Using the 4 functions of management!
Are you winging it, when it comes to management?
Maybe you are the owner of a small business, and by default or decision, you are also the manager. Or you find yourself managing a small business, and you aren’t quite sure how you got there!
Either way, you often find yourself guessing when it comes to management.
You are not alone in this! Management is difficult and strategic.
According to the authors of 100 Ways to Be a Better Boss: Mind Tools for Managers, management actually comprises 90 -120 individual skills*. So, it’s okay if you don’t have it all figured out yet. There’s lots to learn!
What Management Means
Management of your small business is the organization of activities to achieve strategically defined objectives.
Investing in your management skills means less stress for you.
Often small business owners hold most of the operational knowledge in their heads and are the constant go-to person for answers. They can end up doing the majority of the work because they are the only ones who know “how” to do it.
Management allows you to share the work.
Also, with proper management, you can build better relationships with your employees.
With skilled management, your employees understand your vision. When you delegate tasks, employees are motivated by their new responsibility.
So how can you improve your management skills?
Look to your management system!
4 Functions of Management
A system is simply the way something happens. In this case, it’s the way you manage.
Your systems are responsible for the results you are getting.
Once you document a system, you can see HOW you are getting those results.
And in management, there are 4 main functions you can adjust to get the results you want.
Breaking down management systems into different functions can help get you organized so that you can better manage your business. And of course, improve your management skills!
Here’s an example of Hector, a small business owner, adjusting his management system with each function.
Identify goals and determine the best course of action.
Hector owns a neighbourhood pub. With his current management system, the servers aren’t bringing condiments to the table. He wants that to change.
So he identifies the goal:
Have servers bring condiments every time.
And then he determines the best course of action.
“To reach this goal, I am going to move the condiments from the kitchen cooler to the bar cooler so the servers can access them easier.”
Assign authority and responsibility to the employee with the skills to achieve the task.
When Hector announces the condiments are going to change places, he assigns the task to the servers.
At first, he thought the kitchen staff should move the condiments because they are in charge of all things food-related.
Then he realized the servers are better equipped to move them. The servers know exactly where the items need to be to grab them during a busy shift.
Ensure direction is clear.
Hector doesn’t just tell his employees to move the condiments. He explains why. He shares his goal. This motivates his employees to do the task because they understand his vision and agree with it.
Provide clear guidelines for success and monitor performance.
Normally, customers ask Hector for condiments 10 times a shift.
“My server forgot this, can you get it for me?”
Hector decides that if forgotten condiments decrease by 80%, only 2 requests per shift, his system is successful.
Hector monitors his new system to see if it’s working. If not, he can look back at the four functions of management and evaluates where he can improve.
Management Systems to Improve Your Skills
Take some time today and identify your management systems.
Which ones are getting you the results you want? Which ones need improvement? And which function of management needs to be strengthened to reach your goal?
As you improve your management skills you build a stronger business!
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Until next time, enjoy your Entrepreneurial Journey!
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*Moss, D. (2018, October 24). The Top 10 Management Skills You Need. SHRM. https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/book-blog/pages/the-top-10-management-skills-you-need.aspx