As a rule, people consider management to be used to supervise the workers or all kinds of junior personnel. Management is mistakenly thought to be a prerogative of the senior positions in various organizations. Nevertheless, its techniques can be used for personal managing as well. At its fundamental level, management consists of “a set of five specific functions: planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling” (Reilly, Minnik, & Baak, 2014). They combine theoretical and practical aspects and help to form a successful manager. Thus, it can be stated that the application of these practices within a workplace is the way to efficient management.
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The Application of Planning, Leading, Organizing, Staffing, and Controlling Functions at a Workplace
An organization has a defined structure. It includes two or more people who share responsibilities, have some hierarchy, and follow a common goal (Reilly et al., 2014). The function of management is crucial to the success of any organization. The proper use of management practices such as planning, leading, organizing, staffing, and controlling can increase the efficiency of the manager’s performance in the workplace. Their application should be adapted to a particular company, its strategy, and the peculiarities of the staff. Previously I had a job as a theatre lead logistician, and I could appreciate how the planning, leading, organizing, staffing, and controlling functions applied to my work.
The Planning Function
According to Reilly et al. (2014), “planning is a systematic process in which managers make decisions about future activities and the key goals that the organization will pursue.” There exist various forms of planning in the short or long term (Hisrich & Ramadani, 2017).
Planning helps to figure out the goals to achieve and the possible ways of doing it. Griffin and Moorhead state (as cited in Kapur, 2016, p.318) that the process of planning “involves inspecting the internal and the external environment, determining the objectives, formulating the policies and plans, and establishing the methods to contribute to the implementation of the policies and plans.” Koontz and Weirich (2015) single out a set of principles or guides for planning. They include the principles of objectiveness, the primacy of planning, strategy and policy framework, commitment, flexibility, etc.
In my work, planning was a core function since the term of planning itself is synonymous with logistics. I was responsible for supporting 58 surveillance systems in Iraq and Afghanistan. I had twelve logisticians to manage the task. Our primary mission was to provide and maintain a steady flow of supplies and keep the aerostat flying. It would be impossible without a careful and thoughtful plan. The analysis of internal and external environments also helped to develop an efficient and flexible plan.
The Organizing Function
Another important part of a manager’s work is to organize the company. It is key to effectiveness and high achievements in any field. Organizing can be defined as “the process of efficiently and effectively bringing people and resources together to create products and services” (Reilly et al., 2014). Proper organizing is crucial for completing the plans developed for a company. Griffin and Moorhead consider organizing a process of creating jobs with their further categorization to simplify the control (as cited in Kapur, 2016, p.318). Effective organizing and organization culture provides the effective work of the staff, helps to avoid organizational inflexibility and conflicts, and guarantees the understanding of the organization (Koontz & Weirich, 2015).
In my previous job, the organizing function was among the major ones. I had to coordinate the work of logisticians to provide a steady supply of the necessary things. On the one hand, I had to follow the plan. On the other hand, in the case of an emergency, the flexible organization allowed alterations to improve efficiency. The organizing function also includes job design. It allows providing employees of various levels with a suitable job according to their skills.
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The Staffing Function
The staffing function of a manager deals with the human resources of an organization. According to Reilly et al. (2014), “the people who work for an organization are its most valuable resource because they convert raw materials into finished products and services, which leads to profits for the business.” The performance of a company in the market greatly depends on its stuff. Also, labor power is the biggest expense item in running a business. Staffing treats the people as one of the resources for a company. As a rule, the stuffing procedure is preconditioned by the strategic plan of the company’s development.
As for my job, my functions of a theater lead logistician did not include the selection of the personnel. However, I was responsible for the training of the new employees and their introduction to the staff. Moreover, my task was to keep the team motivated. It was a challenge since our service had to be on-call for anything that may happen outside normal duty hours. I was supposed to keep them effective at any time when it was necessary.
The Leading Function
The leading or directing function lies in the guidance of the employees to the achievement of the goals of the company (Kapur, 2016). The issue of leadership is present at the different levels of the enterprise and be revealed in various ways. Its exhibition considers the peculiarities of every employee and may include “vision, enthusiasm, trust, courage, passion, coaching, developing others, intensity, love, and even serving as a parent figure” (Reilly et al., 2014).
An efficient leader has profound skills in the use of power, motivation, teamwork, and communication (Reilly et al., 2014). The major feature that differs an ordinary manager from a leader is that a manager’s task is to cope with complexity, and a leader’s objective is to cope with change. Flexibility and ability to adapt to the changing conditions without the loss of efficiency are the features of a good leader.
In my previous job, I had this leading function. Taking into consideration the environment, the working conditions could change suddenly. Thus, I had to react to the changes and provide a steady functioning of the service. I had to provide the directions, provide the people to perform their functions, and check that the workers are motivated or inspire them in the case of necessity.
The Controlling Function
The controlling function comes last on the list, but it is not less important than the first four. Kapur (2016) considers this function vital for a company. At this stage, the performance is assessed and analyzed. By this analysis conclusions about the efficiency of a company can be made. In case any inefficiency is revealed, the changes to the planning, organizing, staffing, and leading stages should be made. Successful companies provide the monitoring and control of their activity regularly to achieve their goals and objectives (Reilly et al., 2014).
The development of a control system depends on the sphere of functioning. A common control process includes four steps. The first one is used to review the plan and the standards mentioned in it. Secondly, performance should be measured. In case any deviance is detected, the third step is aimed to correct them (Koontz & Weirich, 2015). Finally, a managerial decision had to be made. In the case of successful accomplishment, the employees should be warded. Consequently, the unsuccessful accomplishment should be analyzed and corrected.
When working as a lead logistician, I realized the importance of the controlling function. After the completion of a set of tasks, I tried to analyze if the plan was fulfilled. In case the plan was not completed properly, I studied the reasons for the fact. After that, our team was developing a set of actions to prevent similar problems in the future in case they had no objective grounds.
The Examples and Ways of Applying Management Functions
With my position as a theater lead logistician, I experienced the implementation of all effective management functions. I have used planning to distribute the employees to meet the needs of all the surveillance systems in charge. I have made a supply schedule to have a picture of our customers. The organizing function did not seem complicated to me. I have good organization skills; hence I found it interesting to keep in touch with all logisticians and help them solve the appearing problems.
I was not involved in a staff selection process. I only provided the training and the other working issues. During the probation period, I used the materials of the survey of workplace skills, technology, and management practices (Handel, 2016). It was useful to check the skills of the newcomers. My leading function was fulfilled in the quick reaction to then changing circumstances. For example, the changing weather conditions demanded alterations in the schedule because not all the objects could de reach. Finally, the control function which was my favorite. I used it to compare the results for the period (2-4 weeks) with the figures in the plan. After that, our team could sit and discuss the reasons for the changed supply routes and plan actions to avoid such unexpected.
On the whole, the management practices of planning, leading, organizing, staffing, and controlling are crucial for the manager’s work. Their thoughtful application is the way to increase the efficiency of management. They are tightly connected and depend one on another. For example, correct planning provides more favorable work conditions. Proper organizing simplifies the fulfillment of duties of the employees.
When a work process is well-organized, and each person is aware of his or her responsibility, the occurrence of unexpected situations is minimal. Staffing should be provided with the careful consideration of the position’s demands and the suitability of the candidate. Leading is of vital importance for the company in the changing market circumstances. At last, a function of controlling should always be applied to provide the analysis of strong and weak sides and guarantee a steady improvement of the work performed.
Handel, M.J. (2016). What do people do at work? A profile of U.S. jobs from the survey of workplace skills, technology, and management practices (STAMP). Journal of Labour Market Research, 49, 177-197.
Hisrich, R., & Ramadani, V. (2017). Effective entrepreneurial management: Strategy, planning, risk assessment, and organization. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.
Kapur, R. (2016). Managerial functions and job satisfaction within an organization. International Journal of Information, Business and Management, 8(4), 317-328.
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Koontz, H., & Weihrich, H. (2015). Essentials of management: An international, innovation, and leadership perspective. New Delhi, India: McGraw Hill Education.
Reilly, M., Minnik, C., & Baak, D. (2014). The five functions of effective management. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education.