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Resurrecting the motivation-hygiene theory

The Manager’s Role Inside the Organization

Organizations are hierarchies of titles. The organizational chart or the structure of the company and the relationships of the jobs and responsibilities, from the top down, maybe CEO, Vice President, Director, then Manager, each of whom perform separate and critical functions, enabling the organization to function, meet its obligations and turn a profit.

The higher you climb in the organization’s ranks, the further away you move from the day-to-day operations and work of the firm’s employees. While the CEO and Vice-Presidents focus more of their efforts on issues of strategy, investment, and overall coordination, managers are directly involved with the individuals serving customers, producing and selling the firm’s goods or services, and providing internal support to other groups.

Additionally, the manager acts as a bridge between senior management for translating higher-level strategies and goals into operating plans that drive the business. The challenging role of the manager is accountable to senior executives for performance and to front-line employees for guidance, motivation, and support. It is common for managers to feel as if they are pulled between the demands of top leaders and the needs of the individuals performing the work of the firm. 

The Work of the Manager

Have you ever witnessed the “plate spinner” at the circus? This is the individual who places a breakable dinner plate on a stick and starts it spinning. The entertainer repeats this task a dozen or more times, and then runs around and striving to keep all of the plates spinning without letting any crash to the floor. On many occasions, the role of manager feels a great deal like this “plate spinner.” The manager’s functions are many and varied, including:

  • Hiring and staffing.
  • Training new employees.
  • Coaching and developing existing employees.
  • Dealing with performance problems and terminations. 
  • Supporting problem resolution and decision-making.
  • Conducting timely performance evaluations.
  • Translating corporate goals into functional and individual goals. 
  • Monitoring performance and initiating action to strengthen results.
  • Monitoring and controlling expenses and budgets. 
  • Tracking and reporting scorecard results to senior management.