Business management and entrepreneurship are improving rapidly nowadays and one of the main roles is improving with it also, which is the line manager. The role of line manager became very important in the structure of the business entity, because it is the shortest way for executive or non-executive directors to communicate with their employees and line manager helps in this situation a lot. Line manager appeared from the business term “Line Management” and its aim was to administrate all activities which are hold in the company and try to maximize level of service providing and output of products. In the real life line manager normally in charge of activities and labor’s output or it is responsible for a specific product line, for example, tea production and he cannot make any alterations in production of coffee, because normally it will have its own line manager who is responsible for this product line. The functions of the line manager may increase and interfere with other management line to increase the success of an entity. For example, co-operation of line manager with human resource manager, finance manager or even with manager who is responsible for risk taking can help to the business to succeed and meet required goals. However, line manager cannot function with other managers, if he or she was not asked for it, so the individuals above the line manager are responsible to allow him or her to interfere with other managers or not.
As it was mentioned above the line manager has lots of responsibilities and it differs from business to business because every entity may need the line manager in different product area, so there are lots of skills which the line manager needs in order to be the best manager, so the entity can be very successful. The most important skills of the manager are cooperation with all staff, leadership, motivation, planning and setting aims for the product line in which he operates and have high knowledge combined with skills, so he can use all what he or she knows effectively to approach they targets. The reason why cooperation with all staff is important is to avoid misunderstanding, so he can set target and achieve it fast if all his employees will understand what is asked from them. The line manager must be a leader, because if he has no leadership no one would listen to him and everyone will do what they think is right, so they will create a chaos in the workplace, which can dramatically effect of the company, so the leadership of the manager is one of the most important skills which every manager must have. The motivation is very crucial point in the entity, because if employees will not be satisfied they will not do their work at the highest quality or even will not reach the output target, so it is important for the line manager to talk and motivate staff and help where it is necessary to keep his employees at high level of motivation. Another important skill for the line manager is planning and setting goals, which will ease the work of employee, because they will know what, is asked from him. Also, it helps to avoid demotivation in cases if the employee did not reach the output target, because he even did not know what was asked from him. Finally, knowledgeable and skilful line manager can help to understand every employee’s task even if they are not familiar with a specific type of work yet, so it will also motivate them, because the line manager can support them because he knows what to do and how. These skills are essential in order to help the entity to succeed, however, there are lots of other skills which can boost the efficiency of the line manager such as: confidence, organisation, respect, employees can trust him, making decisions in critical circumstances, good relationship with everyone and can guide and inspire his or her workers.
There are three different management styles and each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages. These managing styles are known as autocratic, paternalistic and democratic. First style which will be discussed is autocratic style of management. Autocratic style allows to manager to make all of the decisions himself and not to listen to the opinion of others. Also, the autocratic manager do not trust to his or her employees because it is thought that they are lazy and they are not willing to do their job, so manager must give clear orders to all of them. This method of management is very effective for making critical decisions and also it is very helpful to control lots of low-skilled (employees who do not need experience to work) employees. However, there is a huge disadvantage in motivation of the individuals which can cause several problems which were discussed above. Paternalistic is opposite of autocratic, because it is not strict style of management, but leadership has a huge influence here. These types of managers give more attention on social needs and views of their workers and they try to keep their motivation at high level to increase the efficiency of work. Also, before making any important decision they listen to the opinions of their employees, but still the right to make a decision is the manager’s responsibility. The only disadvantage of this management style is leadership and influence of the manager, so if the line manager has weak leadership then problems might occur in the entity. Finally, the last style of management is democratic, which gives more freedom to employees, because these types of managers trust their employees and encourage them to decide what they must to do to improve quality and output of the product. Also, they will listen to the opinions of their employees and make a decision with them. Even so, there is a disadvantage of this style such as allowing to employees freedom, so they can simply misuse it to avoid responsibility. Nevertheless, directors cannot choose what style of management is suitable for them because the major influence on the management style comes from culture of the country.
One of the most important issues in the business which is the motivation of the employees. The motivation has a direct influence on the performance of the entity and there are different theories which describe how motivation can be improved. Frederick Taylor’s theory is based that motivation is directly linked to the worker’s salary, stated that employees do not enjoy their work, so they must be supervised. Also, specific training lessons should be provided to improve the efficiency of an employee and they should be paid according how many items they had produced which will force them to work more and maximize productivity. This was one of the best theories for a long time. However, this method was close to autocratic style of management, so it was not suitable for everyone for various reasons because of diversity of cultures. Mayo’s theory is opposite to Taylor’s because he thought that money is not motivating people and aimed on motivating via employees social needs at the workplace. Elton Mayo made a research on it and concluded that individuals are best motivated when there is teamwork, freedom of communication among themselves and involvement of manager himself in working lives. Abraham Maslow developed a pyramid showing the needs of an individual starting from physiological needs and concluding with self-actualization. The pyramid consisted of five levels of needs of an individual. They believed that first need which needs to be fulfilled is physiological needs. Physiological needs are hunger and thirst. When these need have met then the second stage of the pyramid is safety needs. Each employee wants to be sure that we will not lose his or her job tomorrow and will not have financial problems. In general terms security and protection is their second need. Another need which is also very important called social needs which represent emotional side of an employee. Love, friendship, belongingness, attention and care are characteristics of social needs which can make a major influence on employee and improve his or her efficiency. The fourth stage is called esteem needs and it divides into two sub-sections internal and external. Self-esteem, self-respect, confidence and competence are related to internal esteems. Furthermore, cars, houses and other assets belong to external esteems. Finally, the last stage of need is called self-actualisation and it includes more advanced characteristics such as need of going up in career, gaining more knowledge, having more opportunities and new aims. So, Maslow believed that fulfilling these needs can change the employees dramatically. Thus, it is hard to meet all requirements for each employee because it will take lots of time and money to meet them because each individual has different needs. Herzberg’s theory slightly changes here because he believed that the entity should follow democratic style of managing and improve not everything related to job, but also that is around it like providing health security. He also, advised for line managers to use such methods as job enlargement, job enrichment and empowerment. Job enlargement means to give to an employee a variety of tasks to avoid him be bored on doing the same thing consistently. Job enrichment is similar to job enlargement but aims to give more challenging tasks rather than easy ones. Empowerment simply means to leave to the employees to decide themselves their working conditions and life during the work. Also, it was mentioned that communication process and method is very important in the business, because some of the communicating methods are not appropriate if someone wants to announce some very important information or even might be misunderstood because of communicating method. Manager should be able to explain explicitly to the employee what it is asked from him using appropriate method of communication. For an instance, if there is an important announcement for an accountant he can call him directly and ask to visit his office rather than sending an e-mail and waiting for respond which normally takes much longer time.
Another important skill of a line manager is a decision making. Line managers must be able to identify problem, analyse it and alternatives of it and solve it in short time to avoid confusions among employees. If manager is poor at this area and do not have good evaluating and decision-making skills then he is not a good manager because everyone tend to listen to manager in critical situations, but if manager does not know what to do himself could make a chaos in the workplace.
To conclude, the line manager plays a very important role in the role of an entity nowadays. Most of the decisions to improve quality and output of the product line where he was allocated by director must be made by him and explain to all his employees what to do and how with clear instructions. Keeping employees motivated by using one of the mentioned above methods can improve the performance of the company. Nevertheless, the success of any entity is depended on skills of line manager and balancing different factors.