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Q.1 List and explain the traits if a professional manager.


Answer:
Traits of the professional manager
The following traits enable a manager to be effective in his functioning. Endowed with these it will be easy to be effective. The top management will look for these in a person who they want to employ for project management.

(a) Leadership – These managers lead by exhibiting the characteristics of leadership. They know what they should do, know why they are doing it, know how to do it and have the courage and will to do it. They have the power of taking along with them others.
 
(b) People Relationships Any leader without followers cannot be successful. They have excellent human relationship skills. The manager builds up his team based on the core values of sincerity, objectivity and dedication. He ensures that his subordinates get opportunities for growth based on performance. He makes them a part of the decision making process, thus ensuring cooperation and commitment during implementation. He delegates freely and supports them.

(C) Integrity Highest - levels of trust, fairness and honesty are expected while dealing with people both within an outside the organisation. This includes the customers, shareholders, dealers, employees, the government and society at large. They ensure that functioning is clean. Their transactions will be transparent. Ethics is something they practice diligently.

(d) Quality – The quality philosophy should not cover only the product quality, but every process that has gone into making it. Economy of words when instructions are given, acknowledging compliance, arriving on time, remembering the promises and above all a keen eye for details and patience to make others know what they want are components of quality.

(e) Customer Orientation It is now recognized that every organized two sets of customers. Internal customers are people in the organisation – employees, directors, team members – any person who needs your services, whose needs of demands you satisfy. External customers – clients and all members of society we come in contact in connection with our business. They need our solutions for their problems. So, the manager’s thinking about any problem is – what can I do for him and all actions will be in that direction.

(f) Innovation and creativity Professional managers think beyond the obvious. They exhibit a keenness to go behind a problem and attempt to find the root cause of the problem. They will draw from their experience from diverse fields, seek further information and consider all possible alternatives and come out with some new and unique solution. This happens when they have open minds. A saying goes the human mind is like a parachute, it is useful only when it is open. Such a work culture is very conducive for problem solving – which is the aim of all creativity. Their persistence will reward them. Such actions observed by their team members nthuse them and a spirit of adventure will bring about better solutions faster.

(g) Performance Management The professional manager not only ensures that his performance is at peak all times, but motivates his entire team to do it. This comes by appreciation and encouragement. If there any shortfalls he arranges for training them so that their performance improves. Thus the team members know that they are expected to perform, that they get help to do so and their effort is recognized. This is the simple path of performance management. The following seven step model will be useful:
1. Objectives/Performance standards are set.
2. These are communicated to the employees.
3. Review/monitor the above.
4. Check actual performance Vs. Standards set.
5. Identify gaps.
6. Jointly decide on corrective action, if needed.
7. Reset objectives for next period

1. Objectives/Performance Standards Are Set
1. To mange any criterion, it is necessary to measure the factors that were responsible for ‘what is’. The quality of the input, their quantity and their intended usage. Then measures of the utilizationthe processes used, their suitability, and the difficulties faced in utilization and how they were resolved. Then the outcomes – are they as they were expected. Performance closer or beyond expectation is the degree of quality. For every employee the level of achievement is set in terms of quantities and extent to which the performance approached the standard. This is the basis for evaluating performance.
2. These are communicated to the employees This procedure ensures that they know what is expected of them and help them to adjust their activities in such a way as to meet them. This enables them to seek help, consult their colleagues or bosses, learn– so that they will meet the expectations. It is possible that some objectives cannot be met at all. The communication to his boss, may help in reallocating the job, so that there will be no hiccups at the end of the period.
3. Review/monitor the above Review helps in resetting the goals when they cannot be achieved for various reasons – shortage of resources, time etc. By monitoring, the shortfalls can be made up with the allocation of extra resources, or even diverting the operation.
4. Check actual performance Vs. Standards set This is the evaluation phase. Comparison on every detail is made. Differences are recorded. Particular areas are chosen for improvement.

5. Identify gaps Gaps mean the shortfall in performance standards. The immediate supervisor is also involved. The extent to which they affect the functions of the job itself are identified

6. Jointly decide on corrective action, if needed There is a possibility that the performance has exceeded the set standards. But if performance is not good the reasons and extent having been identified, the course of action for effecting corrections are decided. Giving extra responsibilities, training, relocation is considered.

7. Reset objectives for next period The targets are revised either upward or downward depending on the conclusion of the appraisal process.

(h) Identification with the organisation A sense of pride and belonging goes with the “ownership” of the job, the project, team members and organisation. This is brought about by the culture and communication system in the organisation. Information sharing brings in trust and promotes belongingness. The tendency seen is that most managers strongly identify with their own departments, units or divisions and they lack a sense of organisation.
In the light of increased competition and ever changing strategies to develop business orientation, which in effect means every manager should be aware of the company’s plans, products and policies. An obvious corollary to this is that the organization’s communication policy too should be conducive to such information sharing. Today, many organizations are using interventions such as team building, survey feedback, and other activities, to ensure that employees build up a strong sense of identity and pride in the organisation they work for.

(i) Empowering employees: The professional manager should possess the ability to empower his employees down the line. Many managers are not even ready to delegate their authority to subordinates and end up only delegating responsibility. Empowerment is the process by which employees are encouraged to take decisions pertaining to their area of work. Empowerment ensures execution of his duties. This leads employees developing a sense of pride in their jobs. But managers often hesitate to empower their subordinates as they feel insecure and show a sense of uncertainty. The professional manager practices empowerment and encourages employees to grow and develop in their positions.

(j) Coping with changes: It is often said – ‘The only constant in this world is change’. A professional manager has the ability and capacity to cope with change. He accepts the fact that change is inevitable and is ready to implement change at the workplace. To implement change successfully, it is essential that employees are involved in the implementation of change. Further the positive and
negative consequences of change need to be discussed and understood before implementation.
Thus a professional manager has the attitude to accept change as a way of life and takes it in his stride

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