Directing in Management refers to the process of guiding, instructing, counselling, motivating and leading people in the organisation to achieve it’s objectives. It is a continuous managerial process which goes on throughout the life of an organisation. A few characteristics of directing are as follows:
- Directing initiates action- DIrecting function is performed by managers which discharges their duty in the organisation. Directing executes all the actions thought of by the other processes such as planning, organising and staffing.
- Directing is a pervasive function- Directing is a pervasive function, ie, it is needed and does take place at every level of an organisation. In any organisation which has superior-subordinate relationship, directing exists as every manager will guide their subordinates in the performance of their tasks in the organisation.
- Directing is a continuous activity- It is a continous activity which takes place throughout life of the organisation.
- Directing has a top-down level of hierarchy- Directing flows from top level management to bottom/lower level of management. It follows a set of instructions given by the director or leader to the sub-ordinate.
- Directing involves human factor- Directing is a very significant function which gets job done by the employees and it is important for the managers to solve any differences and situations.
There are several elements involved in directing:
- Issuing orders and instructions to sub-ordinates- It is considered to be the most important element of directing ie, to get things done. These orders can be general, specific, formal or informal, written or even oral.
- Supervision in an overall manner- Supervision refers to monitoring of the routine work given to the subordinates. This process converts plans into actions.
- Motivating subordinates- Directing helps in motivating employees to perform a task given to them in an orderly manner and it keeps employees dynamic and aware of the duties they have to perform.
- Providing leadership- Leadership is essential in directing as it brings about trust in the director or the superior by the subordinates and helps in achieving objectives of the organisation.
- Communicating with subordinates- A manager has to continuously guide and monitor his subordinates on what needs to be done next and the way to do it.
- Maintaining discipline and rewarding people- A manager will be able to provide directions to his subordinates only when there is discipline in the organisation. Employees, in return, will get rewarded in terms of salary, bonus, etc. when they perform well in the organisation and only when they are disciplined.
Principles of direction: There are several principles to follow in direction. They are as follows:
- Maximum individual contribution- Managers should bring about policies which ensure every individual in every level of the organisation contributes to the it.
- Harmony of objectives- Directing ensures that it solves any issues with respect to individual objectives and organisational objectives.
- Unity of command- This refers to the fact that every subordinate should receive instructions from only one individual.
- Manegerial communication- This ensures that every instructions to be followed is well received by the subordinates and they should understand the same meaning as intended to be communicated.
- Leadership- Managers should possess good quality leadership to influence subordinates to do well.
- Follow through- It is the superior’s responsibility to ensure that subordinates follow the instructions given to them.
The important elements of directing are communication, motivation, leadership and supervision.
- Supervision- Supervision is the process of supervising the subordinates to perform any task in the organisation and the way to perform it. Supervision has one important tasks, named, scheduling. Scheduling is the process where a list of work to be completed is written by the supervisor and they see through it that the complete it within the stipulated time limit.
- Motivation- Motivation is the process of inducing the subordinates by the director to perform a particular task at hand in the best and efficient way as needed by the director or leader. It creates the desire for action to complete the particular task in the organisation.
- Leadership- Leadership is the ability of any manager or director to induce subordinates to work with confidence. A leader should be open-minded, should be of sound mind, should be far sighted and should possess a sense of responsibility.
- Communication- Communication is necessary in directing, as it brings about planning and decision-making and it helps in establishing internal and external relationships and also helps in motivation and moral boosting.