Effective Managerial Skills Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1806 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Management

¶ … Managerial Skills

The identification of effective managerial skills has been the subject about which literally thousands of books have been written. The perusal of any bookstore reveals that managerial skills are as varied as they are complex and it would be difficult to attempt to write with any depth about the wide number of skills necessary. Consequently, this paper will mainly be focused on communication, management/supervision and employee development. These subjects were selected to identify major skill groups that effective managers must possess to hire, manage and improve the performance of employees. These skills are absolutely essential for any manager who wants to be successful and yet, the fact that it is important to continue discussing and elaborating on them makes it clear that they are difficult to learn and to use.

Communication Skills

Every manager should possess effective communication skills because being able to share information, give direction and provide feedback are such essential components of a manager's job. Managers must be able to both provide information and be effective listeners to assure that the messages that being conveyed are also being received by their target audience. In addition, managers must learn to read body language and other non-verbal communication cues so they can more fully understand the full measure of information that is being directed towards them from subordinates and from senior levels of management.

Interviewing Skills

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One of the most important communication skills that a manager can use deals with the interview process wherein s/he makes decisions about whether to bring someone into the organization based on the information that is gathered from the interviews and resumes of the applicants. "Despite its regularity, interviewing, formally and informally, is often not done well. Some personnel specialists think that typical employment interviews do almost nothing to improve and indeed even sometimes reduce the chances of selecting effective employees."

Term Paper on Effective Managerial Skills Assignment

Hambrick 79) Therefore, managers must be trained to develop their personal interviewing skills and practice asking questions in a way that elicits the more relevant information possible.

Explaining Job Requirements

Once an employee has been hired, it is the job of the manager to assure that the new employee fully understands what the organization expects from a person in the position not just in terms of productivity but in terms of interactions within the organization involving myriad aspects. This can involve explaining quality expectations, productivity levels and reporting structures. One example of the job requirements that managers will need to explain to virtually every new employee is the idiosyncrasies and/or peculiarities of the company so that employees can become quickly acclimated and to reduce the overall time that is required for the new employee to make an impact. Part of this skill involves assuring that the employee understands what is expected and confirms that the employee understands. This 'give-and-take' process is not simply a function of talking to the employee but involves asking questions, providing clarification and practicing good listening.

Conducting Training to Ensure Jobs are Completed Correctly

Depending on the size of the organization, an employee may be trained by a training specialist or the manager may be responsible for providing the necessary instruction for the job prior to the employee joining the business unit. In either case, the manager will eventually need to provide additional instruction about the nature of the job to the new employee. This is true regardless of the effectiveness of the formalized corporate training because many business units have their own policies regarding specific issues that are not covered in the general corporate training course. Beyond that, the employees will need to understand specifically how they fit into the structural unit for which the manager is responsible. As managers take the time to train employees adequately, it will prevent problems and costs that naturally occur when training is neglected.

Listening to Employees

Perhaps one of the most vital communication skills that are often neglected is the art of listening. Managers that do not listen effectively to their employees are missing out on a significant amount of information that could prove critical. "A large amount has been written and said about listening skills over the years. The very common errors are well-known, such as interrupting the respondent. That physically as well as mentally prevents the respondent from conveying information to the interviewer."

Hambrick 91) Managers should take the time to listen carefully to issues raised by employees to assure that they are not missing out on important feedback. Beyond that, managers should be listening to the responses that employees give to verify whether instructions have been received correctly. Therefore, listening is a crucial skill that managers need to dedicate themselves to improving.

Management/Supervision

Managers have a special stewardship for the people, resources and mission for which they have been charged. This responsibility requires that managers give special consideration to assure that waste is minimized or eliminated and that tactics are employed and measured to assure that the area over which they are responsible is cost effective and efficient. Some of the special skills that managers need to employ involve resource allocation techniques, delegation and follow-through as well as utilizing metrics to track their units' performance in these areas.

Appropriate Allocation of Resources

Allocating resources does not simply refer to making sure the necessary materials for a specific job are in place but takes in other considerations as well. Allocating resources includes effectively distributing time, personnel and skill sets as well as assuring that appropriate materials are available for completing the task at hand. This is a complex skill that requires assessment and judgment so that waste and redundancy are not incurred.

Delegation and Follow-Through

Delegation and follow-through are bookends to the job assignment process. Without the presence of either one, the mission often fails and time is wasted. Managers also rely on these skills because they simply cannot do all of the work themselves. "The appropriate degrees of delegation must be clearly laid down, as well as the mechanisms for monitoring any delegated responsibilities. These should be recorded so that there is no ambiguity and the processes are accepted by all the parties involved." (Jackson and Donovan 145) but in addition to assuring that work gets done is the added benefit of helping employees to further develop. This is a potent technique for building up employees and for developing trust and cooperation between the manager and his/her staff members.

Using Metrics

One of the most powerful tools in a manager's toolbox is measurement. Processes that are measured have a dramatically higher chance for success than processes for which no measurements have been put in place. But measuring requires critical analysis of the processes or events that are being monitored. "The real issue is to find and use measures that really link operational causes to strategic effects." (Stankard 192) by finding the appropriate measurements and closely monitoring the events that impact the numbers, managers can significantly influence the work that goes on in their area of influence.

Assuring Compliance with Safety, Corporate and Other Rules and Regulations

Aside from overall responsibility for the work product delivered by the units for which a manager is responsible is the role that s/he must play as 'enforcer.' Managers are the de facto police officers of their units ensuring that compliance with safety, corporate and other regulations are followed. Managers can incur serious corporate and sometimes legal repercussions for failure to comply with standards (especially legal standards) that are required within a work environment. Therefore, managers must make it a priority to understand what the applicable regulations are for their areas and explain them to employees. Once the business group has been informed, managers should also complete thorough documentation so that they can prove they have provided the appropriate information to the employees.

Employee Development

Working to assure that employees are developed is an extremely important role that a manager plays within an organization. Employee development is not simply a benefit for the workers, but is an essential function that organizations need to have in place. The continual development of a workforce that understands and in many cases is capable of performing higher level functions is a quality that makes organizations dynamic, competitive and quick moving. Thus, "training employees... should be a high priority for all managers." (Sims 190)

Preparing Employees for Additional Responsibilities

Managers can help employees prepare for additional responsibilities by assuring that workers have the opportunity to complete higher level assignments. Such assignments should be carefully delegated and followed-through to assure that the work gets done and to assure that the employee understands the importance of the task. In many companies this is referred to empowerment. but, "Empowerment does not mean simply giving employees more authority. Rather, it is a commitment to training employees to assume leadership roles." (Henderson 226) One method for implementing such a strategy is to help employees develop a career map. This tool can be used by the manager to better understand what employees want to accomplish long-term and as a result,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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