Guidance in Management

The Concept of Guidance

Guidance in management can be defined as: – “The act or process of guiding” or “The one who shows the way by leading, directing, or advising. “ or “The one who serves as a model for others, as in a course of conduct.”

Good manager guide their employees to continually learn new skills and work toward organizational goals, while being sensitive to their needs. This kind of guidance gives employees a vested interest in their organization, which will affect the quality of their work. The good manager is a leader, not an order giver.

When a manager tells an employee what he want done, instead of giving an order, the manager give their employees the freedom to come up with their best way of getting that task done. It may not always be the best way, and the manager may have to do some monitoring and guiding, but there is also the chance that they will come up with something better than what the manager has planned.

Guidance in Management

When an employee is given an instruction, they have to think. They have to think of ways to get the job done. They have to decide which is the best way. They have to invest a little of themselves in the solution.

Also, when a manager give an employee an instruction, and lets his employees decide for themselves the best way to accomplish the task, they are more likely to get their buy-in and support. If they have made the decision about the best way to accomplish the task they are more likely to believe it is correct and valuable. They will defend it against others who question it.

Guiding involves working with an employee to establish goals, granting them sufficient authority and responsibility to achieve the goals, often giving them substantial freedom in deciding how the goals will be achieved, remaining available as a resource to help them achieve the goals, assessing their performance (the quality of their effort and attainment of the goals).

Guiding can sometimes be a major challenge for new supervisors to learn because they are concerned about giving up control or struggle to have confidence in the abilities of others. Managers that can effectively guide can free up a great deal of their own time, help their direct reports to cultivate expertise in learning, and can develop their own leadership skills — skills that are critical for problem solving, goal attainment and learning.

As a guider, a manager advises and assists employees. This does not mean controlling and issuing commands. The manager as guider requires the role be one of support. The manager provides guidance to the employees in an objective fashion. Good guidance can foster better relationships between managers and employees.

The concept of guidance in management focuses on the developmental needs of employees. This requires the manager help employees tap into their full potential and improve flexibility. The focus is on means (not ends). That is, the move is away from rigid rules and procedures. More flexibility is allowed in how the tasks are performed.

The guider empowers employees. Rather than exerting control over workers, this manager sets employees up to manage themselves. This means giving up control.

The guider in today’s workforce is a listener. The directing manager exerted control through talking. Little listening was actually done. In addition, this new manager uses participative decision making. Autocratic decision making has no role in guiding.

There are benefits for both employers and employees of guidance.

For employers:

  • Guidance may help identify training needs.
  • Guidance and lifelong learning can lead to the development of skills which are useful to the employer.
  • Guidance and participation in learning can improve team working.
  • Workers are likely to be more loyal and committed to their work if their employer is considerate of their needs and shows how much employees are valued.
  • Feeling valued by the employer reduces staff turnover.
  • Offering guidance or help with guidance improves the company image.

For employees:

  • Access to guidance increases knowledge and the range of options.
  • Guidance can increase self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • Learning as an adult can restore confidence in the ability to learn, both on formal courses and in the workplace.
  • Learning may lead to valued qualifications which assist in career progression within the firm.
  • Workers can reflect on their work situation within a guidance setting.

The best guider is sincere and open. This helps create a climate of trust and mutual respect where employees can take risks without fear-such as trying new ideas. Yet employees in this environment are comfortable recognizing the ownership of their decisions.

This mentoring manager serves as a role model and a teacher. This manager gently guides the activities of others. Contrary to earlier theories suggesting managers had to be strong and in control, today’s managers must be caring and show concern for their human resources.

Managers as guiders help employees become more proactive.

Is Controlling or Guidance Important in Organizations ?

Change is indeed the order of the day. As we move toward networked organizations, a global society and knowledge workers, the organizations are changing. And these changes require managers change as well. The role of managers within our organizations is drastically different than it was just ten years ago. And what’s more, we are just beginning to see the start of these changes.

As the structures within our businesses are altered, the processes by which the work is performed are also altered. The role of the manager within our organizations has indeed changed in response to the times.

As organizations move toward the autonomous work group, empowered employees and the self-managed team, the very nature of “directing” the work of others has changed. This function now means managers need to be coaches and mentors-not directors. The command and control manager is a dinosaur. There is no longer a place in our progressive organizations for this manager. Instead, our businesses need managers that can fill the new need for these new roles – those of coach and mentor.

Most managers today were trained in the old management styles. This is the environment in which today’s managers matured and this is what they imitate. Many traditional managers aspired to the command and control manager. Now that they are there, they find these management skills are obsolete. These skills do not fit today’s organizations. It is time to move on and accept the need to change. This requires, then, that managers consciously decide to acquire new skills and set aside the “old” skills no longer appropriate given the environment existing in business today.

The most basic foundation of a good guider, as a manager, is the belief this is the best approach to managing employees. To be a good guider requires hard work, but the benefits of improved performance by employees are great – for the manager, the employee and the organization.

The job as a manager is to get things done. However, it also means getting things done through others. When you give orders, you limit the group to your level of expertise. When you guide your employees, you let the employees contribute whatever they can. However, it also might be better than your idea. When that happens, the managers have an employee who feels involved and motivated and you look smarter.

In controlling, managers evaluate how well the organization is achieving its goals and takes corrective action to improve performance.

Managers will monitor individuals, departments, and the organization to determine if desired performance has been reached. Managers will also take action to increase performance as required.

The outcome of the controlling function is the accurate measurement of performance and regulation of efficiency and effectiveness. Whereas the guider empowers employees. Rather than exerting control over workers, this manager sets employees up to manage themselves. This means giving up control. This helps create a climate of trust and mutual respect where employees can take risks without fear-such as trying new ideas.

So hence, a manager must study the situation and then decides whether to guide the employees or to have a control over the employees. If the employees are highly skilled then he need not have a control over them. Hence both plays a important role in the organization and without which the organization cannot achieve its objectives.

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