Allocate Work: Planning and Work Orientation in Organisations

Allocate Work: Planning and Work Orientation in Organisations


The functions of management are basically as you would remember as POSDCORB. This includes planning – where managers establish goals, objectives, strategies, and policies and plans to achieve the stated aims of the organisation, and organizing where managers structure the tasks that need to be performed, and decide which department and which individuals will complete which task and when.
Planning helps the organisation to define its purposes and activities. It enables performance standards to be set so that results can be compared with the standard to help managers to see how the organisation is progressing towards its goals.
Because organisations have goals they want to satisfy, they need to direct their activities by:
Deciding what they want to achieve
Deciding how and when to do it and who is to do it
Checking that they do achieve what they want, by monitoring what has been achieved and comparing it with the plan
Taking action to correct any deviation

The Manager

Management can be defined as: ‘getting things done through other people’.
A supervisor is a type of manager (?- think hard!).

Managers and leaders

The terms management and leadership are often used interchangeably, and it will not matter much whether you refer to ‘management style’ or ‘leadership style’, for example. However, we will be distinguishing the two in the lesson 27
We can summarize that while management has authority by virtue of their position in the organisation to secure the obedience or compliance of their subordinates, leaders direct the efforts of others through vision, inspiration and motiva-tion – forms of influence
Definition Influence is the process by which an individual or group exercises power to determine or modify the behaviour of others.
For routine work, mere compliance with directives may be sufficient for the organisation’s needs. However, if it wishes to secure extra input from its employees – in terms of co-operation, effort and creativity – it may strive for the inspirational quality of leadership, over and above efficient management.

The Supervisor

There are different levels of management in most organisations. For instance, a finance department in an organisation might be headed by the finance director (A) supported by a chief financial accountant (B) and chief manage-ment accountant (C). Lower down in the hierarchy assistant accountants might report to (B) and (C).
The supervisor is the lowest level of management.
Definition’A supervisor is a person selected by middle manage-ment to take charge of a group of people, or special task, to ensure that work is carried out satisfactorily … the job is largely reactive dealing with situations as they arise, allocating and reporting back to higher management.’ (Savedra and Haw-thorn).

Features of Supervision

A supervisor is usually a ‘front-line’ manager, dealing Kith the levels of the organisation where the bread-and-butter work is done. The supervisor’s subordinates are non-managerial employees.
A supervisor does not spend all his or her time on the managerial aspects of his job. Much of the time will be spent doing technical/operational work himself.
A supervisor is a ‘gatekeeper’ or filter for communication in the organisation.
The supervisor monitors and controls work by means of day-to-day, frequent and detailed information: higher levels of management plan and control using longer-term, less frequent and less detailed information, which must be ‘edited’ or selected and reported by the supervisor.
The managerial aspects and responsibilities of a supervisor’s job are often ill defined, and given no precise targets to achievement.

What do Supervisors Do?

As a supervisor’s job is a junior management job, the tasks of supervision can then be listed under similar headings to the tasks of management. They are:

A. Planning

Planning work so as to meet work targets or schedules set by more senior management
Planning the work for each employee; making estimates of overtime required
Planning the total resources required by the section to meet the total work-load
Planning work methods and procedures
Attending departmental planning meetings
Preparing budgets for the section
Planning staff training and staff development
Planning the induction of new staff
Planning improvements in the work

B. Organizing and Overseeing the Work of Others

Ordering materials and equipment from internal stores or external suppliers
Authorizing spending by others on materials, sundry supplies or equipment
Interviewing and selecting staff
Authorizing overtime
Allocating work to staff
Allocating equipment to staff
Reorganizing work (for example when urgent jobs come in)
Establishing performance standards for staff
Organizing transport
Deciding job priorities
General ‘housekeeping’ duties
Maintaining liaison with more senior management

C. Work Planning

The resources at the supervisor’s disposal
A supervisor is asked to get a piece of work done, or organize other people to get the work done. A supervisor has resources, as follows.
Human resources. A supervisor can deploy his or her staff to do different tasks at different times.
Material resources, for example, some discretion over the use of machinery.
Financial resources, within budget guideline.