team members and juniors. This provides an overall assessment of the employee as a worker of the organization. This also ensures that the employee is not only a good subordinate but also a good leader and a co-worker.

Assessment Based on Achievements

Yet another good way of conducting performance appraisals is assessing on the basis of the achievement of objectives. This method is more appropriate for modern times, where innovation and creativity hold more value than following a set of commands. In this method, the employee should be assessed on the basis of how well he or she achieved the objective of the task, how productive they were and how they managed to use the set amount of resources. This allows the employee to really shine through using their set of strengths rather than being forced to do the usual. This also allows the organization as a whole to achieve productivity and innovation.

Encouragement is Better than Criticism

Where, an appraisal resulting in a good evaluation of an employee should be rewarded with appropriate awards and benefits, a bad appraisal result should not be heavily criticized. If you feel that a particular employee failed to prove himself, criticizing him and punishing him is not the right way to do. Instead, you should offer them training and guidance opportunities where they can learn about their strengths and can improve where they lack behind. Being harsh and passing on destructive criticism will not only demotivate the employee but will also create an aura of fear in other employees as well.

Performance appraisal is a sensitive task. It can make or break your business’s entire human resource. The way it is being conducted in the past has given it a negative image of a way to punish and criticize employees rather than an opportunity to improvise.