Management is as much an Art as it is a Science. Many of the top issues Management faces today involve "people" and / or "process".
With respect to the former, the Art of Management will come in handy with respect to dealing with peoples, establishing a culture for success, and as well as motivating and leading people towards goal attainment.
The Science of Management, or perhaps the analytical side of Management, may often require reliance on data, or various data sets, and the application of such toward the potential resolution of an issue.
If we knew what to do all of the time, to combat all of the problems, we would never need to study Management.
Understanding Management requires considerable effort; in the event, you are short the ability to put forward this effort, many claim you can throw, "cash" and / or "time" to substitute towards working out meaningful resolutions to your problems. Here, in this section, we look at some of the most common problems Managers face . . . not necessarily area specific; however, largely looking at such from a "global" perspective.
Top Management Problems . . .
1. Lack of quality and / or quality control
2. Lack of supply chain controls
3. Lack of employee productivity, i.e., throughput / hour, etc.
4. Lack of operating capital to invest into process automation
5. Lack of an establish "maintenance" / "upkeep" program
6. Lack of capacity, or the ability to produce as required
7. Lack of Managerial focus on "core" competencies
If employees are all like "snowflakes" i.e., with everyone one being unique, understanding how to motivate the "individual" can be a daunting task. That said, focus your efforts towards a strategy to engage with the "group" rather than the individual to optimize your resources, and time commitment.
With greater employee engagement, so too should productivity increase. Remember, productivity cannot be sustained by offering wage incentives. Although, money is a short term satisfier, it does very little to promote long term productivity gains, employee engagement and general employee satisfaction.
The revolving door is perhaps the most common characterization of this issue; however, such need not be the case. This scenario suggests that turnover can often cost an employer 33% of an employee's salary. There are ways of minimizing the effects of this without committing to salary increases - this is where the Art of Management comes into play. Look for ways of using non-financial means of engaging employees whenever possible.
Remember, you spend almost one third of your day at your workplace, if this environment is "unhealthy" or toxic, then the likelihood of feeling good about yourself throughout the rest of the day is fairly low. Hiring the "right" people, for the job is usually ground zero; however, issues like nepotism, favoritism, failure to act as a manager / leader often lead to contributing to this environment.
Statistics suggest that 40% of a manager's day involves putting out "fires. " This is a considerable amount of largely "unproductive" time. This undue cognitive stress, placed on the manager, is something to be avoided at all cost. Imagine how this time waste contributes to what employees might perceive as a lack of leadership. Many studies suggest that this 40% time catch should best be dealt with towards the end of the business day, in that way, you prioritize workflow, and other items which directly contribute to the bottom line.
Making difficult calls can be painful, if not outright mentally draining; however, they must be done. If possible, be direct and to the point when advocating such. Honesty is always the best policy; however, being tactful will showcase your managerial talents in a much positive fashion.
As the old saying goes, "if you can measure it, you can control it." Quality is as much a journey as it is a destination. It starts from the top, and trickles downward throughout the organization.
If you have quality issues, remember that if you can measure such, you may be able to determine the source of the issue that is causing these concerns. When and how much to sample often help us determine the sources for quality concerns.
Perhaps consider using the five "Whys" as a roadmap towards identifying the root cause and resolving your issue[s].
Problem . . . wrong item shipped to customer.
Why . . . the wrong item was pulled from inventory
Why . . . the item pulled was mislabeled.
Why . . . the supplier mislabeled prior to shipping
Why . . . the individual simply put the wrong label on the product
Why . . . labels are often preprinted and mistakes happen.
Employee productivity, or lack thereof, often stems with having the wrong people "on the floor" at the right time, or, not having access to the equipment, machinery, etc., at the time when employees most need such to complete their jobs. This could be related to lack of scheduling or lack of operating capital to have the right inventory available when needed for processing.
Maintenance and the strategy associated with such, can be either proactive or reactive. Studies suggest that unplanned downtime in the automotive sector can cost a company upwards of $22,000 a minute.
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