Managing people is a huge area with many implications. However, to be an effective manager, it is my belief that certain principles have to be addressed. The first area to address is that of leadership. According to Armstrong (1997, p62), leaders have to do two things, these being firstly to “achieve the task” and secondly to “maintain effective relationships”. The main role of the leader is to ensure that the teams purpose is fulfilled.
Hand in hand with this is that the leader must also ensure that relationships between themselves and the team, and within people in the team are good.These relationships are classed as good if they are conducive to achieving the task. Many others concepts and principles lead from this such as motivating the team and members, effective and appropriate delegation, decision making, supervision, feedback, managing conflict, discipline and development. Managing finances plays an ever-increasing role in a public sector manager’s job. Funding from the Government is being cut each year and the effective control of budgets becomes more and more important. The principles of budgeting and budget preparation enables a manager to plan levels of expenditure and then control it over the year.Effective time management is of crucial importance to a successful manager.
A systematic approach is needed which includes carefully controlled delegation and a clear allocation of tasks to subordinates. According to Blundell and Murdock (1997,p229), “one of the key issues facing managers in all parts of the public sector is to demonstrate that they are managing resources economically, efficiently and effectively. In order to demonstrate these achievements … the ability to measure, manage and report performance is required.” At the very least an organisation should have some performance indicators to assess its key activities and these need to be linked with performance targets as an expression of an organisations commitment to continuous improvement.
Today’s manager needs to have a much better awareness of customer needs and their responsibility to them than previously. Blundell and Murdock (1997,p171) state that ” Faced with increasing competition and heightened consumer expectations managers in all sectors of the economy are paying more attention to service quality and customer care.Public sector managers share these concerns and many attempts are being made to apply the principles of managing for quality. ” This has led to greater emphasis on customer care and monitoring of standards of service. Implications as a manager Armstrong (1997,p5) states that “Managers have to learn to exist with change, like the organisations in which they work. They have to be more flexible and more responsive to new and challenging demands.
” The Public sector continues to change at an ever-increasing speed, driven by a modernisation programme through central Government, with a greater emphasis on measurable outcomes.Armstrong (1997,p6) further states that managers need to: Understand the nature of management work in their environment and under conditions of turbulence, ambiguity, diversity, pressure and organisational politics and power plays. Understand the management processes they can use to cope with these conditions and with their environment. Practice and develop the skills of management required to ensure that these processes operate efficiently.
Appreciate the approaches required to manage performance, time stress and their own careers.It is important to recognise that stress and pressure are not the same thing. Some pressure is normal and desirable as a motivating force. It is only when the pressure becomes excessive that it can turn into stress. Many of the main causes of stress are those which a competent manager can have some influence.
Some of the main causes are poor working conditions, work overload, role conflict and ambiguity, accountability, change and relationships within the organisation.Clearly, the public sector manager needs to address these stresses within a rapidly changing environment whose change can create its own stresses. According to Blundell & Murdock (1997,p254), “there is an ongoing trend within the public sector involving factors such as downsizing (reducing staff) and delayering (cutting out management layers). We also observe further contracting out services, time-limited staff contracts and part-time working.
” It is important as a manager to remain focused on the roles and responsibilities within this change and aim to reduce these stresses within the changing environment.