Management practices refer to the various working methods and innovations that managers within an organization use to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of work systems and operations. It is the role of management to fulfill the five major functions of management: planning, organizing, leading, staffing, and controlling (Mondy & Martocchio, 2016). The fulfillment of these functions ensures the smooth operation of an organization and improves overall organization efficiency. As a newly appointed warehouse manager at Amazon, fulfilling the five functions will ensure the smooth operation of the workplace and will ensure that all the targets and objectives set by the company are attained. It is the duty of managers to ensure that the available resources are used in a way that ensures the achievement of set goals. Since Amazon is a reputable and well-performing organization, it is important that the management of the warehouse contributes to the success of the organization. In this paper, the five functions of management are applied in the management of the new warehouse facility to determine how the plant’s manager can ensure efficiency and performance, to contribute to overall company success.
The Five Functions of Management
This function involves the laying out of goals and targets, and the determination of the appropriate course of action to accomplish all the set goals (Mondy & Martocchio, 2016). A manager has to know the environmental conditions that the organization faces in order to develop a forecast of the future. Only after the development of a forecast can a manager lay down the various steps that need to be taken to accomplish set targets. These steps are what is referred to as a plan. As a new manager, planning will begin with the assessment of the current situation to understand what needs to be done to improve it. This can be accomplished by conducting a SWOT analysis to identify the plant’s current strengths and weaknesses, as well as the existing opportunities and threats. Such an assessment will help in the determination of what needs to be done to ensure improved warehouse performance and ensure the maximum utilization of the available resources. The various changes and trends in the market will be identified, after which appropriate plans will be developed to cope with them.
After the development of a plan, it is the duty of a manager to communicate elaborate expectations on teamwork and collaboration. Employees have to be made aware of the plans and what is expected of them. This may be done through weekly meetings to brief the warehouse employees and communicate the weekly targets and plans. Objectives and challenges should be discussed during these meetings. A culture of teamwork can be developed by ensuring that employees work together as a team and that they are involved in decision-making and planning (Bratton & Gold, 2017). To ensure the fulfillment of developed plans, accountability systems for progress evaluation will be developed. Plans need to be reviewed and progress evaluated regularly to ensure that the workforce remains on track towards goal achievement. The planning function ensures the effective and efficient use of organizational resources, the establishment of goals or targets, the management of uncertainties and risks, and ensures the achievement of competitive advantage.
In the fulfillment of the organizing management function, an organization’s management structure is developed, showing the various levels of management and the division of power within an organization. It involves the allocation of human resources to ensure that the organizational objectives are accomplished (Bratton & Gold, 2017). The integration and appropriate allocation of the human, physical, and financial resources are critical in the process of management since it determines whether goals will be fulfilled. An organizational structure dictates how roles, power, and responsibilities are allocated, controlled, and coordinated, as well as how communication flows within an organization. Amazon uses a functional structure that has characteristics of geographical divisions or global function-based groups. The company’s structure also has vertical lines of command, where communication flows from the top of the hierarchy to the bottom or from the bottom upwards.
The structure of the company will be adopted in the new facility, with the manager being at the top of the hierarchy. Communication will be effective since the facility only has 100 employees. To ensure an effective organization, the manager will first develop a list of all the activities that will be conducted on a daily basis. This list will include all warehouse activities including packaging, requisitions, and storage. After the identification of all the operations, the related activities and operations will be grouped together, after which they will be assigned to employees based on their expertise, skills, and knowledge. The application of the functional structure will improve efficiency within the warehouse and improve performance. Finally, the warehouse employees will be made aware of their respective roles and their level of authority. This will make sure that everyone is aware of who to take orders from and to whom they will be reporting.
This management function relates to the acquisition, deployment, and retention of employees within an organization (Bratton & Gold, 2017). Staffing is a continuous management function, as the demand for employees usually arises without warning. Even though the warehouse may have adequate employees at the moment, new employees may be required with employee retirement, resignation, or even plant expansion. Transfers and promotions are going to occur, which means that new employees will be required to fill any vacancies that arise. Through staffing, an organization acquires a highly efficient workforce that is needed for the accomplishment of organizational goals. Productivity is ensured and job satisfaction is achieved through the proper management of employees. Though staffing is a function of the HR department of the organization, departmental managers have a role to play in its fulfillment.
It is the role of a manager to identify and understand the staffing needs of their department (Kerzner, 2017). As a warehouse manager, the first step is to conduct manpower planning. This will involve determining the warehouse’s future manpower needs through forecasting. An inventory will be developed after the consideration of the necessary talent among the existing employees and the employees that may be required with subsequent promotions and transfers. After the identification of the manpower needs within the warehouse, the processes of employee recruitment, selection, placement, and orientation will be conducted by the human resource department of Amazon. Orientation is conducted by a representative of the HR department and an appointed employee working within the warehouse. After the new employees have been oriented, the HR department should work together with the warehouse manager to ensure that the employees are adequately trained, retained, promoted, appraised, and remunerated.
The leading function relates to influencing the people within an organization to work together towards the achievement of the goals of the organization. It involves convincing people to put the interests of the company first. A good manager ensures that his or her subordinates are enthusiastic about putting in their efforts towards the achievement of organizational goals. Leading includes managing, directing, controlling, and motivating employees. A manager has to ensure effective communication within the workplace to ensure that employees are fully aware of the plans, goals, and expectations. The leadership style that a manager adopts determines the attitude of their subordinates towards work (Kerzner, 2017). When a manager uses the transactional style of leadership, they focus on the operations rather than the workforce or ideas (Dartey-Baah, 2015). They focus on group performance rather than individual performance. This style of leadership is passive and focuses on maintaining performance rather than improving it. Transformational leadership, on the other hand, aims at improving performance and motivating the employees to perform better (Dartey-Baah, 2015). It is a proactive leadership style and focuses on creating positive change in the workforce. Transformational leadership will be adopted for the management of the new warehouse. The manager will focus on motivating the employees and ensuring better performance.
This function ensures that the performance and operation of an organization do not deviate from the norm or the set standards. It is a continuous management function that seeks to ensure that the organization and its employees move towards the set goals (Kerzner, 2017). Various monitoring and performance measuring tools are utilized to ensure effective control of an organization. As a manager of the warehouse, ensuring control will ensure that the resources of the company are utilized in the achievement of set goals and that the employees remain focused on the goals. Controlling begins with the setting of performance standards that will be used as the basis for the measurement of actual performance. For instance, the manager should set targets for items packed and issued per day. The actual performance will be measured against these targets. The measurement of actual performance is important to determine what needs to be improved to ensure better performance and to meet daily targets.
The actual performance has to be compared with the standard performance to determine the extent to which the standard and the actual performance vary. The reasons why a deviation exists should be identified, reasons such as environmental factors and resource shortages. After the identification of the reasons for variance, corrective action should be taken to minimize or eliminate variance. Corrective action may be the purchase and installation of new equipment or the addition of employees to increase the capacity of the warehouse. Low performing employees should be identified and guided towards performance improvement.
The management of an organization has five key functions. The fulfillment of these functions ensures the smooth running of an organization and the achievement of organizational goals. By fulfilling these functions, the management of an organization ensures organizational efficiency and productivity. These functions are interconnected and have to be fulfilled to ensure optimal organizational performance. As a new manager, it is important to understand each of the functions and identify ways through which they can be fulfilled. This paper has discussed how a warehouse manager can fulfill the five functions in their position to contribute to organizational success.
Bratton, J., & Gold, J. (2017). Human resource management: theory and practice. Palgrave.
Dartey-Baah, K. (2015). Resilient leadership: A transformational-transactional leadership mix. Journal of Global Responsibility, 6(1), 99-112.
Kerzner, H. (2017). Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley & Sons.
Mondy, R., & Martocchio, J. J. (2016). Human resource management. Pearson.