When the plans are made and the organizational hierarchy and job roles are determined and people are appointed for doing those roles then it is important to guide those people who are the employees of the organization to initiate the action. Directing is done for the same purpose. It is a managerial action taken throughout the life of an organization so that the work keeps going on and employees are always motivated to do their job. In this process, the employees are guided, motivated, leaded, instructed and counselled to achieve the organizational goals. We everywhere see the examples of direction being given to the people, for example, teacher gives the direction and motivates the students to study and complete their notes on time, parents directing their children throughout life, a coach directing the players to play in a certain manner etc. In this similar way, the subordinates are directed by the superior so that the targets are achieved.
Characteristics of directing:
- It initiates action
- Takes place at every level of management
- It is a continuous process
- It flows from top to bottom
Importance of directing
Directing process is very important for efficient and effective working of an organization. Other important areas include:
Helps in initiating action
Directing as a managerial process is very important for initiating action among the employees so that they can work towards attainment of organizational goals. When a superior guides, motivates and counsels the subordinate then the subordinate knows in which direction he needs to put his efforts and thus he or she will perform the actions in a direction of goals of the organization.
Helps in achieving the objectives
Directing helps in achieving the objectives not only because the employees are guided by the heads but also because their efforts are combined and each individual effort is aligned with the organizational success. They work for their personal objectives and they match those objectives to achieve the company’s objectives as a whole.
Full realisation of employee’s potential
Directing process is really beneficial in identifying the qualities of an employee and motivating them to use the full potential of those qualities. Directing an employee will help in realising the potential of the employees by efficient and effective leadership.
Ease in introducing changes
Directing is very important in an organization because every organization which wants to grow will go through changes but it is human nature to resist change. Directing as a process will help in motivating, leading and counselling the people in an organization so that they can take those changes whole heartedly and thus resistance is reduced and cooperation is increased.
Stability in an organization
Directing the employees helps in maintain a balance in an organization as it brings the unity and commitment of various employees towards the organizational success.
Principles of directing
Directing process is not an easy process because of the human element involved and thus there are few principles so that it becomes easy for the superiors to direct their subordinates. These principles are as follows:
Maximum individual contribution
Every organization which wants success will have to focus on the individual employee of an organization. Team work is very important but it is equally important to focus on individual efforts. When every employee is individually motivated to do the work then it contributes to the organizational success. Proper direction is important to find out the hidden potential of the employees and use it to the maximum for individual growth as well as organizational growth.
Harmony of objectives
When the employees’ potential is identified they will work for their growth. Every employee has certain individual objectives which he wants to achieve. These objectives should not be in conflict with the organizational objectives. Effective direction will help these individual objectives to harmonise with the overall business objectives. For example: an employee may want raise in his pay but organization may want the employee to improve the results. A good directing process will help both in understanding the need to complement each other i.e. when the employee improves his working then the productivity will increase and this will lead to increased profits and ultimately will lead to rise in salary.
Unity of command
This principle is very necessary in an organization as it states that an employee in an organization should get orders and should be accountable to only one superior. For example: imagine if you are a worker at XYZ ltd. And you are at the bottom of the hierarchy rung and you do not supervise anyone. You will be responsible for your superior who will be the operations head. The operations head will be answerable to the department head who in turn will be answerable to the manager or the CEO. CEO will be answerable to the chairman of board of directors and not to everyone on the board. This will reduce the confusion and disorder and thus create a coordinated and aligned hierarchical structure.
Appropriateness of direction technique
When the human element is involved anywhere then the behaviour, expectations and thoughts of an individual should be taken into account. One person may be motivated to work when he or she is offered rise on salary while the other person may be motivated when he or she gets the recognition for the work or gets motivated when promoted. These individual expectations should be taken seriously so that the direction process can yield good results.
Communication is a superpower. It creates wonders when done in an effective manner. There should be no communication gap between the heads and the employees so that proper direction can take place. Effective communication will help in coordination and smooth working of an organization. When an employee is heard with attention then they field that they are recognised and are an important part of the organization. Proper feedback is also equally important so to ensure clear delivery of instructions has taken place.
Use of informal organization
There are many types of relationships in an organization which include the informal organization such as employees who eat lunch together, who go for outings, carpooling friends etc. A manager should make use of these relationships and create an effective direction.
Leadership is an activity wherein the leader guides and leads the team or an organization. Effective leadership is a key to effective direction.
Only directing, guiding, supervising, motivating an employee is not enough, follow through or control is also important. After the directing is done, it is important for a superior to check whether the instruction is properly understood by the subordinate or not.