Everything you need to know about the principles of directing. Direction is the sum total of managerial efforts that is applied for guiding and inspiring the sub-ordinates to make better accomplishments in the organization.
It is concerned with the motivate, leadership, supervision and commanding of sub-ordinates and securing their best cooperation. It is an art which is learned from a long experience. But there are certain principles also which should be observed by management in direction of its subordinates.
Management is an ‘art’ and directing being a managerial function becomes effective only with experience and practice. Of course, there are certain guiding principles of directing which help a manager to follow the process of directing.
Principles of directing are classified into:-
1. Principles Relating to the Purpose of Organization 2. Principles Relating to the Process of Organization.
Principles Relating to the purpose of organization are further classified into:- i. Principle of Maximum Individual Contribution ii. Principle of Harmony of Objectives iii. Principle of Efficiency of Direction.
Principles Relating to the process of organization are further classified into:- i. Principle of Unity of Command ii. Principle of Direct Supervision iii. Principle of Suitability of Direction Technique iv. Principle of Managerial Communication v. Principle of Leadership vi. Principle of Follow Up.
Some of the other principles of directing are:- i. Use of Informal Organization ii. Effective Communication System iii. Balance between Individual Objectives and Organizational Objectives iv. Maximising the Employee Productivity v. Feed-Forward and Feedback vi. Integrated and Comprehensive Approach vii. Controllability viii. Free Exchange and Interchange of Information ix. Motivate, Enthuse and Enthrall x. Lead by Example.
Principles of Directing: Techniques, Unity of Command, Harmony of Objectives, Direct Supervision, Leadership and a Few Others
Principles of Directing – Maximum Individual Contribution, Harmony of Objectives, Unity of Command, Use of Informal Organization, Managerial Leadership and a Few Others
There are certain principles to be followed that makes directing more effective and meaningful in an organisation.
These principles are detailed below:
1. Maximum Individual Contribution:
This principle means that management should motivate and encourage employees to utilise their maximum intellectual and/or physical capacity in an organisation that also contributes to meeting organisational objectives. For example in Apple Computers employees were given the freedom to design and develop innovative products that motivated employees continued working in the company even when the company was not doing well financially until 2012.
2. Harmony of Objectives:
This principle implies that there should be harmony of personal or individual goals and organisational goals for effective direction. For example, a firm plans to introduce a new phone targeted towards the high-income customer segment. The organisational goal would be directed towards generating revenues whereas employees’ goals would be directed towards meeting deadlines and identifying suitable delivery mechanisms. Both organisational and employees’ goals can be directed harmoniously to create a business image and to remain viable in a competitive market.
3. Unity of Command:
Following the scalar principle, there should be a clear line of communication across superiors and subordinates for direction to be effective. This further implies that subordinates should be directed by only one superior. For example- a supervisor at a computer firm oversees the work of a computer assembling team and directs them with relevant guidance and instructions.
The supervisor also reports to one superior who is the head of the department managing different supervisors working at different business units. Subordinates reporting to multiple superiors could lead to conflicts in direction compromising accountability and efficiency.
4. Use of Informal Organization:
This principle means that there must be free flow of information from top-level of management to its consecutive levels of management. As the previous principle of unity of command focuses on command from the supervisor to their subordinates, it should also involve flow of information which can be a combination of formal and informal communication.
Among the two ways of communication, informal communication can strengthen the formal communication between supervisors and their subordinates or employees working under them. It creates a sense of team-work, belongingness and comfort that can make subordinates to be productive.
5. Effective Communication System:
This principle suggests the prevalence of mutual communication between superiors and subordinates, wherein subordinates express their ideas, concerns or issues related to operations. This principle also attempts to bring about a sense of security and responsibility especially among subordinates.
6. Managerial Leadership:
Managerial leadership should be effective in direction, so that they could facilitate positive influence within an organisation and achieve organisational goals /objectives. A good leadership involves providing suitable directions by the management to the employees that encourages a sense of ownership towards work while also maintaining mutual respect and integrity.
7. Appropriateness of Direction Techniques:
Direction is most effective if it uses appropriate techniques like supervision, delegation of authority, motivation, issuing clear instructions, etc. These techniques should be utilised in accordance to the situation and the subordinates involved in that situation should be able to achieve maximum results.
8. Follow through:
According to this principle, the policies and procedures formulated by the organisation should be monitored thoroughly by the (top) management. Within a set framework of objectives, employees are expected to be efficient and productive. They should follow and adhere to instructions and guidelines pre-deter- mined by the management.
Principles of Directing – Principles Relating to the Purpose of Organization and Principles Relating to the Process of Organization
Direction is the sum total of managerial efforts that is applied for guiding and inspiring the sub-ordinates to make better accomplishments in the organization. It is concerned with the motivate, leadership, supervision and commanding of sub-ordinates and securing their best cooperation. It is an art which is learned from a long experience. But there are certain principles also which should be observed by management in direction of its subordinates.
These all principles can be divided into two parts:
(A) Principles Relating to the Purpose of Organization:
1. Principle of Maximum Individual Contribution:
Every business organization has a common objective the accomplishment of which requires hard labour and sustained efforts on the part of those engage in the operations of the business. So, management should devise such a technique of direction as will make a useful contribution in inspiring the employees to the achievement of the common goal.
2. Principle of Harmony of Objectives:
It is the duty of the management to bring about co-ordination of individual motives of the personnel working in the organization with the enterprise goals. Henry Fayol laid stress on the fact that common interest must prevail over individual interest, but some factors like ambitions, laziness, weakness and other land to reduce the importance of general interest.
3. Principle of Efficiency of Direction:
This principle calls for the use of appropriate techniques of direction, effective system of transmission, efficient and farsighted leadership as well as the prevalence of effective supervision.
(B) Principles Relating to the Process of Organization:
1. Principle of Unity of Command:
This principle requires that an employee should receive orders from one superior only. This violation of this principle creates dual command, mutual conflict and mis-management in the detrimental to the profitable conduct of the business.
2. Principle of Direct Supervision:
According to the principle, the supervisor should himself supervise the work of those working under him in order to ensure prompt and timely action.
3. Principle of Appropriateness of Direction Technique:
An appropriate technique should be adopted by the management with a view to ensuring an effective direction of personnel. There are three common techniques at the disposal of the management – (i) consultative, (ii) Free-region and (iii) autocratic. They should be used according to circumstances.
4. Principle of Managerial Communication:
The success of direction depends to a large extent upon an efficient and effective system of communication existing between the executive and his subordinates. Hence, the importance of this principle is obvious.
5. Principle of Comprehension:
This principle assumes importance primarily because of the fact that what is heard and how much is understood is more important than what is said and how it is said while adhering to this principle it is essential for the management to make provision for a proper feedback system of communication as also confirmation of the management to the sub-ordinates.
6. Principle of Flow of Information:
This principle signifies that the efficacy of direction is largely dependent upon the flow of information and the efficiency with which it is disseminated among those for whom it is meant, the use of both formal and informal channels of communication will prove to be extremely useful to management in the accomplishment of this principle.
7. Principle of Leadership:
The purpose of direction is to get the work done by and through the efforts of organizational personnel and it is feasible only in a situation when the employees voluntarily adhere to the policies formulated by the management. Hence, arrangements should be made to facilitate the leadership position of the manager.
8. Principle of Strategic use in Formal Organization:
Through the existence of informal groups is contrary to the basic policy of the management, yet management should identify such groups recognize the dignity of such groups and make their use constructively in the attainment of enterprise goals.
9. Principle of Follow Through:
The task of management does not end with the formulation of policies by the management. In addition, it is the prime responsibility of management to see how far and to what extent the policies laid down by it, are being followed by the sub-ordinates. Hence, the significance of this principle cannot be exaggerated.
Principles of Directing – 6 Important Principles of Directing: Harmony of Objectives, Unity of Command, Unity of Direction, Direct Supervision, Direct Supervision and Follow-Up
Directing should be in such a way that the individuals can integrate their objectives with the organizational objectives. Through direction function managers are able to resolve the conflict between individual goals and organizational objectives. Thus, synchronization of varied objectives is a must to secure maximum prosperity for the employers as well as for the employees.
This principle states a subordinate should receive orders and be accountable to one and only one boss at a time i.e., it signifies a unified system of orders, instructions, guidance etc. for issuing command or direction. This principle is based on the premise that a man cannot shoulder dual or multiple commands. Therefore, dual sub-ordination should be avoided unless and until it is absolutely essential.
Unity of direction states that there should be one head and one plan which means that there should be one plan for a group of activities having the same objective. In other words, the activities that have same objective should be directed by only one manager under one plan, to ensure unity of action and sound organization structure. It should be noted, however, that unity of direction and unity of command are not the same thing.
When superior direct the subordinates with face to face communication it is known as direct supervision. Direction becomes more effective when there is direct personal contact between the superior and his subordinates.
It helps to increase the morale of employees and it helps to develop quick feedback and necessary information. Subordinates feel happy and a sense of participation is inculcated in them if the superiors maintain direct contact with their sub-ordinates.
Leadership is the process of influencing individuals to achieve the goals of the organization. Democratic leadership, also known as participative leadership, in which group members take a more participative role in the decision-making process. A good leader is one who has respect for the opinion & views of the followers.
He should ensure their participation in matters relating to their job, functioning, working environment etc. increases the efficiency of the subordinates. As a result, superiors can secure willing participation from the subordinates for accomplishment of organizational goals.
Direction is a continuous managerial process. It involves constant and continuous supervision, counselling, advice, instructions etc. in the employees’ activities. Merely issuing orders is not sufficient but management should find out whether the subordinates are working according to the orders or not. Thus, in order to make direction effective, executives and managers should not only instruct their subordinates but follow up the work.
Principles of Directing – 9 Important Principles of Directing
Managers have to direct the subordinates towards organisational objectives and goals. Therefore, first managers have to understand the goals properly. In fact, the wise managers direct the subordinates even in formulating organisational objectives and goals.
The principles of direction are:
Principle # (i) Balance between Individual Objectives and Organizational Objectives:
Organisational objectives, goals and strategies are prime for the survival and development of not only the company but the individual employees of the company. But the objectives of individual employees, sometimes may not contribute to the achievement of organisational goals. In fact, some of the individual goals contradict organisational objectives.
For example, some employees dealing with the suppliers of materials, market intermediaries and finance intermediaries maximize their personal income even though it costs the organisation through unethical practices; contradict the achievement of organisational objectives. In such cases, the managers have to mould the employee needs through counseling and change the individual objectives towards the organisational objectives.
It does not mean that always the individuals have to modify their goals to suit them to organisational goals. The organisations do also modify their objectives/goals to suit with the employees’ skills, knowledge attitude.
For example, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited postponed its computerization programme due to non-availability of suitable personnel from 1997 to 1999. Thus, both the individual and organisational objectives are to be balanced with each other for their effective achievement.
Principle # (ii) Unity of Command:
The principle of unity of command implies that the subordinates should receive the orders and instructions from only one superior in order to avoid the confusion and uniformity of the orders and instructions.
But this principle is regarded as a traditional principle during these days of competition and team work. Members in the team receive orders from more than one member, balance the conflicting orders and prioritise them before implementation. This leads to selection of the best ideas and implement them,
Principle # (iii) Effective Communication:
Direction is ordering and instructing subordinates. Ordering and instructing the subordinates is possible through efficient communication. In addition, counselling the subordinates, telling them how to do job etc. can be done through effective communication.
Principle # (iv) Leading the People:
Leading is influencing the people. Leadership is the process whereby one individual influences other members of the group towards the attainment of defined group or organisational goals. Thus most part of direction involves leading the people.
Principle # (v) Maximising the Employee Productivity:
Human resources of the employees can be effectively used only through direction. Otherwise, the skills and knowledge of the employees may not be used for the right purpose. The efficient use of human resources would in turn result in efficient use of all other resources like material, machines and money. This in turn results in maximisation of employee productivity.
Principle # (vi) Direct Supervision:
Every manager should supervise their subordinates face-to-face and through direct contact. This in turn avoids misunderstanding and enhances proper understanding between the superior and subordinates. Further, this enhances employee loyalty, commitment and a sense of belongingness.
Principle # (vii) Feed-Forward and Feedback:
Managers while directing with their subordinates provide the information necessary to prevent the possible deviations in the process of achievement of organisational objectives. Thus, most part of the direction is to feed the information forward to the subordinates through counseling and instructions.
Some deviations take place even though management takes all possible care. Then managers find the reasons for failure from the subordinates and suggest the means for correcting events and ensure that such deviations will not take place in the future.
Principle # (viii) Integrated and Comprehensive Approach:
Strategy is an integrated and comprehensive plan that relates to the strategic advantages of the firm to the challenges of the environment. It is designed to ensure that the basic objectives of the enterprise are achieved through proper execution by the organisation. Direction integrates money, material, machines and human resources. This integrated approach enables the managers to implement the strategies and in turn achieve the organisational goals.
Principle # (ix) Controllability:
Managers plan the activities, organise various resources and facilities and induce the employees to achieve the organisational goals. Sometimes, the employees may fail to achieve the goals. In such cases, the managers find the reasons for variation between plan and actual and order the employees to correct the deviations and exert their resources for achievement of these objectives.
Managers direct their employees through- (i) Motivation (ii) Leading (iii) Communicating. Effective direction leads to high employee morale and job satisfaction.
Principles of Directing – Principles Relating to Purpose of Direction and to the Process of Direction
Effective direction is an art which is acquired by experience, hard labour and with open mind. However, the manager follows certain well-defined and time-tasted principles in giving direction to their men.
The principles of direction have been broadly divided under the following two parts:
A. Principles relating to purpose of direction.
B. Principles relating to process of direction.
Principles relating to purpose of direction are related to the attainment of the objectives of the enterprise which needs willing and full co-operation of all responsible for the same.
These principles are divided into the following three groups:
(1) Principles of maximum individual contribution.
(2) Principle of harmony of objectives.
(3) Principle of efficiency.
(1) Principle of Maximum Individual Contribution:
From every individual worker co-operation is sought. It may also come of its own provided human relations are maintained properly and workers sentiments respected. On this, largely depends the co-operation which comes of its own.
Maximum individual contribution is ensured when co-operation is coming of its own. On inspiring direction also depends the maximum individual contribution. An inspiring direction creates a team spirit. It helps the workers to understand and appreciate the problem of management.
It helps in creating self-confidence among workers. Then every worker tries to give his best to the organisation. Obviously then inspiring direction begets co-operation which helps the workers most and helps management in attaining the objectives of the enterprise.
(2) Principle of Harmony of Objectives:
Every individual is assigned a particular work with a responsibility to accomplish it. But the enterprise functions with the main aim of maximising its profit. The workers on the other hand are interested in seeing that their interest in the enterprise is well safeguarded and adequately looked into.
These enlists maximum co-operation. These two main objectives of the management and the workers should have to be harmonised in order to get better results from the work and working force. The direction strikes a balance between these two objectives.
(3) Principle of Efficiency of Direction:
An efficient direction is supposed to be that direction which is acceptable to the working force without much of dissent and dissatisfaction. If a direction is efficient the cost will come down, and production and productivity both will increase, profit may go up and ultimate consumers may get the product at the cheaper rate.
Principles relating to the process of direction refer to those principles following which direction proves effective and result yielding. In other words, these principles prescribe certain process of direction, if followed may prove to be advantageous both to the workers and to the management.
An efficient direction is that which:
(a) Enlists maximum co-operation from the working force
(b) Helps in reducing cost of production and increasing the production and the productivity.
(c) Is acceptable to all without much of discount, and
(d) Serves the interest of both the workers as well as of the enterprise.
All these can be achieved by the following principles which are as follows:
(1) Principle of unity of command.
(2) Principle of direct supervision
(3) Principle of suitability of direction technique.
(4) Principle of managerial communication.
(5) Principle of leadership.
(6) Principle of follow up.
(1) Principle of Unity of Command:
This principle is very important for the direction and it is equally important for the whole of the enterprise. Command must come from one executive. Such a command should be easily understood and digested. It need not irk the workers.
Workers should come to know from one of the executives what and how to accomplish. If there is no unity of command, duplication and ambiguity may creep into the whole fibre putting the efforts of direction into simple mess.
This is not all but this may create indiscipline and disharmony. Therefore, the management would like to have such an atmosphere in his organisation, which may bring the principles of unity of command.
(2) Principle of Direct Supervision:
Direct supervision by the executive and his direct advice on the spot will boost the morale of the worker, resulting into renewed and vigorous efforts. Loyalty can be easily enlisted by direct supervision. This will make the atmosphere in the organisation more congenial and trustworthy. This will definitely yield result for both the management as well as the managed.
(3) Principle of Suitability of Direction Technique:
Techniques are very important in accomplishing a task. If techniques are appropriate according to time, nature and circumstances, then they are helpful in achieving the stated goals and defined objectives.
Direction usually aims at the following:
(a) Proper and satisfactory accomplishment of the assigned work,
(b) Advising the worker on what and how to accomplish the assigned work,
(c) The policy of non-interference in the working if workers are doing well, and
(d) Eliciting the maximum co-operation from the workers.
These aims can be achieved and the work in the organisation may go on smoothly provided suitable directional technique is adopted and it is ensured that the technique so adopted will be acceptable to workers and will be able to attain the aims set before it.
(4) Principle of Managerial Communication:
A good system of communication between the executive and his subordinates ensure the success and efficiency of direction. Communication is an instrument of direction, supervision and advice on the one hand and solution of problems on the other.
(5) Principle of Leadership:
Men want to be led. They want an executive who is not interested only in getting the work done but who is also interested in seeing through the problems of these who are working with him. A good leadership commands respect and unquestioned loyalty. He does not seek co-operation but co-operation comes to him. A good leadership wins over the confidence of the working force, an essential element for any process of direction.
(6) Principle of Follow Up:
Direction once given should not be taken for granted that no deviation may be there. Deviations are there. Direction ignored indicates failure. For avoiding such as situation it is necessary that the manager should see that directions are being carried out.
For this regular follow up action is necessary. Directions are meant for implementation. Non-follow-up action may sometimes prove suicidal for the executive, for the organisation and for the enterprise.
Principles of Directing – Principles of Direction which may be Useful to the Manager
Generally, the manager should understand the needs, motives and attitudes of his subordinates. He should change his strategies according to the people and situations.
However, the following principles of direction may be useful to the manager:
1. Harmony of objectives – Individuals have their own objectives. Organisation has its own objectives. The management should co-ordinate the individual objectives with organisational objectives. Direction should be in such a way that the individuals can integrate their objectives with organisational objectives.
2. Maximum individual contribution – Every member’s contribution is necessary for the organisation’s development. Hence, the management should adopt a technique of direction which enables maximum contribution by members.
3. Unit of direction or command – An employee should receive orders and instructions only from one superior. If not so, there may be indiscipline and confusion among subordinates and disorder will ensue.
4. Efficiency – Subordinates are requested to participate in the decision-making process. Then, they would have a sense of commitment. This will ensure implementation of decisions. It will increase the efficiency of subordinates.
5. Direct supervision – Managers should have direct relationship with their subordinates. Face to face communication and personal touch with sub-ordinates will ensure successful direction.
6. Feedback information – Direction does not end with issuing orders and instructions to the subordinates. Sometimes, suggestions given by the sub-ordinates are necessary for the development of the management. So, the development of the feedback system furnishes reliable ideas to the management.
7. Effective communication – The superior must ensure that plans, policies and responsibilities are fully understood by the sub-ordinates in the right direction.
8. Appropriateness of direction technique – There are three direction techniques available to the management. They are authoritarian, consultative and free-rein. But the direction techniques should be selected according to the situation.
9. Efficient control – The management should monitor the behaviour and performance of subordinates to exercise efficient control over the sub-ordinates. Effective control ensures effective direction.
10. Comprehension – The extent of understanding by subordinates is more important than what and how orders are communicated to them. This is very useful in the proper direction of subordinates.
11. Follow through – Direction is a continuous process. Mere issuing orders or instructions are not an end itself. Direction is necessary, so, the management should watch whether the subordinates follow the orders and whether they face difficulties in carrying out the orders or instructions.
Principles of Directing – Harmony of Objectives, Unity of Command, Direct Supervision, Democratic Leadership, Follow Through, Suitable Technique and a Few Others
Principle # 1. Harmony of Objectives:
The personal goals of the individual should be in harmony with enterprise objectives. Where both interests are integrated, direction becomes easy and effective. Direction must foster a sense of belonging to the organization so that they can identify with the company.
Principle # 2. Unity of Command:
Direction insists that the employees should receive direction only from one superior. Otherwise duality of command creates a chaos in the minds of the subordinates. Employees under dual command become directionless. The principle of unity of command enables even superior to know the characteristics of subordinates working under him. He can assess their competence level and motivate them to produce better results. In this way direction emphasizes the unity of command.
Principle # 3. Direct Supervision:
A superior should maintain direct contact with subordinates as far as practicable in overseeing them. Personal contact, face to face communication and informal relationship ensure effective direction. Subordinates feel a sense of participation if they have direct access to their leaders.
Principle # 4. Democratic Leadership:
Direction will be successful where style of leadership is democratic and leaders are sympathetic to the problems of the followers. Good direction consists of participative management.
Principle # 5. Follow Through:
The manager’s job does not end with giving direction. He has to see that work is carried out as per plan.
Principle # 6. Suitable Technique:
The manager should use appropriate techniques of direction suited to employees as well as to the organization.
Principle # 7. Informal Organization:
Manager should make proper use of informal organization. Personal relationship between the manager and the subordinates can make direction more effective.
Principle # 8. Effective Communication:
Direction can yield desired result only when there is barrier free communication. Besides communication between the management and subordinates should be transparent. The use of faster means of communication and use of sophisticated communication tools can go a long way towards enhancing the efficacy of direction.
Principle # 9. Free Exchange and Interchange of Information:
There should not be any blackout of information. Employer should communicate all vital information relevant to employees, namely, goals, policies, progress, accomplishments, growth, performance evaluation criteria, career path, etc.
Similarly employees across the levels should be able to communicate their views, ideas, suggestions, grievances, etc., to higher echelons of management. There should not be open secret, information withheld, selective leakage, blackout of vital information, etc. In short, free flow of information has potential to tone up direction.
Principle # 10. Effective Leadership:
The fruitfulness of direction depends on effective leadership. A leader should be an exemplary person. He should walk the talk and subordinates should learn the qualities by observing the right conduct of their leaders. Direction is supposed to work wonders in a work climate when role modeling leaders man the leadership.
Principles of Directing – Maximum Individual Contribution, Harmony of Objectives, Unity of Command, Appropriateness of Direction Technique and a Few Others
Directing requires a manager to deal with people of diverse backgrounds, expectations, potentials and understanding levels. The complexities make effective directing a challenging task. We all know that management is an ‘art’ and directing being a managerial function becomes effective only with experience and practice. Of course, there are certain guiding principles of directing which help a manager to follow the process of directing.
The principles of directing are as follows:
1. Maximum Individual Contribution:
This principle emphasizes that a manager must identify the capabilities or hidden talent in his/her subordinates. He/she must adopt various techniques to direct his/her subordinates so that it motivates each employee to realize their potential and contribute for achievement of organisational goals. When employees work to the maximum of their potential it helps them to achieve efficiency and increased productivity.
For example – Most business organisations follow incentive plans for their sales team. This motivates sales team to achieve their targets and continuously improve their performance. Promotions are another example to identify potential and appreciate hard work.
2. Harmony of Objectives:
A manager through effective directing must provide harmony between employees’ individual objectives and organisational objectives. A manager must convince employees that organisational objectives and personal objectives are complementary and not conflicting. All activities must be designed to ensure that employees are able to achieve their personal objectives while working towards achievement of organisational objectives.
For example – If the organisational objective is to increase sales revenue by 20% then manager while directing sales personnel to achieve the target must convince them that target achievement will lead to higher incentives. Thus, while working for organisational objectives, they will be able to achieve personal objectives as well.
3. Unity of Command:
Directing will be effective only if the organisation follows the principle of Unity of Command. An individual or group of people must have one superior from whom they receive instructions and to whom they report. More than one superior may lead to confusions, conflicts, disorder etc.
For example – In Green Trees Ltd, the line supervisor is given the responsibility of managing workers but very often, the production in charge comes and gives his own set of directions to the workers. The supervisor, as a result, is unable to get work done as required leading to ineffective direction.
4. Appropriateness of Direction Technique:
For effective directing a manager must understand the needs, capabilities and attitudes of employees he is directing and the situational variables within which he has to direct. Once a manager is aware of the environment, he can select appropriate motivational and leadership techniques to direct his/her subordinates.
For example – Some employees like to do as directed but some like to receive guidelines to perform and then they may use their creativity to perform assigned task. Manager has to understand the needs of both type of individuals and direct them accordingly.
Some employees get motivated by receiving higher responsibilities whereas other may get motivated with higher salary.
5. Managerial Communication:
Direction is effective only if the manager is able to give clear instructions or guide as per the subordinate’s need. Effective managerial communication and proper feedback from subordinates ensures that subordinates will perform the assigned tasks as directed by the manager.
For example – The sales manager gives additional responsibility of selling three new products to his sales team. He hands over the literature of all the three new products to sales executives and instructs them to go and develop market for these products. Without proper training about the products or discussion on how to sell the products it will be difficult for sales executives to develop market and bring business.
6. Use of Informal Organisation:
Each organisation has an informal organisation within the formal organisation. For effective directing, manager must use the informal organisation to develop better relationship with his/her subordinates and to receive correct, clear and faster feedback on his instructions or guidance. The cooperation from informal leaders makes directing effective.
For example – If a manger takes his/her staff out for lunch once in a while, he/she will be able to develop better relationship with his/her subordinates and the subordinates will also develop trust and confidence to share true feedback with him/her.
A manager can direct his/her subordinates effectively only if he/she possesses positive qualities of a leader. He/she should be able to lead from the front and motivate subordinates to work while taking care of their personal needs.
For example – Mr. Rohit, a sales manager, makes sure that he visits new customers along with his sales team. This helps his subordinates to learn the marketing strategies and enhances their confidence.
8. Follow Through:
A manager’s job must not end with giving instructions or orders. It is important that the manager continuously reviews employees’ performance to ensure that instructions are implemented as directed, there are no hindrances while following instructions or executing orders and in case there are any problems, he/she is there to modify instructions. The continuous follow-up by the manager ensures that activities are performed effectively and efficiently.
For example – Ramakant, the production manager, ordered the line manager to increase production to 2000 units. Unless he ensures that sufficient raw material is available, the machines have the capacity to produce and most importantly, the line manager has extra workers to work, the line manager will not be able to execute the order effectively.
A manager to direct effectively, must possess qualities of an effective leader, must be able to understand people and their needs really well, should be capable to design alternative methods of doing tasks and most importantly he/she should be well accepted by his/her subordinates.
Principles of Directing
All the principles of Direction can be divided into the following sections:
1. Principles Relating to the Purpose of Organisation:
i. Principle of Maximum Individual Contribution or Efforts:
The success of an organisation depends on the contribution made by people working in it. Every business organisation has a common objective, the accomplishment of which requires hard labour and sustained efforts of the employees engaged in different operations of the business. Therefore the management should adopt such a technique of direction as will make a useful contribution in inspiring the employees to the achievement of the common goal and for that they must be ready to contribute their maximum efforts.
ii. Principle of Harmony of Objectives:
The function of direction must try to remove the conflict between individual goals and organisational goals. A manger must try to bring about coordination of individual motives of the personnel working in the organisation, with the enterprise goals. Henry Fayol laid stress on the fact that common interest must prevail over individual interest. Harmony of objectives makes the task of direction easy. When both the interests are harmonised through proper direction, the management will get better results from the work force.
iiii. Principle of Efficiency of Direction:
This principle calls for the use of appropriate techniques of direction, effective system of transmission, efficient and effective leadership and effective supervision. These guidelines are helpful to the management for efficient and effective direction to the employees.
2. Principles Relating to the Process of Organisation:
i. Principle of Unity of Command:
This principle requires that all employees should get orders and instructions from one boss or superior only. The employees should know clearly to whom they are accountable. If this principle is not followed strictly it may create dual command, mutual conflict, mismanagement, indiscipline in the organisation. Therefore it is essential that one subordinate should report to one boss only.
ii. Principle of Direct Supervising:
According to this principle; the superior should himself supervise the work of those working under him in order to ensure prompt and timely action. Every superior must maintain direct contact with his subordinates. It also helps to motivate and enhance the morale of employees.
iii. Appropriateness of Direction Techniques:
There are various techniques of direction. Manager has to use the right technique in right situation. There are three common techniques in the hands of management – (a) consultative (b) Free rein and (c) autocratic. They should be used according to circumstances.
iv. Principle of Managerial Communication:
If the management wants to be successful in direction, it requires an efficient and effective system of communication between the executive or boss and his subordinates. Effective communication or two way communication ensures effective direction. Misunderstanding between the boss and subordinate can, thus be removed; mutual understanding and co-operation can be developed.
v. Principle of Effective Leadership:
Leadership is the process of influencing individuals to achieve the goals of the organisation. If the boss possesses good leadership qualities and provides perfect leadership to his subordinates, they feel very happy and satisfied. A good leader is one who solves not only the work problems of the employees but also their personal problems. This attitude will win the help in easily changing the behaviour of the employees.
vi. Principle of Motivation:
Every manager has to provide such direction, which would inspire the employees to contribute fully towards the well-being of the organisation. Basically employees do not want to work to fullest honesty. Therefore, to get the co-operation and honest contribution from the employees, managers must inspire the employees by providing both financial and non-financial incentives for better performances.
vii. Principle of Group Dynamics:
Basically there are two types of organisation, formal and informal, for getting the things done through and with people, managers must permit informal groups to supplement and support the organisation. Managers can increase the effectiveness of direction by securing the co-operation of informal leader and groups.
vii. Principle of Flow of Information:
The use of both formal and informal channels of communication will prove to be extremely useful to the management in the accomplishment of this principle. This principle signifies that the efficiency of direction is largely dependent upon the flow of information and the efficiency with which it is disseminated among those for whom it is meant.
ix. Principle of Strategic Use of Information:
Though the existence of informal groups is not good for the basic policy of the management, the management should identify such groups, recognise the dignity of such groups and make their use constructively in the attainment of enterprise goals.
x. Principle of Follow Through:
Direction is a continuous process. Besides issuing directions, the management should get feedback from the work force. Feedback makes direction effective by adjusting the wheel of management in action. The task of management does not end with the formulation of policies. In addition, it is the prime responsibility of the management to see how far and to what extent the policies laid down by it, are being followed by the subordinates. Hence the significance of this principle cannot be ignored.
Principles of Directing – Creation of Synergy of Individual Efforts, Unity of Command, Close Interaction with Subordinates, Motivate, Enthuse and Enthrall and a Few Others
1. Creation of Synergy of Individual Efforts:
We know that organizations comprise of numerous individuals with diverse set of personal objectives, beliefs and values. An effective direction would align their personal objectives towards the organizational objectives so that individuals start behaving like a coherent team, thus resulting in synergy of individual efforts.
2. Unity of Command:
People tend to get confused when they get direction and orders from more than one superior. Some of these orders may be completely divergent to each other, thus adding to the misery of the subordinates who are supposed to follow them. Therefore, unity of command and direction is a useful principle.
3. Close Interaction with Subordinates:
It is important for the bosses to have close interaction with their subordinates to guide them, mentor them and empathize with them. The human contact creates a unique sense of direction, which at times is difficult to achieve by other modes of communication in this networked world.
4. Feedback and Suggestions for Improvement:
Occasional feedbacks on performance, particularly the positive feedbacks from superiors to subordinates are encouraging for them. Negative feedbacks should be inter-ensconced with constructive suggestions for improvement so as to minimize the hurt-feeling on part of the subordinates.
5. Motivate, Enthuse and Enthrall:
Motivation lies at the heart of direction. People should be directed in such a way that they feel motivated, enthused and fascinated to follow the directions given to them whole-heartedly.
6. Lead by Example:
It is the principle which says “preach what you practice”. Thus, followers understand the directions of their leader much better, when the leader follows herself what she preaches. For example, a boss who is very strict about the timely arrival of employees to office, need to be punctual himself.