Introduction In this report I plan to explain “what makes managers effective with people in the workplace today. ” During my report I am going to explore the different behaviors and skills that make an effective manager. I am going to research what I believe makes a manager effective in the work place and then plan how I could improve myself as a manager by addressing my current strengths and weaknesses. I am going to set my report out in three sections: What are the main challenges facing manager’s in the contemporary business environment?
An evaluation of my current managerial skills How can I improve to make myself a better manager? In section one I will look at what qualities make managers effective. This will include looking at: * Communication * Motivation * Leadership * Decision making I will evaluate each quality and explain the benefits of them to a manager in the workplace. During this section I will also produce a critical evaluation of my manager interview on how he deals with management challenges.
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In section two I will evaluate myself using information from online self-evaluation tests, questionnaires and feedback received from my tutor and colleagues. I hope to evaluate my strengths and weaknesses so I can understand what my managerial status is and what qualities I have that makes me a good manager at the present time. In section three I will evaluate my SMART personal development plan and decide on what aspects I need to improve and what realistic targets I can set to help me become a better manager.
Finally I will conclude with a brief reflective summary highlighting what I have learned while creating this report. From writing this report I hope to gain a better understanding of management techniques and how manage effectively in the workplace. I hope to identify what aspects make them effective so I can improve as a manager in the future. Section 1- What are the main challenges facing manager’s in the contemporary business environment? When looking at effective managers in today’s workplace it is important to consider what qualities and characteristics they have that make them an effective manager.
A ‘manager is an individual in an organisation who directs and oversees the activities of others in the organisation’ (Robbins et al, 2011). The question is though what makes a manager effective? In order to be effective a manager needs to complete tasks and meet goals to ensure the success and growth of an organisation. Mintzberg (2009) expresses that an effective manager brings ‘an enormous amount of energy to their work. ‘ According to (Robbins et al, 2011) ‘good management is concerned with both attaining goals and doing so efficiently as possible’.
This represents how important meeting targets are to a manager’s success in business. There are many different challenges which managers face on an every day basis, these range from decision making to motivating employees. When faced with a decision, a manager has to act effectively and make a final choice on what he feels is the right decision. Being a manager carries a lot of responsibility because If they make a wrong decision the blame is on them. (Robbins et al, 2011) believe that ‘decision making is the essence of management. Managers have to be good decision makers if they are to succeed in the contemporary business environment. It is important they plan when making decisions to discover if there is any risk involved in their possible decision. Planning helps set goals ‘which provide the direction for all management decisions and actions’ (Robbins et al, 2011). Some managers prefer to work in a team and brainstorm ideas, this provides a more balanced decision but is not always ideal as it can be time consuming and is not always practical if the decision is to be made urgently.
Leadership is another challenge managers must face if they are to become effective in the workplace. A ‘leader is someone who can influence others and has managerial authority’ (Robbins et al, 2011). A leader should be a good role model who inspires and influences others to achieve their goals through their charismatic nature and their trustworthiness. Employees should be able to trust their manager as well as respect them, they should trust them to make the best decision for them and the business.
Employees should feel empowered by their manager’s leadership by meeting demanding but achievable goals set by the manager. Leadership is a very important characteristic for a manager; it can be disputed that a manager and leader are different, but I feel good leadership skills are key for a manager to get the best out of others. A successful manager can motivate staff in order to get the very best out of employees to help build the organisation. Motivation is best described as ‘the process by which a persons efforts are energized, directed and sustained toward attaining a goal’ (Robbins et al, 2011).
There are many theories on which motivational method is the best for motivating your employees but in my opinion it depends on lots of factors such as the type of job or what style of management is followed. Maslow a motivational theorist believed there was a five-stage hierarchy of human needs. Maslow’s theory can be used by managers to identify why they are not motivated and then decide how to satisfy that persons needs. Problems could be they feel they are not receiving enough support from their manager so the manager could work out ways to resolve this issue.
An ‘effective manager can help bring out the natural energy that exists naturally within people’ (Mintzberg. H 2009). By effectively motivating employees managers can produce a happier working environment, this reduces labour turnover and absenteeism while increasing productivity at the same time. Therefore it is easier to see how important motivation is when being a manager as a motivated workforce can not only improve productivity but also create a better working environment for the whole organisation.
From research and an evaluation of myself I feel good communication is one of the most important qualities a manager can possess. Communication can be challenging for a manager as everything they do involves communicating whether it is delegating work to employees or handling customers, because communication is so important it is crucial a manager develops the correct communication skills. Communication is ‘the transfer of understanding and meaning from one person to another’ (Robbins et al, 2011).
A manager needs to understand how an employee is feeling and if this is affecting performance they need to address why. A good example of this is in my manager interview, I asked my manager about a time he had to deal with an underperforming employee. He displayed good communication skills as he explained he would meet the individual first to discuss their performance, this also displays good leadership as he is addressing the situation in a pleasant manner. He then stated he would create an improvement plan for the employee which is clear and measureable.
His managerial skills are displayed as he gives the employee chance to communicate with him and then they can find a way to solve the problem through a realistic plan. Delegation is such an important factor of been a manager and if a manager is to delegate effectively he needs to give clear instructions when delegating to employees. By delegating effectively with good communication skills a manager can help an employee develop and grow but without these skills, even if the manager is very creative, it is not beneficial to the organisation without good communication.
During my manager interview I learnt a bit more about the challenges that face managers in the workplace. Firstly I wanted to know if my manager had struggled to differentiate between two candidates on who was best for the job even if they were equally qualified. His answer was interesting as he makes his decision by “establishing the individuals skill set, experience and potential for the future. ” As a manager you have to make hard decisions and my manager has a practical approach to this situation by weighing different issues and then coming to a decision.
The manager displays strong decision making skills in this scenario as he weighs up the different options and then controls the decision he thinks is correct. Another example from my manager interview was when I asked how his employees would describe his management style. His reply was “collaborative and supportive, I prefer to delegate and coach others to develop and grow. ” Here he shows effective management by displaying leadership skills, teamwork and good communication. This is a good approach to have as a manager as it helps employees grow on their own helping them become empowered and happier in their job.
This can lead to better productivity which is what a manager encourages out of his team and therefore can improve the business. Section 2- An evaluation of my current managerial skills I will now begin to assess my strengths and weaknesses as a manager by using self-assessment tests that I have done. Firstly I did the effective lifelong learning inventory test (ELLI), which displayed a radar diagram representing my strengths and weaknesses. I received mixed results from this test, but resilience, mean making and learning relationships were my strengths.
I feel resilience was represented as a strength because I feel I can sometimes work better under pressure and I will always meet my targets. This will help me improve my managerial skills, as I will always strive to meet targets set for me whatever the consequences. Mean making also showed up as a strength implying I like to link my current knowledge with new ideas. This helps me continuously improve as a manager as I have my own learning approaches which I feel work but I will always embrace new ideas which could assist me to further improve.
Learning relationships was another quality that represented me as I am comfortable working in a team regardless of whether I am leading the team or part of the team. I generally feel happier working in a team as I enjoy hearing other people’s ideas rather than just my own. Good communication is important when working in a team and I feel this is why I am strong in this area but I would still like to develop my communication skills further in order to become a better manager. The ELLI profile also helped me identify some of my weaknesses as a manager. My weakest qualities were in relation to creativity and strategic awareness.
To become a better manager I need to improve my creativity because as a manager I should encourage creativity in the workplace to uphold the values of continuous improvement. It is important for a manager to inspire people in the workplace which is why creativity is something that I must work on. Creativity is important to managers when it comes to decision making as it helps the manager identify all the options available to him and choose the best one. My strategic awareness was also shown as a weakness on my ELLI profile, which is another crucial characteristic a good manager should have.
A good manager should make the most of time and resources by planning extensively, this avoids missing opportunities in the future. I plan to improve my strategic awareness by setting targets for myself as due to my resilient nature I will meet them and hopefully improve my managerial ability. The Belbin self-perception test showed other strengths and weaknesses that I possess in relation to being a manager. This test identified me as a good leader stating that I can delegate to the right people and make success of any venture.
The test also identified that I can get the best out of people, which I feel is key to becoming an effective manager. A manager should encourage and ensure that they can get the best out of their team to determine success for the company. The test also recognized my possible weaknesses as a manager claiming I need to develop my skills as a leader and be stronger when having to deal with pressure. Although this contrasts with my ELLI profile I feel I can still work on my leadership by attending leadership courses to help me become a stronger person in the workplace.
The final test I took was an emotional intelligence questionnaire in which I rated statement from 1-5 and then identified my strengths and weaknesses. Emotional intelligence ‘is important as people who understand their own emotions and others emotions may be more effective in their jobs’ (Robbins et al, 2011). By understanding people’s personalities managers can plan strategies for dealing with different people and execute the strategy effectively. Personality tests have become much more popular recently and now ‘over 62% of companies use personality tests when recruiting’ (Kranz. G ited in Robbins et al, 2011). The section I scored highest in was motivation, the questionnaire pointed out my readiness to create and act on opportunities, which I feel is a good characteristic of a good manager. The questionnaire also recognized weakness’s in my managerial ability by showing I need to improve my skills on managing change. Change is something an effective manager has to adapt to everyday as in business things rarely always go to plan. This is something I can work on for the future but in my opinion the best way to learn how to deal with change is through experience.
Once I become a manager I can accept I will make mistakes but it is how I learn from the mistakes that will make me a better manager. Therefore, until I actually have experience as being a manager it will be hard to improve on this area. Another weakness that the questionnaire identified was my lack of planning and organisation. I need to set targets for myself if I am to improve my organisation skills, although I can work well under pressure I feel I will become a stronger manager by setting and meeting targets. During class I have been able to develop my own interpersonal and teamwork skills.
By taking part in group work I have become more confident and this has helped me during tasks such as presentations. I used to find myself nervous when having to present in front of people I did not know, which can be an everyday activity in a manager’s job. I have improved on this during the year and although I still do not feel comfortable doing presentations I have become a stronger character and now feel happier when having to perform similar tasks. When in a team my performance is better but this can differ depending on how well I know my team.
I would like to work on my people skills as I should be able to work well with anyone not just people I know. By undertaking these tests and questionnaire I have been able to discover which areas I need to work on to be a more effective manager. They showed me I am resilient and can handle pressure aswell as communicating effectively in a team. I also realised I need to put more time into planning and set out clear targets for myself if I want to improve as a manager. Creativity is another area that needs improvement but I will be more confident in my managerial skills when I have more experience in the workplace.
Section 3- How can I improve to make myself a better manager? By making a SMART personal development plan (PDP) I have been able to set out a strategy for my future self-development. I have identified organisation and planning as an area I would firstly like to improve. To improve my planning I must define goals for myself while planning a strategy on how to meet my goals. This will help me focus on the main things I need to do by prioritizing my goals in order of importance. I will then make sure I have a clear strategy on how I can achieve my goals.
I need to start meeting my new targets immediately for my new plan to become effective, this will benefit me by helping me reach my potential rather than doing enough to get by. I feel the best way to keep myself on track with my goals is to motivate myself by rewards. Through my research I feel a reward scheme is the best form of motivation whether it is a financial reward or in my case an achievement such as a good mark. I will therefore practice my new SMART PDP on my upcoming exams and assignments, if I receive what I am aiming for I will be able to see my success.
If things do not go the way I plan I will readdress my strategy and hopefully correct it straight away. I have tutors and peers to aid me if I begin to struggle with my new strategy but I feel it is up to me to achieve my realistic goals. Another skill I would like to improve is my communication. I feel communication is the most important management factor so I would like to improve my ability further. I would like to voice my opinion more when taking part in group work and try and be more creative when doing so. A way I could improve my communication skills is by taking part in more classes the university has to offer.
I know there are extra curricular activities such as public speaking which will help develop my confidence when speaking in front of people. I would like to achieve this goal in the next six months as I feel this is a realistic time period for me to change, as I understand it is not something that just happens over night. Another way I can improve is by being more co-operative with group members and provide planning and structure to the group, by organising group meetings in which we can discuss the work and any problems that might have occurred.
This will help me when I become a manager by making me more involved with staff so I know their emotions better, the main benefit of this is I will know which employee is right for which job and I can delegate effectively to them. Conclusion Reflective Summary This report for me has been a success. I now possess a wider understanding of what makes a manager effective in the workplace. I have realised how important communication is for a manager if he is to be successful in delegating and managing an organisation. Communication is a vital part of the job and if I want to succeed as a manager I feel I need to improve.
I have been able to identify my weakness of not been organized and now realise this is another key management factor I need to improve. I have created a SMART personal development plan to assist me in becoming a better manager but I need to maintain my motivation to ensure I follow through with my plan. From my manager interview I learnt more about the factors that face a manager everyday, such as recruitment and selection. I now have a greater understanding of what employers look for and the different management approaches there are.
This report has helped me assess myself on what strengths and weaknesses I have which will help me in the future as I know what I need to work on in order to improve. Creativity for example was a weakness for me in my ELLI profile and I feel in order to become an effective manager I will have to work on this as I feel managers should create new ideas in the workplace. The main thing I have learnt from my report was that not all management styles are the same, some believe in supporting and helping others grow whereas some think if you offer financial rewards it is enough to motivate employees.
I feel when I become a manager I will communicate effectively with my employees and delegate to the best people to ensure the job is done to the highest standard. I have also learnt the importance of understanding people’s emotions and how beneficial it can be to motivating an individual. If you can learn how to motivate each member of your team then and communicate effectively then it is the start to becoming an effective manager in the workplace today. Word Count: 3139 Other 282