Role Expectations from Managers

BE, DCPA, MBA, MA(App. Psy.), PhD(Mgmt.) CE(I), FIE (I), MIMA, MISCA, LMCSI, LMIIMM • Introduction:
The changes in the business environment have thrown open a world of opportunities and challenges for managers. The changed environment demands higher effectiveness necessitating managerial styles very different from the traditional ones. This paper is an attempt to explore into the new role expectations.

• The changed environment:
The changes in the business environment have created need for trim, flat and flexible organisational structure with matrix system of reporting and reduced reporting levels; decentralised decision-making & higher labour productivity. The need for multi-disciplinary task forces, effective HRD systems & strong Management Information Systems is indisputably accepted. But, the changes in management requirements have not occurred in isolation. The employee profiles have also changed. The present flock of employees is highly knowledgeable, creative, original and imaginative. The group at hand is genuinely interested in solving problems but is, at the same time, marked by marginal levels of obedience or docility. There is a marked distaste for bureaucracy and evident desire for involvement in decision-making process. High aspiration levels coupled with emphasis on smart-working (rather than hard working) results in high turnover rates where the working relationship in the organisation is not dominated by loyalty but by market mechanism of demandprice- supply chain. Such a situation further highlights the modified roleexpectations from the managers so as to ensure a match between changed work-groups & changed business demands.

• Expected Roles:
We will outline the expectations from present day managers in order to be able to lead the teams more effectively towards organisational goals.

• Development and Skill Augmentation
The managers have to keep track of what is happening in and around their own organisations. They should keep themselves technically and managerially up-to- date. Similarly they have to ensure, encourage & facilitate development of teammates. Because of rapid change in technology & concurrent changes in organisational sizes, a large number of workers are becoming semi-skilled for new roles. The managers have to strive to bridge this gap by retraining, job enlargement, redeployment & multi-skilling – as per requirements of situations. The training needs of people should be properly
By Dr. KSS Kanhaiya, First Published in 2000: Page 1 of 3

identified, addressed and fulfilled. Continuous & planned help to employees for their knowledge & skill improvement should become a priority area. The counselling, guiding, coaching & mentoring roles of managers are now becoming their routine activities.

• Creativity
Managers should approach service with creativity and innovation. Creativity, in the on the part of managers will cause innovations and revolution in management functions. Jobs should be carried out not by treading the beaten paths in stereotyped manner but with flexibility to cause improvement at every step. At the same time, infinite freedom in experimenting for creativity should not be encouraged at the cost of conformity.

• Team Working
In the changed environment integration of functions has become order of the day, managers have to work as members of multi-disciplinary task forces. This requires them to practice team-working principles more vigorously and build team spirit. It is necessary to ensure that the manager is one amongst & not above the work-group & also that penalty for failure & reward for success are comparable in magnitude.

• People Involvement
The new lot of employees has to be involved in the preparation of strategies and action plans to ensure their commitment for implementation. Encouragement to make suggestions & objective recognition of the employees is required to facilitate this process. People should be encouraged to become pro-active enough to anticipate problems and initiate planning to obviate them rather than to manage the difficulties when these arise.

• Industrial Relations
Optimisation of labour productivity necessitates good industrial relations. Prompt grievance- redressal mechanism with a human touch is necessary. Unions need to be developed for constructive role. Managers have to create a condition where management and unions trust and co-operate with each other.

• Leadership
In order to achieve higher control of their work environment, the managers need to motivate people, create new directions and generate new opportunities. They have to combine creativity, imagination, intellect and sensitivity towards needs of new breed of employees. The strengths of these people can be fully utilised only through their involvement and willing co-operation which need effective winning techniques.

• Behavior
Current managers are under greater scrutiny from the led. Their model behavior can create the spirit of excellence. They have to set personal examples for others to follow. The managers are required to create a climate of trust and cooperation. All actions of the managers are to be driven with purposefulness and resolve.

• Communication
Effective communication is the key to effectiveness of actions. It helps to obtain better support and willing involvement of team-members. It is also vital in order to ensure proper appreciation of actions & constraints by the top management; thereby garnering support. The managers have to improve upon their
By Dr. KSS Kanhaiya, First Published in 2000: Page 2 of 3

communication skills. New & faster means of communication should be optimally employed to create wide & in-time communication of relevant facts. This will avoid avenues of presumptions leading to mistrust & will generate harmony, unison and understanding amongst all. Many of performance- barriers can be removed by increased transparency.

• Motivation
Managers need to remain self-motivated. Increased responsibility should be delegated to employees and they should be given adequate freedom to plan and organise their work. Fair recognition, due appreciation and rewards for beyond-normal efforts are great motivators. Proper care of work-environment, human-touch in interactions, in-time guidance & support etc. are the points managers should never miss while dealing with their teams. It is important to note that the present genre of employees loses motivation if bossism, bureaucracy or avoidable procedural constraint is prevalent in the system. The systems, procedures and practices should be simplified further so as to reduce impediments of faster actions. In order to do away with bureaucracy; reduction in reporting levels and encouragement to lateral coordination will help. Delegation of more powers to managers at middle and lower levels helps them to remain motivated & make things happen. While the employees should be made to feel the necessity to display existence of proper match between their individual abilities and the job demands; they should be assured of existence of match of their abilities and needs with the job rewards. Pay packets should be commensurate & linked with performance, should have linkage with costs of living & also well-structured visà-vis tax laws.

• Conclusion
The expectations from the managers outlined above are not very new but their importance has now become high. The present-day managers have to become more creative, decisive, determined, enterprising, energetic, intelligent & pro-active. They need to understand that meeting these expectations in a better way is necessary for survival of their organisation & thus of themselves. The managers are responsible both for discovering & defining their role as well as discharging the same. Success of their organisation is their task & the world does not house magic bullets. One has to carve ones own weapons to win ones war. ***************

By Dr. KSS Kanhaiya, First Published in 2000: Page 3 of 3

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