The first concern of a professional manager is to know what tasks he is expected to pertform in the given role. Here is a brief description of different tasks performed by a professional manager.
First let us define  professional manager. Management is a discipline. Practitioners of this discipline are professional managers. As a doctor practises medicine, a managers practises management. But the main difference between these two is that a professional managers  needs only sufficient skill and experiences unlike other professionals who need formal qualification. He need be concerned only with the organization he works for and work  according to company’s objectives. He should be able to optimize resource collection and use these so as to achieve pre-determined goals. Responsibility and performance are the key words defining a professional manager’s role. Here are a few tasks which a professional manager is expected to do to achieve pre-determined results.

Providing purposeful direction 

A manager can be compared to the pilot of an airplane who guides it to the destination, taking full control. He determines the path through which the plane travels, constantly monitoring the processes and activities. Similarly, it is the first duty of a manager to set objectives which the firm needs to achieve and  give proper directions. He has to  constantly watch and examine the program to ensure if it is being implemented in the desired way. This  is the second task of a professional manager. If you are a senior manager, you have to actively involve in each and every process under your control. Monitoring assigned module only is the primary task of a deputy or assistant manager. Senior manager or sub-ordinate, he must check if the actions are consistent and moving along the desired direction.

Managing survival and growth

“Survival of the fittest” – the law of the jungle is equally applicable to present competitive world. Everywhere, one has to meet with similar persons and competitions. So, a manager should be able to ensure the survival of his firm. The second critical task he needs to do is to keep the momentum going on and see that the firm achieves progress in every quarter. So, not only to compete with other firms, but also to keep its growth rate steady and healthy are the tasks of a manager. Choice of labour force and technology, proper use of human resources and time, financial resources, company images etc are some of the factors which determine the survival and growth of an organization.

Facing the challenge of increasing competition

Now competition is everywhere – new competitors, new products, advanced technology and innovative ideas, quality and quality of products, better marketing, variety of products etc. So, a customer has more choices than one or two decades before. Also, as customers are well aware of products than before, through advertisements and internet, competition among organizations is increasing at high pace. So, it’s the duty of a manager to meet the challenges and take suitable decisions to make avail new products to compete with the whole world.

Maintaining firm’s efficiency in terms of profit generation

When the ratio of output to input increases, it means an organization is more efficient and it’s the duty of a manger to keep these efficiency figures increasing always. Inputs in the form of money, materials, time, human resources, machines etc are given to produce goods as output. If a manager is able to generate more output with the same input, the system can be said to be more efficient and obviously, more profit will be generated. Such profits can be used for the expansion of the firm, up gradation of technology or saving it for future purpose. Also, it gives a provision to take risk and think big with new creative ideas.

Meeting the challenge of change

A system is never constant and it keeps changing. A company must be able to keep pace with change of ideas, technologies and new requirements arising. It’s human nature to resist every change at first and gradually accept it. If they are not able to change according to the new situations they may face challenge to the very existence. Change may be in  new methods or processes, new markets or even the whole product itself. For example, while most transactions were done manually in the early decades, computers have made those tasks easy. Yet, many old employees were not willing to accept those changes and even resisted.  It’s manager’s duty to implement such decisions and amicabley sort out such disturbances in the system in smooth and friendly environment.  

Managing innovations

Innovative idea means something new and different, which can be obtained from existing tasks. To remain in this competitive world, innovative ideas should be promoted. Always, world is for those people who come forward with some fresh ideas never tested before, practical and those which can be achieved with minimum cost. So many innovative ideas of the same product we have seen within a small span of time! Importance is to be given to the perspective of customers than its actual use. Also, it’s more important to present it nicely, making it more visible to customer’s eyes. A manager should be able to connect himself with customers and maintain a link between customers and company. Customers, themselves can give their suggestions and feedbacks that can be studied over a wide market and later included in the system. To qualify an innovative, the new technology should be customer oriented rather than research oriented.

Retaining talents and instructing a sense of loyalty

Retaining skilled people is more difficult than hiring new people. If a manager is able to provide a comfortable working atmosphere to his subordinates, it will be more helpful to retain talented and experienced workers. Also, a manager should never forget to appreciate the personnel for their efforts that can prompt them to work more efficiently. He should ensure that there is no dull or repetitive tasks. Job rotation is a good option. Give some contests often to catalyze and refresh their activities. He should ensure that their talents and working skills are fully utilized by assigning them appropriate  tasks. He should also make use of their creative and innovative ideas. There should be a better mode of communication with the subordinates and a good relationship developed.  Money, recognition, rewards, status, power etc are powerful motivators and a manager can use them effectively in suitable situations. Many private organizations including banks give company shares to their employees. The whole shares will be allotted in three or four instalments over a period of  one year and they won’t get remaining shares if they shift their loyalty to other organization. So there are more chances that  those employees won’t leave the firm.

Postponing managerial adolescence

Very often, after reaching high status employees find a plateau where no motivators such as money, rewards, offers of high post, promises etc are enough to place them above that level. It often happens in the lives of most senior managers and top executives after completing 25 or 30 successive years. Though they have a lot of experiences, they may not have latest managerial knowledge and skills. But the company still needs to pay the same salary even if those employees are dragging the productivity of the company. This stage is known as adolescence or obsolescence and redesigning their jobs can be a better solution. For example, an aerospace company appoints its senior engineers and pilots as consultants to train young engineers and pilots respectively, thus providing them the right outlet for their knowledge and rich experience. Also, periodic training programs can be conducted for executives and top managers to give them latest ideas and information about new technical terms.

Balancing creativity and reality

Though developing a new idea or concept is really exciting, it’s  difficult to translate those creativity ideas to practical shape. It requires a detailed planning, financing, marketing, administration etc. Also, it’s equally important to find customers and markets for those new products. If creativity and conformity, both are found in the same person it’s really a rare gift which happens only once in a while. A manager must be able to appreciate and encourage such creative persons.

Coping with political opposition and public criticism

Big firms are often targeted with a lot of public and political criticisms. Many may try to oppose the growth of a progressive and successful organization. Best way is to avoid such criticisms considering them as just hindrances to growth. Manager should try to keep a low profile of the firm, reducing publicity to avoid unnecessary public attention. Also, it’s his duty to give correct information about the company to public, media and political parties.

Building human organization

The most critical resource of an organization is man power and this needs be used wisely for the success of the company. Though all other resources are under the control of the organization, human resources never fall under this category. It’s because they are living beings and no systematic computerized actions will be sufficient enough to manage them. Like seasons, they may change their attitude according to the situations which can fully determine the forward movement of an organization and its survival. A better team along with the manager itself is the beginning stone of success and even if the company is provided with new ideas, best technology and good capital, goals can’t be achieved if human resources are not skilled enough. A good brain with good ideas can reduce many repetitive steps and efforts, wise use of resources and a little bit time too. Good and hard-working employees are the best assets of a company. So, it’s the duty of the manager to attract good workers to join their company and retain already existing skilled and experienced workers.

Sustaining leadership effectiveness

A manager must be able to influence his subordinates and he should lead them from the front. In other words, every manager is a leader. He should with his abilities inspire his subordinates with his own set of principles and targets to achieve. He must have some distinct thoughts and ideas to make him different, dominant over others and prompt his subordinates to follow him. He must have a good vision and able to set plans ahead. Also, his abilities lie in persuading others to carry along with him.
So, let me conclude that only a formal degree or knowledge of an organization is not enough to move forward an organization.  But it depends on the skills and way by which manager works out with the available resources, both human and other and allocates them in a proper way and controls them by applying his practical measures instantly prepared according to the demanding situation. In addition, he must have an eye on his surroundings, markets and demands of present situations and mould his resources to meet those challenges with less inputs and giving more that what is actually expected. 

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