Managing to Manage The Essential Guide to People Management

In this book, Derek Torrington has provided an essential understanding to cope with the core demands of people management, grounding the advice in clear examples and familiar situations. Torrington has followed a structured format which clearly lays out the concrete of management; giving mangers and people who are involved in this aspect a basic and important vision which is needed for fulfilling all duties at work in an effective manner.

In Torrington’s perspective being a manager means dealing with or controlling things or people. Also managing gives an executive control and authority. Nevertheless, a manager must know how to utilize this extensive power for the benefit of the organization keeping in mind the other hurdles such as the skills required to conduct healthy working environment, become an ideal manager etcetera, all that should be sorted out in the process. Accordingly, Torrington has brought out the fact that most managerial aspects are straightforward commonsense, but they all need hard work and right thinking to be done well.

Torrington has elucidated managing with people is working with people as well as being in charge. Building effective relationships with colleagues in order to get the most out of our jobs while produces good results. This way people will support and make a success of what they have helped to create.

The people dimension is where most of the challenges in management are found. Thus managers have to understand how a particular organization works and how he/she can use it to produce good results. Personnel or human resource management is different. It is a specialist role in a business to enable everyone else in the business to be good at managing with people.

Through conclusive researches in this aspect the author has thrown light upon the range and variety of a managerial role:

• Managers have to retain their specialist skills if they want to work in a respectful environment.
• They have two core tasks: working out agendas or action and developing networks of contacts to facilitate implementing those agendas.
• Managerial jobs contain a lot of interaction between different business professionals, members and co-workers. Thus they must be highly approachable and interactive.
• There are three different strands in the work that managers do: specialist, administrative and managerial.

Specialist Work –work concerned with the main task of the business. It involves manager using skills and knowledge acquired through qualifications, training and experience. Administrative Work- is concerned with organizational maintenance .these carry official , often regular duties authorized by others.

Organizational work- considers taking initiatives, conducting and controlling organizational affairs with freedom to create precedents.

• Managers need to have very high level of managerial effectiveness and administrative competence if they can command the respect of their colleagues and subordinates without remaining technically up to date.

• Managers are required to find a balance between job and personal satisfaction. However this balance can differ based on one’s personality and circumstances. Nevertheless, there are two things that are common for all managers: setting agendas for action and setting up networks to implement those agendas.

• Organizations having high demands from managers are normal. It’s more like ; the in-tray full of letters, the constant emails to be dealt with, the outgoing calls to be made and the number of calls left to be answered.

Furthermore, it’s definitely clear that a business organization has different roles in organizational, economic, political, international and social context. Though this gives the organization a benefit of a wide platform and maximized benefits, this maybe a basic hurdle for the managers employed in that organization. They are required to work with all interests while simultaneously having budgets, allowances required. Exceeding these externally set limits can involve least questions and possible penalties, depending on the answer to the questions. However, to understand where they are and what they can and should , be doing they need to be aware of the ways in which the surroundings of their job both enable them to perform and limit their freedom. Hierarchy is often misunderstood and vaguely put into effect. Actually, hierarchy is necessary in any but smallest businesses. It distributes power, rations power and ensures that people accept the power of others in the system. Hierarchy limits the tendency to corrupt at the same time by giving people the necessary authority to get things done.

Organizational structure deploys both differentiation and integration. Differentiation ensures that the individual job or task undertaken is effective while integration coordinates the output of each individual people so that the whole task is done effectively. Also differentiation and integration are dependent over one another. The integrating process is influenced by the amount of differentiation, the harder the task of coordination. Both together produce a working organizational by two complementary processes: job definition and structure.

The next step is to create jobs and while doing this one has to remember that there should be an safe working environment for the employee and besides profit making sure that there is job satisfaction within the employee is the true essence of a perfect department.

Further allotting an authority and working by means of connections bridges the gap between management and the staff which then paves path for optimum benefits. This is a twofold advantage for both the employees and department.

• Employment of the right people

While doing so, the HR has to consider the broad issues such as equality of opportunity, promotion prospects, pension entitlement and the candidate’s potential.For mustering attraction, is to bring credential influences to the number and type of people who want to join the group. In order to acquaint the right candidate, the HR of the organization must make necessary criteria and medium of documents through which applications can be accepted. Once a suitable number of applicants are admitted via the offer letters, the first few weeks is all about fitting in the environment while the concerned authority tries to make a needful environment.

• Perfecting the imperfections of the new guests

It is often found that managers have to act like teachers. Some of the early steps involved in this process are introduce individuals, ask people to introduce themselves, ask people to introduce others. To ensure complete lobbying, it is the department’s responsibility to introduce useful topics with required factual data, setting out background information and offering an opinion.

Once people are well adapted to the new environment and have got to known each other, it’s all about individual performance which is regularly monitored to track the organization’s progress. However the concerned department must make sure that the candidate is rightly fit in, the job entrusted is right for them and the employees also have somewhat the same goals as that of the organization.

For this the manager has to even build networks that even consist of informal contacts which will help to improve the ability to decide what to do and what is best at the moment. Networks are cooperative relationships that can help each other and bring effective changes and developments. To enhance this, a well-structured network can be built through conferences and courses, books, papers and newsletters and joining professional bodies and networks.

• Organizing and coping with other committees

Meetings are an inseparable part of any organization and poor execution of ideas from a managers committee can signal poor methods of communication and teamwork. During a meeting, the manager must know how to calmly communicate with his /her own members for proper presentation.Most importantly, a manager must make all its members aware of what the agenda is, what target must be achieved and how can everyone present some idea neatly and precisely in the most appealing manner.

• Presentation

A manager must keep in mind that the idea or the main agenda of the meeting must be clearly understood in simple manner. To accomplish this, he/she should gather the necessary material with facts according to the nature of the argument; be it informative or persuasive.

For all to fall in the right place, the manager should formulate a sequenced body perhaps in a chronological manner consisting of problem, the solution to it with comparison done in between. It should be arranged from known to unknown or in a simple to complex way.

After this, suggestions must be accepted from the team members to ensure a complete approval. The presentation if in the form of power point, the manager must note that speakers must be aware of the complexity of the content put in each slide and verbal and visual representation has equal representation.Torrington then moves on to throwing light on topics like how to conduct a selection interview, a disciplinary one and how to send reports and feedbacks.

• Finally, performance appraisal

Lastly in this book, Torrington has provided a simple yet very much recommended structure for a performance appraisal interview with useful steps on how to conduct in a very fruitful manner.

This final chapter calls the managers telling them how the criteria for appraisal must be genuinely related to success or failure in the job, rather than vaguely defined personal qualities. An excellent performance appraisal system is of no use if the managers do not know how to use the system in the best effect. Derek Torrington’s book ‘Managing to manage’ has skillfully expressed the need of a crucial managerial system and this book proves to be an ultimate guide to People Management.