How Managers Help a Business Achieve Its Maximum Potential
An organisation will have a number of different goals and objectives. These will range from primary ones, for instance making a profit if it is a commercial business, through to lesser ones which would be preferable if they could achieve it, but not as essential as it is to achieve the primary goals. Examples of these lower priority targets could include increasing the number of employee suggestions for workplace improvements.
As any course in management training and development will tell you, having objectives and targets in place is extremely important for a business. Without them, the company will do ok at best, but will have little motive or will to ever improve. These goals, objectives and targets are a key factor in pushing an organisation to achieve its maximum potential, and managers play a crucial role in the process.
Why are Managers Important in This Process?
Managers have two important tasks in the process of moving the business forward to achieve its maximum potential. One is in the creation of the goals and objectives themselves. The other is ensuring that the business’s employees are also working towards the achievement of these goals.
The Creation of Goals and Objectives
As mentioned earlier, an organisation without targets will simply "exist". In other words, it will deal with day-to-day demands placed upon it, but there will be no vision for the future or targets set to work towards. So much emphasis on the present day will likely lead to a situation occurring which the company has failed to plan for or make changes in anticipation. The shock of such a change can have serious negative consequences for the business. Sometimes it can even be fatal and lead to bankruptcy.
Managers are the ones who will think up these objectives and begin the process of implementing them. In large businesses, different layers of management will come up with objectives in accordance with what the layer above them decided for an objective. An example of this in action is below:
Objectives Become More Specific and Refined as it Goes Down the Layers
TOP: Senior managers at the top of the chain in a manufacturing company, which has factories all over the country, decide that profits need to increase by 5%. They set this as a target for the area managers. They don’t really care how it is done, so long as that 5% figure is achieved.
MIDDLE: Area managers identify that certain factories are performing poorly financially because of too much waste during the production process. They therefore set the factory managers the target of reducing wastage levels by 10%.
LOWER: Line managers are tasked with the responsibility for reducing these waste levels by the 10%. They set a number of highly specific objectives and instructions for workers such as altering the cutting profile to get more shapes out of a board so that less is wasted, reducing time spent during a setting/drying process so that there are fewer instances of the materials drying before completion and having to be thrown away etc.
Ensuring That Employees Work Towards the Objectives Set
Of course, managers can come up with whatever goals and targets they like, but it is the workers themselves who will be the ones who determine whether they are achieved or not. In the manufacturing process example above, if employees are left to carry on as they are, nothing will change. It is up to managers to ensure that not only do they communicate these objectives clearly so that workers know exactly what is expected of them, but that they also actively manage the process. This ensures that the changes made, and that employees continue in the new ways into the future, and do not slip back into old habits.
Making such changes, particularly major ones and/or if workers have been operating for a certain way for a long period of time and have become entrenched and reluctant to change, can be particularly difficult for a manager to successfully implement. It is difficult for experienced managers, but is especially challenging for those new to a line management role who may have little management training or knowledge about the best way to proceed. In these circumstances, senior managers may need to assist in the process, rather than simply delegating it to a more junior manager and telling them to simply get on with it.
Company or Personal Objectives?
Along with their knowledge, there will be other factors which affect not only the creation of objectives, but also how dedicated managers are to their implementation. To read more about managerial objectives, including how managers sometimes care more about fulfilling personal objectives rather than those of the company, please click here to read the full article.
Managers are the drivers behind the creation and successful implementation of goals, targets and objectives. Without their efforts, very little would be achieved. Not only must they communicate the targets to employees and ensure that they work towards them, but it is also vital that managers themselves are seen to buy in to what they want others to accomplish.
For example, managers can set an objective of reducing workplace accidents and fully implementing a health and safety culture within the organisation, but if they themselves are seen not to care too much about health and safety, then their employees will follow their lead and not give it much attention either (Related Article: Line Managers Have a Big Responsibility for Health and Safety).
Managers therefore have a number of different roles in the process of helping a business achieve its maximum potential, and are essential for this aim to be achieved.