Key Skills of Management Essay

1. Introduction

In this essay I have attempted to describe the key skills of management, in my opinion, and how working with others can develop them.

I have drawn on my own experiences as a manager and reinforced my answers with research from the internet and other reference sources.

There are various skills needed for good management, some skills are learned others are instilled as a part of that person’s nature. Within this essay I discuss these skills and the importance of good management behaviour.

2. Key skills – my viewpoint

I manage four teams, each consisting of 15 members of staff. Within each team is a supervisor whose task is to monitor the running of the operation line and to inform me of any deviation from the norm.

I am privileged enough to have a support team of a quality facilitator, two fitters, an electrician and a process engineer, who I direct to assist with the events of the day.

Enthusiasm and motivation I am enthusiastic and self-motivated; I maintain this through seeing issues as a challenge and an opportunity to test my skills. If I am enthusiastic then my staff will be encouraged to be motivated too, ‘It’s hard to be productive without enthusiasm.’ (Gates B)

Henri Fayol states that there are fourteen principles of management. In principle number seven (Remuneration) Fayol argues that ‘Workers must be paid sufficiently as this is a chief motivation of employees and therefore greatly influences productivity.’ I personally do not feel that this is a chief motivation even though it is a factor but that job satisfaction and also a sense of belonging are greater influences in productivity.

Communication I believe it is important to have a pre-shift meeting with the supervisors and run through what is planned for the day. Any concerns are raised prior to the start of the shift, so we have a clear direction of how we are going to achieve these goals. I try to keep meetings informative, constructive yet light and brisk. I feel it is important that we start the day with a can-do attitude.

It is important to me that the delivery of any communication is clear, precise and accurate. Communication works two ways and I feel that we only learn by listening. I operate an open door policy, where any member of staff at any level can speak to me.

Encouraging growth of people and business I want to encourage growth within the company; in order to do this I develop people by encouraging them to learn new skills and keep up-to-date with processes on the line. The rotation of staff within the production line not only benefits the operator with skills and self worth but also protects the company when manning levels are low.

Control of production is constantly developing and shifts with new products, technology and tools. Clear instruction is given to staff to embrace and use these as a way forward for the success of the company and maintain our position as leaders in the world market.

Following policies I follow the company policies in all aspects of my work and with discipline. I feel I am firm but fair; I nip things in the bud and deal with conflict in a calm, mature and professional manner. I am trustworthy and always deal with matters with integrity.

Respect Respect plays an important role in getting results from staff. I respect everyone and work hard to earn respect from my staff by being a team player and not taking my role for granted. I have worked on every process on each line to different skill levels and am aware of the requirements of each job. I would never expect any member of staff to complete a task I would not do myself.

Understanding customers It is important to understand the expectations of customers, to achieve these within the budget and on time. In order to achieve this we work closely to a plan, delivering on time and in full (OTIF).

Feedback It is important that recognition is given on a regular basis to staff that are doing well and like wise, support is given to staff who find things a struggle. It is easier to rectify any non-conformance at the very beginning than letting bad habits form. The ability to explain things that are incorrect and how to rectify them is an important management quality.

Resolving issues Whenever a major problem comes to light, I tend to bring key skilled personnel such as quality facilitators, department manager, shift manager, manufacturing supervisors, process engineers, fitters, electricians or operators into a brain storming session.

We utilise the skills we have developed and use management tools such as, the ‘Ishikawa diagram’, or known to myself as the ‘Fishbone diagram’.

Each personnel would have a valuable input using the knowledge that they have obtained from their own perspective.

Cause Cause Cause

Cause Cause

Figure 1: Fishbone diagram as based on the original by Kaoru Ishikawa.

In these sessions, we systematically work through inputs that could cause the effect that we see and then place a frame around the problem to find out what is, and is not a possible factor. Further investigation is made into these probable causes until the root of the issue is found.

It is extremely important to use all of the skills at hand to have a complete overview.

3. Conclusion Throughout this essay I have explored the use of what are in my opinion, the most important skills to have as a manager. It is not intended as an exhaustive list, but a sample of the many ways people manage.

In my opinion the most important skills of management are being able to project manage and coordinate while also having leadership qualities, or personable skills. In the words of John C Maxwell, “Anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course.”

Within this essay I have explored the nature of the key skills and have shown that in working together with staff, results can be achieved by following these rules.

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