Directing is the heart of management function. All other functions of management such as planning, organizing, and staffing have no importance without directing. Leadership, motivation, supervision, communication are various aspects of directing. Let us study the importance and principles of directing.
Directing refers to a process or technique of instructing, guiding, inspiring, counselling, overseeing and leading people towards the accomplishment of organizational goals. It is a continuous managerial process that goes on throughout the life of the organization. Main characteristics of Directing are as follows:
1. Initiates Action
A directing function is performed by the managers along with planning, staffing, organizing and controlling in order to discharge their duties in the organization. While other functions prepare a platform for action, directing initiates action.
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2. Pervasive Function
Directing takes place at every level of the organization. Wherever there is a superior-subordinate relationship, directing exists as every manager provides guidance and inspiration to his subordinates.
4. Continuous Activity
It is a continuous function as it continues throughout the life of organization irrespective of the changes in the managers or employees.
5. Descending Order of Hierarchy
Directing flows from a top level of management to the bottom level. Every manager exercises this function on his immediate subordinate.
6. Human Factor
Since all employees are different and behave differently in different situations, it becomes important for the managers to tackle the situations appropriately. Thus, directing is a significant function that gets the work done by the employees and increases the growth of the organization.
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1. Initiates Action
Each and every action in an organization is initiated only through directing. The managers direct the subordinates about what to do, how to do when to do and also see to it that their instructions are properly followed.
2. Ingrates Efforts
Directing integrates the efforts of all the employees and departments through persuasive leadership and effective communication towards the accomplishment of organizational goals.
3. Motivates Employees
A manager identifies the potential and abilities of its subordinates and helps them to give their best. He also motivates them by offering them financial and non-financial incentives to improve their performance.
4. Provides Stability
Stability is significant in the growth of any organization. Effective directing develops co-operation and commitment among the employees and creates a balance among various departments and groups.
5. Coping up with the Changes
Employees have a tendency to resist any kind of change in the organization. But, adapting the environmental changes is necessary for the growth of the organization. A manager through motivation, proper communication and leadership can make the employees understand the nature and contents of change and also the positive aftermaths of the change. This will help in a smooth adaptation of the changes without any friction between the management and employees.
6. Effective Utilization of Resources
It involves defining the duties and responsibilities of every subordinate clearly thereby avoiding wastages, duplication of efforts, etc. and utilizing the resources of men, machine, materials, and money in the maximum possible way. It helps in reducing costs and increasing profits.
Read the Elements of Directing here.
Principles of Directing
1. Maximum Individual Contribution
One of the main principles of directing is the contribution of individuals. Management should adopt such directing policies that motivate the employees to contribute their maximum potential for the attainment of organizational goals.
2. Harmony of Objectives
Sometimes there is a conflict between the organizational objectives and individual objectives. For example, the organization wants profits to increase and to retain its major share, whereas, the employees may perceive that they should get a major share as a bonus as they have worked really hard for it.
Here, directing has an important role to play in establishing harmony and coordination between the objectives of both the parties.
3. Unity of Command
This principle states that a subordinate should receive instructions from only one superior at a time. If he receives instructions from more than one superiors at the same time, it will create confusion, conflict, and disorder in the organization and also he will not be able to prioritize his work.
4. Appropriate Direction Technique
Among the principles of directing, this one states that appropriate direction techniques should be used to supervise, lead, communicate and motivate the employees based on their needs, capabilities, attitudes and other situational variables.
5. Managerial Communication
According to this principle, it should be seen that the instructions are clearly conveyed to the employees and it should be ensured that they have understood the same meaning as was intended to be communicated.
6. Use of Informal Organization
Within every formal organization, there exists an informal group or organization. The manager should identify those groups and use them to communicate information. There should be a free flow of information among the seniors and the subordinates as an effective exchange of information are really important for the growth of an organization.
Managers should possess a good leadership quality to influence the subordinates and make them work according to their wish. It is one of the important principles of directing.
8. Follow Through
As per this principle, managers are required to monitor the extent to which the policies, procedures, and instructions are followed by the subordinates. If there is any problem in implementation, then the suitable modifications can be made.
Solved Question for You
Q: Direction takes place at all levels of management. True or False?
Ans: The statement is true. Every manager of the organisation performs some function of directing. From top executives to low-level managers all give direction to their subordinates.