The importance of management and leadership development in a business
Managers constitute one of the biggest occupational groups in the United Kingdom. In fact it is estimated that more than 800,000 new job opportunities at management level will have been created in the country between 2010 and 2017. The sad reality is, however, that only about 20 per cent of managers have any formal management training or leadership training qualification.
Research has repeatedly shown that inadequate leadership can adversely affect levels of worker productivity, demotivate staff and even have an adverse effect on the reputation of a business. Direct results might include unnecessary or unproductive expenditure, failure to reach sales targets and higher than normal levels of absenteeism.
Managers play a key role in the day-to-day running of every business. They have to motivate, inspire and lead other employees. Employees who know exactly what is expected of them and who are rewarded for exemplary performance are normally more committed to their jobs. The end result is increased performance levels, lower levels of absenteeism and a more competitive business.
The theorist, Henri Fayol, distinguishes between five key functions of the typical manager.
Planning and forecasting
This involves having a clear view of where the company should go over the short, medium and long term, and laying down a set of detailed plans in order to get from where it is now to where it should be at a given moment in the future.
To achieve a certain goal the resources, including human resources, of a company need to be organised and utilised to their full potential. It is the task of the manager to do this.
This follows on from the previous function, organisation. Once the roles of the various constituents in moving towards the goals of the company have been determined, the participants have to receive detailed instructions on what is expected of them.
This, once more, involves co-ordinating all the company’s resources, including human resources, in such a way that the expected result is achieved in the best possible way at the lowest possible cost.
Control involves measuring actual performance against what was originally planned and making the necessary adjustments to ensure that deviations do not adversely affect the planned outcome of operations.
The good news is that management and leadership skills can be taught. A good management training course will go a long way to equip an aspiring individual with the necessary tools for the job.