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The first of the managerial functions is planning. In this step the manager will create a detailed action plan aimed at some organizational goal.
For example, let's say Melissa the marketing manager has a goal of increasing sales during the month of February. Melissa needs to first spend time mapping out the necessary steps she and her team of sales representatives must take so that they can increase sales numbers. These steps might include things like increasing advertisements in a particular region, placing some items on sale, increasing the amount of required customer-to-sales rep contact, or contacting prior customers to see if they are interested in purchasing additional products. The steps are then organized into a logical pattern so that Melissa and her team can follow them.
Planning is an ongoing step and can be highly specialized based on organizational goals, division goals, departmental goals, and team goals. It is up to the manager to recognize which goals need to be planned within his or her individual area.
The second of the managerial functions is organizing. This step requires Melissa to determine how she will distribute resources and organize her employees according to the plan. Melissa will need to identify different roles and ensure that she assigns the right amount of employees to carry out her plan. She will also need to delegate authority, assign work, and provide direction so that her team of sales representatives can work towards higher sales numbers without having barriers in their way.
The third function of management is leading. In this step, Melissa spends time connecting with her employees on an interpersonal level. This goes beyond simply managing tasks; rather, it involves communicating, motivating, inspiring, and encouraging employees towards a higher level of productivity. Not all managers are leaders. An employee will follow the directions of a manager because they have to, but an employee will voluntarily follow the directions of a leader because they believe in who he or she is as a person, what he or she stands for, and for the manner in which they are inspired by the leader.
Controlling is the final function of management. Once a plan has been carried out the manager evaluates the results against the goals. If a goal is not being met, the manager must also take any necessary corrective actions to continue to work towards that goal.
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