Research Paper, 3 pages (650 words)

Skills that managers should develop

When the low rate of management training provision by small firms was highlighted at an industry group meeting of small business owner-managers, one owner-manager of a successful firm responded that “Learning through real work is sufficient to produce a manager fully capable of managing effectively in the modern businessenvironment”. Learning is often taken for granted in organizations. New ways of working, new equipment andtechnologyare frequently introduced without planning either for the learning or the training needs of workers; typically there is an assumption that people will ‘pick it up’ as they go along.

And of course this does happen. The informal learning that Reid and Barrington (1997) talk about in Training Interventions is a daily, ongoing occurrence. It can happen by: Trial and error The person does something, which may or may not work and eventually the person works out a way that seems to get the job done. Reinforcement The person gets feedback from their boss when they do something that either shows the that this was appropriate or not. They will learn to do the same again or avoid the things that cause reprimand.

Experience The person carries out a task and afterwards thinks about what they have done, perhaps realizing they could do it differently or better. They work out a plan to try out the next time. Whatever the method, we see the potential outcomes to this informal learning as: People take a long time to learn what to do in order to perform their jobs to an acceptable level. People may not learn the right things. People may get inappropriate feedback that encourages them to do their jobs in ways the organization does not intend.

People often cannot find ways of doing things differently. People are often unaware of this informal process and are unable to explain how or what they have changed in their job. I don’t agree with above assertion. Encouraging training in small firms has been in the policy since early 90’s. Organizations become successful by developing new markets or Improving on what they already do. Either way, significant, sustainable gains can only be made through people.

Even technology has its limits. It doesn’t matter how fast the microprocessor becomes if your operations are constrained by systems or people. People are the only means of sustained business development; people are the only means of making your systems work better. (Norrie, 1997) You have probably been frustrated at one time or another by the apparent inability of your systems-take for example, your information technology system-to produce what you think it might be capable of.

Investing in a more powerful, more sophisticated package will be a waste ofmoneywithout investing in the skills and abilities of your people to use it more effectively. Skills that managers should develop A manager’s job is varied and complex, managers need certain skills in order to perform the duties and activities associated with being a manager. Research by Robert L. Katz found that managers need three essential skills or competencies: technical, interpersonal and conceptual.

He also found that the relative importance of these skills varied according to the manager’s level within the organisation. It could be described as follow: for top management, conceptual skills and human skills are the most important, technical skills less required; for middle management, human skills is the most important, conceptual and technical skills are less important; for lower-level management, both human skills and technical skills are important, less conceptual skills required.

Conceptual skills are the ability to think and to conceptualise about abstract and complex situations. Human or Interpersonal skills represent the ability to work well with other people individually and in a group. Managers with good interpersonal skills are able to get the best out of their people. They must know how to communicate, motivate, lead, and inspire enthusiasm and trust. Technical skills include knowledge of and proficiency in a certain specialised field, such as engineering, computers,financeor manufacturing.

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