Authority Levels


Authority levels should never be engraved in stone. They must be adjusted from time to time to meet the changing needs of the business and the changing responsibilities of the jobs. Assigning the appropriate authority levels to jobs at all levels is critical to the efficient operation of any business, particularly those businesses that offer a service. One of the primary causes of consumer discontent stems from people not having sufficient authority; the customer is bounced around hither and yon before he finally reaches a person who is able to make a decision concerning his problem.

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you periodically reassess the authority levels assigned to jobs in your area:

  • Have the responsibilities of the jobs changed in my way?
  • If the responsibilities have changed, how should be authority levels be changed?
  • Do the authority levels enable the company to meet the clients’ and customers’ needs as efficiently as possible?

This reassessment of authority levels is especially important to maintaining employee morale. If a person is given an increase in responsibility without a corresponding increase in authority, the result can be as devastating as failing to give him an increase in salary.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, and my Lectures.

 

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Management by Objectives


To provide a framework within which to evaluate subordinates’ behavior and, in particular, to allow managers to monitor progress toward achieving goals, many organizations implement some version of management by objectives. Management by objectives is a system of evaluating subordinates for their ability to achieve specific organizational goals or performance standards and to meet operating budgets. Most organizations make some use of management by objectives because it is pointless to establish goals and then fail to evaluate whether or not they are being achieved. Management by objectives involves three specific steps:

  1. Specific goals and objectives are established at each level of the organization. Management by objectives starts when top managers establish overall organizational objectives, such as specific financial performance targets. Then objective-setting cascades down throughout the organization as managers at the divisional and functional levels set their objectives to achieve corporate objectives. Finally, first-level managers and workers jointly set objectives that will contribute to achieving functional goals.
  2. Managers and their subordinates together determine the subordinates’ goals. An important characteristic of management by objectives is its participatory nature. Managers at every level sit down with the subordinate managers who report directly to them and together they determine appropriate and feasible goals for the subordinate, and bargain over the budget that the subordinate will need so as to achieve these goals. The participation of subordinates in the objective-setting process is a way of strengthening their commitment to achieving their goals and meeting their budgets. Another reason why it is so important for subordinates (both individuals and teams) to participate in goal setting is so they can tell managers what they think they can realistically achieve.
  3. Managers and their subordinates periodically review the subordinates’ progress toward meeting goals. Once specific objectives have been agreed upon for managers at each level, managers are accountable for meeting those objectives. Periodically, they sit down with their subordinates to evaluate their progress. Normally, salary raises and promotions are linked to the goal-setting process, and managers who achieve their goals receive greater rewards than those who fall short.

In the companies that have decentralized responsibility for the production of goods and services to teams, particularly cross-functional teams, management by objectives works somewhat differently. Managers ask each team to develop a set of goals and performance targets that the team hopes to achieve—goals that are consistent with organizational objectives. Managers then negotiate with each team to establish its final goals and the budget the team will need to achieve them. The reward system is linked to team performance, not to the performance of any one team member.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, Line of Sight

Being Accessible to Employees


One of your primary management responsibilities is to make yourself available to employees to answer their questions and address their concerns. When the press of daily activities tends to makes you unavailable:

  • Update your calendar regularly. Give your staff access to your calendar so they can arrange a time to meet with you.
  • Coordinate your schedule with your secretary and set up times when you will check in at the office, either by phone or in person. Let your staff know that your secretary has this information.
  • Set up regular meetings to answer employees’ questions and to get the information that will keep you abreast of their work.
  • Take time to contact employees periodically, particularly those you do not see daily. These need not be formal meetings. Taking time to talk with people, even informally, conveys a nonverbal message of support. Also, your employees will be less likely to view you as an “absentee manager.”

 My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, Line of Sight