Managerial and Supervisory Roles
The availability of resources affect all organisations in various ways, all organisations require resources in order to trade. Resources can vary from technological resources such as computers and machinery to human resources – the workers/staff. Managers are responsible for utilising these resources in the most efficient and effective manner, the more resources a manager has to work with the better they are likely to be able to carry out their role in the workplace.
Different management techniques are used depending on the availability of resources, for example in an organisation where there are very limited resources, managers will used techniques such as cost cutting and increasing motivation among the workforce in order to increase productivity. Whereas in an organisation that has access to many resources, managers are likely to increase levels of investment. Investing in machinery and highly skilled labour are the quickest and probably most effective method increasing productivity, but these require a large amount of resources which not all organisations have access to.
Common functions of managers/supervisors: Planning Planning is one of the fundamental tasks involved in a management role; it is influenced and affected by objectives, structure and availability of resources in an organisation as explained below: The effect of resources and culture on planning The way in which organisations plan can vary tremendously, however all plans tend to prepare for the future of the organisation and set out how best to make use of the resources available. For example, an organisation with limited resources is likely to plan especially carefully and consider all possible choices. This is because there are fewer resources to utilise, so the resources that are available must be used in the most effective way possible.
The culture of the organisation also equally effects the planning. For example, in task culture where teams tend to develop, each team can approach the management team with problems in their team that can be corrected through better planning. Whereas in power culture only a few people at the top of the organisation make decisions and they may not be fully aware of the best type of planning needed, as they are oblivious to possible problems occurring in individual teams.
The effect of structure on planning
The structure of an organisation can also effect the planning of an organisation. For example, In an hierarchical structure it is likely that many meetings will have to take place in order to construct plans as there are many managers and different levels and departments, this can be time consuming. Whereas in a flat structure where there are fewer management levels, communication can take place more quickly therefore enabling planning to commence more swiftly.
Four main types of planning used by managers/supervisors: Strategic planning – this is primarily used for long term planning; managers discuss and decided where they want to take the organisation and how they plan to do this. This form of planning also helps managers and the senior team to construct aims, which can then be broke down into objectives for each department within the organisation. Strategic planning answers the fundamental questions that must be answered in order for an organisation to achieve its aims and objectives. Located on the next page is a diagram illustrating strategic planning:
Action planning – This type of planning basically transforms aims and objectives into everyday actions/tasks, which should be completed on a weekly, monthly and annually basis. It would be a manager’s duty to construct these practical actions, which would ultimately complete the aims and objectives of the organisation. This also gives managers the ability to review and analyse the succession of the instructed actions, so for example if the actions have made little progress in the first month and are not on target with completing the aims/objectives, then the actions need to be amended.
Tactical planning – this form of planning prepares an organisation for the ever-changing effects of the external environment. It is designed to enable businesses to respond to changes quickly and effectively. It is likely that managers use tactical planning in order to prepare themselves for situations that could cause their organisation difficulties. Tactical planning often depends on competitors, for example a small organisation that is unable to be price competitive needs to be aware of larger competitors who could force them out of the market by lowering prices to a point where the small organisations can no longer make a profit.
Contingency planning – certain managers are given the responsibility to construct a contingency plan, this basically sets out what should happen in the event of an emergency, as the organisation needs to be able to continue trading otherwise they could face a big loss. Events such as fires or bomb threats can completely ruin an organisation if there is a poor contingency plan. Major corporations around the world invest heavily into contingency planning in order to ensure that they would be affected as minimal as possible. For example, major international banks have invested into back-up systems, which can prevent vital data from being lost, separate offices have also been set up to enable employees to work in a different building if needed.
Once all the plans have been arranged, managers have the task of ensuring sufficient resources are put into place to ensure the plans are achievable. When organising, it is important to decide who is best what which job and to ensure the workload is evenly spread out among employees. It is also significant that employees know exactly what they need to do how to do it; it is a mangers duty to instruct this accurately. An organised manager will put together a good team to carry out the project given, and meet the deadline set as well as covering all the aspects within the project.