There are numerous tasks of Professional Manager but there are some basic characteristics that he must possess. Some of the characteristics of Professional Manager are:
- A Professional Manager needs not have a formal degree or education in management but he must have necessary skills and gained competence from his experience.
- The fundamental concern of professional manager is the company or organisation with which he works.
- He is responsible for performance of the organisation. He has the responsibility to utilize the resources to produce the required results.
Tasks of Professional Manager
Various tasks of Professional Manager that a manager is expected to perform to produce the desired results are:
- Providing the direction to the firm: The first and one of the most important tasks of professional manager is to set objectives which the firm must achieve. These objectives provides the direction to which firm must move. He must constantly monitor the progress and activities of the firm to ensure that firm is moving in desired direction. The important point is that all the movements and actions must be consistent with achievement of objectives of the firm.
- Managing survival and growth of organization: ‘Survival of the fittest’ is the rule of the business. There is intense competition in the market, therefore firms have to struggle and fight for the survival. Two factors influence the survival and growth of the firm:
- Internal Factors: These factors are internal to the firm and are more or less controllable. Some of these factors are choice of technology, competence of managerial staff, efficiency of labour, company image, financial resources etc.
- External Factors: These factors are external to the firm and it has little or no control over these. These are government policies, changing customer tastes, increasing competition, values and attitudes, rules and regulations etc.
- Profit generation: Profit is the surplus difference that a firm can generate between the value of input and output. Business activity is undertaken to satisfy the needs of society in a manner that yields profit. Profit is essential for survival and growth of a business. The more output a business can produce with the same input, the more will be the profit.
- Meeting the challenge of increasing competition: The critical task of every manager is to anticipate and prepare for the increasing competition. Competition is increasing in terms of more products, variety of products, better quality of products and customer is today is more aware and knowledgeable than ever before.
- Managing the innovation: Innovation is the difference that a value addition makes to the customer. Innovation is finding new, different and better ways of doing the existing tasks. In context of business, the innovation means the additional value that it imparts to the existing products and services. Successful firms innovate in response to the market needs, involve potential users in the development of innovation and understand end user’s needs. The manager who has his finger on the pulse of the market can quickly find out the changes surfacing the market and innovate to introduce changes in his product to cater the customer requirement.
- Building the human organisation: Man is the most important resource of the organisation. No money, no machines can produce results itself. Man is required to run the machines. An advice given by US President Ronal Reagan Managers was “Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority and don’t interfere”. A good worker is a valuable asset for any company. However competent or brilliant an individual may be, a manager has to mesh individual to build a great team. The manager who cannot build his team cannot succeed. Teams should be built on the principles of division of labour, specialisation of work and mutual give and take.
- Retaining the talent: People may join a company because of its image but will stay only if they find appreciation for and satisfaction from, their work. To retain talented people, the manager should provide a comfortable working environment which is conductive for work. The manager must at least give come thought on how best he can make the work meaningful and interesting. Recognizing, nurturing and appreciating your sub-ordinates talent make bring you rewards in terms of better results and loyalty. To earn the loyalty of his people, the manager must remember two other key concepts: communication and motivation.
- Communication: The manager who promotes open, direct and frank communication can resolve the issue much before it becomes the problem.
- Motivation: Every man has needs and desires which drives the man to initiate action. The manager should attempt to influence these needs, desires or motives for the achievement of the organisational goals. The more such motivational factors a manager can incorporate in the work content, environment of work and rewards of work, the more willingly will people put in hard work. Money, power, status, recognition, etc. are all powerful motivators which a manager can use.
- Sustaining leadership effectiveness: An effective leader is a man with vision who can think and plan ahead and also have persuasion to carry people along. Every manager is a leader in the sense that he has to influence his subordinates to work willingly for achieving the organisational objectives and inspire them to put in their best effort. The only way a manager can be acknowledged as a leader is by continually demonstrating his leadership abilities. J.R.D. Tata is an excellent example of an effective leader
- Maintaining the balance between creativity and conformity: To succeed in competitive environment, an organisation needs both creative people and people who can produce business results. The manager must encourage both kinds of persons in his organisation.
- Meeting the challenge of change: One of the important tasks which every manager has to perform is that of a change-agent. The social, political, economic, technical and cultural environment in which the firm operates is always changing. The company must keep pace and change accordingly
- Managing the technological sophistication: The areas which are witnessing dramatic changes in technology are production and information handling. In the area of production, technological sophistication has reached the level where the entire production plants are fully automated and programmed to run with the minimum human intervention. Managers today not only have access to more updated information but also better information which can improve quality of their decisions.
- Coping with the public criticism and political opposition: The best way to avoid political criticism is to keep all activities absolutely legal and above board. Secondly, the manager should keep a low profile of his company to avoid drawing unnecessary attention to his firm’s activities. The manager should feed correct information to the media and political parties to ensure that they view his firm in the right perspective
- Postponing the managerial obsolescence: Managers and executive with experience of 20-25 years are unable to relate to the latest managerial knowledge and skills and feel totally lost. The prospect of enhanced status, increased pay and perks are no longer motivators for them to work hard. This is the problem of managerial obsolescence i.e. when managers become unproductive, or out of date, or both. Training programmes, refresher courses, and basic courses in functional areas are the solution for managers facing knowledge obsolescence.
- Maintaining the relationship with various segments of society: A firm fulfils a need or needs of the society. In fulfilling the needs of the society and interacting with various society segments, a firm creates impacts. Some of these impacts are intended while others are not. Since some of the unintended impacts may be unfavourable to the company’s image or spread information which is incorrect or inaccurate, the one of the tasks of professional manager should always be to minimise these impacts.
- Coping with the increased level of aspiration: You, as the manager, must understand the nature of aspiration of your workers and try to fulfill them, as far as possible, within the framework of the company and the worker’s job.
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