Managers

Every organisation needs someone who can support, administrate, and control other employees. Otherwise, the organisation will simply not function well. This person in business is called a manager. In 2002, Google tried to eliminate managers from their organisation stating that they are a company of 'engineers for engineers'. This experiment lasted only a couple of months, and Google realised that they need managers to help employees achieve the company's goals.

Managers Managers

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Table of contents

    Definition of managers

    Managers are responsible for achieving the goals and objectives of an organisation through managing its resources (human, financial, and operational). Managerial duties include, but are not limited to leading the team, setting objectives, analyzing performance, making decisions, and reviewing.

    Depending on the hierarchical level of a manager, the duty could be to manage an individual, a department or the whole business. What managers all have in common is that they have power, responsibility and influence over other employees. The main goal for managers in an organisation is to ensure that their managerial operations contribute towards organisational goals. Managers generally sit in a hierarchical structure, which usually involves three levels of manager, from top to bottom:

    • Top-level managers

    • Middle-level managers

    • Lower-level managers

    These management levels will be explained in more detail in one of the following sections.

    What is the role of a manager?

    A manager's role includes various duties that managers generally have to face regardless of their managerial level or their sector.

    The duties can be divided into the following categories :

    Setting objectives

    Managers must know the goal they aspire to achieve in the organisation, which will allow them to set effective objectives. Importantly, the set objectives must align with the company's corporate objectives. Additionally, managers must have interpersonal skills and be able to communicate these objectives to employees clearly and simply so that everyone understands them.

    Analyzing

    Part of the manager's role is the ability to analyze various organisational aspects. There are three main aspects that the majority of managers are required to analyze:

    • Analyzing the current situation of a business and applying this analysis when setting new objectives.

    • Analyzing employees' performance to ensure that they are working towards set targets, identifying areas that require improvement, and tracking that improvement.

    • Analyzing the extent to which the set objectives were met and the efficiency of working towards them.

    Leading

    The role of the manager is to be able to lead and motivate staff towards achieving set objectives. This should be done in a way that gives employees a clear direction on how they can accomplish their targets successfully. To do that, managers must have qualities, skills, or techniques that can inspire others. For example, managers can motivate employees using their natural leadership qualities such as charisma or inspiring staff by showing their achievements and personal journeys to achieve their managerial roles. Most importantly, good managers need to understand what management and leadership techniques are the most effective to manage staff successfully.

    Making decisions

    Managers must have confidence in making decisions, whether they are making decisions with regards to employees' daily tasks or making corporate decisions for the organisation. The types of decisions will depend on their managerial level in the organisation. They will often have to make decisions within set deadlines.

    Reviewing

    Managers must be able to review the outcomes of their decisions and the extent to which the set objectives were achieved. Managers must be able to review the decisions they made in great detail, helping them to make better decisions in the future. They should have the ability to identify mistakes and learn from them so that they can avoid them in the future.

    Managers role of a manager, StudySmarterFigure 1. The Role of a Manager, StudySmarter

    What are the types of managers?

    Managers hierarchical levels of managers, StudySmarterFigure 2. Hierarchical Levels of Managers

    There are three types of managers. Their types are differentiated by levels (see Figure 1). Starting from the bottom of the pyramid, they include:

    Lower-level managers

    This is the lowest level - also called 'entry-level' management. Their main managerial tasks include:

    • Supervision of employees' day-to-day duties.

    • Motivating and giving feedback to individual employees.

    • Reporting directly to middle managers who are one step above them in the hierarchy.

    In the company, these managers are called shift managers, supervisors, assistant managers and team leaders.

    Middle-level managers

    The middle-level managers are in the middle of the pyramid, between lower-level managers and top-level managers. They work as connectors between lower-level management and top-tier management, and vice versa. They are the communication bridge between the other two levels. Middle managers may be split into more levels depending on the size and nature of the organisation. Small organisations may have one level, whereas larger enterprises may have a few levels of middle management.

    Their responsibilities include:

    • Supervising tasks assigned to lower-level management or a department.
    • Communicating tasks and duties from top-level managers to lower-level managers.
    • Setting department-specific goals which are aligned with organisational goals.
    • Controlling departmental performance rather than individual performance.
    • Achieving set goals.

    In the company, these managers generally include department specialised managers such as marketing managers, sales managers, operations managers, finance managers. In a franchise, they are called branch managers.

    Top-level managers

    These managers are accountable to the Chief Executive Officers (CEO) or board directors. These managers are at the top of the organisation's hierarchy and are responsible for ensuring the company's success as a whole. These are the key responsibilities of top-level managers:

    • Preparing the organisation's strategic plans.

    • Setting corporate short-term and long-term organisational objectives.

    • Communicating organisational goals and strategic plans to middle managers.

    • Communicate with external partners and shareholders.

    In the company, these managers are called the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), etc.

    Chartered managers

    A top-level manager can gain the title of chartered manager, which is the highest managerial status through formal qualifications.

    A chartered manager has credentials, experience, and outstanding leadership and management skills. Chartered managers have higher salaries compared to other managers.

    How can you become a chartered manager?

    There are different routes to becoming a chartered manager. Firstly, taking a written examination. Managers must either have a degree, a professional qualification, or a high level of expertise in their field. They also have to complete an assessment and attend an interview to gain a recognised Chartered Institute of Management (CIM) certificate.

    What skills does a good manager have?

    Good managers have a broad skill set. These skills are split into two categories, hard and soft skills.

    Hard skills

    Hard skills include industry-specific skills such as IT and engineering skills. These are also called technical skills.

    Soft skills

    Soft skills are also called 'people' and 'interpersonal' skills. These skills are essential for managers regardless of the industry because managers are ultimately responsible for managing people.

    You can find many sets of soft skills that characterise a good manager, but there is a set of skills that all managers must have. They are:

    • Communication

    • Listening

    • Consistency and reliability

    • Motivational

    • Problem-solving

    • Emotional intelligence (EQ)

    Emotional intelligence

    Emotional intelligence (EQ - Emotional Quotient) is part of a soft skill set. EQ is important for managers to attain as it represents the ability to understand and manage their own emotions and other people's. We must be aware that this is a crucial skill to have in any workplace.

    Daniel Goleman is one of the key thinkers in emotional intelligence theory. This theory outlines that a manager must have four key competencies:

    • Self-awareness - Knowing and understanding your own emotions.

    • Self-management - Meaning managers can self-regulate their emotions so that their feelings do not affect their workflow. Additionally, managers need to be self-motivated, meaning that they set goals and work towards achieving them and motivate others by showing this example.

    • Social awareness - Knowing and understanding others' emotions. This means that managers can recognise employees 'and consumers' emotions. It helps managers in adjusting their communication style and selecting an appropriate management style.

    • Social skills - Management of other people's emotions, which means that managers can recognise others' emotions and have the ability to manage them. For example, a manager can recognise anger from an employee, and to resolve it, an emotionally intelligent manager will know how to adjust their communication style and encourage positive emotions.

    Managers - key takeaways

    • The manager is responsible for managing people in the organisation. Managers must make sure that employees know what they're doing and that organisational operations run smoothly.
    • The manager's role includes the includes: 1) Setting objectives 2) Analyzing 3) Leading 4) Making decisions 5) Reviewing.
    • Managers are split into three levels: Low-level managers, middle-level managers and top-level managers.
    • A chartered manager is the highest managerial status. It can be achieved through certification.
    • A good manager requires both hard and soft skills.
    • Soft skills are also called 'people' and 'interpersonal' skills. These are more general and are relevant to any manager regardless of the industry.
    Managers Managers
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    Frequently Asked Questions about Managers

    Who is a manager?

    Managers are responsible for achieving the goals and objectives of an organisation through managing its resources (human, financial, and operational). Managerial duties include, but are not limited to leading the team, setting objectives, analyzing performance, making decisions, and reviewing. 

    What makes a good manager?

    Good managers have a broad skill set. These skills are split into two categories, hard and soft skills.

    1. Hard skills

    Industry-specific skills

    2. Soft skills 
    • Communication

    • Listening

    • Consistency and reliability

    • Motivational

    • Problem-solving

    • Emotional intelligence (EQ)

    What does a manager do? 

    Lower-level managers do the following tasks.

    • Supervision of employees' day-to-day duties.

    • Motivating and giving feedback to individual employees.

    • Reporting directly to middle managers who are one step above them in the hierarchy.

    What is a manager's role? 

    The manager's role includes the includes: 1) Setting objectives 2) Analyzing 3) Leading 4) Making decisions 5) Reviewing.

    Test your knowledge with multiple choice flashcards

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