Holding the position of Manager is often a role that is constantly in a state of flux. While you may not be “on the ground” and “getting your hands dirty” your job essentially entails being a “firefighter”, running from one issue to another all while trying to control a team. But it doesn’t have to be this way
We have previously written about the four functions of management, but when you break each of those down there are a number of key responsibilities that are witnessed in most, if not all, managerial roles, regardless of the industry or profession you find yourself in.
These responsibilities sit under the broad function areas of planning, organising, leading and controlling and are more tangible tasks that you as a manager will typically perform on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Having a good understanding of the responsibilities a manager holds may seem like common knowledge, however, to be an effective manager you need to understand what roles/functions/responsibilities demand your time and when. If you don’t plan your day/week around the requirements of a manager you will constantly find yourself in that “firefighter” role that we spoke of.
Instead, you want to elevate yourself and have a strong command of each of these responsibilities so that you have more time to dedicate to the strategic growth of the organisation.
Daily Responsibilities of a Manager
Manage Daily Operations
One of the key functions of a manager is simply ensuring that the organization operates smoothly on a daily basis. This requires managers to have a good understanding of the skills, experience and capabilities of your team members as well as the ability to effectively delegate tasks and manage performance of individuals in your team.
Human Resource Management
In teams, and sometimes across the entire company in smaller organizations, Managers are often tasked with a variety of human resource functions. This includes ensuring that teams are appropriately staffed with individuals who have the skills and experience required to perform the role to a high standard, firing and/or letting go of staff who do not perform to expectation and overseeing the training and professional development of staff.
Managing this area of a business requires that managers are good communications and understand that a great team is not built of individuals who are all from a similar background. Diversity can breed improved team performance, new ideas and allow potential pitfalls to be identified sooner.
It is the obligation of the managers to set goals for the company or organization. Managers set long-term goals and short-term ones. This is crucial as it gives the various employees target to meet in order to propel the organization forward. Managers need to monitor these goals to ensure that the set targets are achieved at the end of a particular period.
Communication with Stakeholders
Often a Manager acts as the representative for an entire team or department. It is not realistic to expect senior management to speak with each and every employee at their company. As a result mid-tier managers act as a filter and must send messages up and down the organization.
Depending on the structure of the organization, i.e. if your organisation is “flatter” or alternatively if it has multiple levels of management, can affect how easily it is to disseminate messages. A good manager will understand how the different structures of an organization affect their ability to influence decisions and will adjust their communication strategy to suit.
Another daily responsibility of management is to motivate staff. Staff do not respond to being simply told what to do. They need to believe in the reasons for undertaking a particular staff and feel a sense of ownership over the process.
Great Managers understand the balance that needs to be made between pushing staff to complete a task and motivating them so that they want to complete the task.
Another key responsibility of managers, which can also fall under the human resources area of their role, involves monitoring and measuring the performance of staff.
This can include everything from setting and monitoring KPI’s that staff need to adhere to, to speaking with staff about their performance and putting in place guidelines that detail where and how they need to improve in order to continue providing value to the team and company.
Long-Term Responsibilities of a Manager
In addition to the day to day responsibilities of a Manager, there are a number of long term responsibilities that they need to manage and plan for. These closely align to the four functions of management.
Looking to the long term success of a team or company requires that Managers are capable of creating and implementing plans that will drive the future growth and direction of their team/the organisation.
This often involves having an intimate understanding of the current capabilities of the organization, identifying areas where there is growth potential (i.e. in new markets, adjacent product lines, etc) and detailing how and where the company/team can operate in these areas.
Organization from a long term planning and implementation perspective involves bringing together the various resources of a company, whether they be human resources, financial resources or marketing resources, etc.
To be successful in this area of management requires that a Manager is able to build internal support for their idea, plan or requirements and bring together numerous individuals/departments around a common goal.
Direct & Lead
A good manager needs to lead by example. If a Manager is not able to instil a sense of trust in their team it will be an uphill challenge to grow a team that is happy and motivated to follow you.
Good managers know how the balance the sometimes two competing prioritizes of directing and leading people. Directing involves providing guidance and allowing your team to go off and implement the solution themselves. In some peoples minds leading involves a more hands on approach where you are actively involved but delegate tasks as and when appropriate.
Also published on Medium.