“Ways and Means” of Management Audit

This article throws light upon the five main categories of the “Ways and Means” of management audit. The categories are: 1. ‘Work-Related’ Means 2. ‘Compensation-Related’ Means 3. ‘Support-Related’ Means 4. ‘Status-Related’ Means 5. ‘Growth-Related’ Means.

Category # 1. ‘Work-Related’ Means:

These pertain to the ‘content’ of the work or job assigned. In order to generate motivation and development, the nature of the work should:

(i) Interest the incumbent,

(ii) Provide opportunity to him for showing his worth, and

(iii) Help him to ‘achieve’ and develop further.

Work in a typical business organisation could be classified into productive, supportive, and creative categories, each category may have an element of the other two and a job may have some characteristics of each of these three elements.

The corporate management should analyse in details logically and functionally so that an ideal match between the job and the executive is ensured. Hence, in this area a system of periodic objective performance appraisal combined with self-appraisal and counselling needs to be implemented and practiced.

Category # 2. ‘Compensation-Related’ Means:

These constitute the salary and perquisites, their proportionate increase on a continuing basis to compensate for higher cost of living index and other economic factors, the take-home pay, the superannuation benefits, and job security. Here the corporate responsibility does not simply end by offering an attractive compensation package for both short and long terms.

The management should review it from time to time in the light of growth in corporate business and profitability and take adequate steps to arrest symptoms of executive de-motivation and frustration on account of dissatisfaction of their lower order needs, existence needs and hygiene factors.

Category # 3. ‘Support-Related’ Means:

These refer to the infrastructural or physical working conditions, role and job definition, resources support, free flow of relevant information and open communication, fellowship for interpersonal or group relationship, direction and guidance from the supervising officer, sympathy and understanding from people around appreciation of work done or recognition of achievement and the practices adopted for conflict resolution.

All these factors can be combined into two broad groups, namely, ‘security’ and ‘social’ (as classified by Maslow). The satisfaction of each of these requirements is a prime responsibility of the corporate management.

A scheme of periodic opinion surveys and attitude scales, etc. to evaluate the morale of the employees in these directions is a necessity. Based on the findings of these surveys, the management should take steps and enunciate policies.

Category # 4. ‘Status-Related’ Means:

These include:

Position in the organisational hierarchy, job title or designation, power and control over resources including people, responsibility, authority, independence and freedom to take risks, participation in policy-making, ‘in’ on things, corporate image, closeness to the seat of power, compensation including perquisites, facilities, etc.

These may again be classified as: structural or hierarchical, process-related, power and control-related, and entrepreneurial. In all these areas, the corporate management should formulate policies and procedures in clear terms for adoption and practice.

The corporate responsibility must be to provide an atmosphere of fairness, equity and justice so that those who seek high status should be able to reach their targets by performance, results and merit.

Category # 5. ‘Growth-Related’ Means:

These are: future prospects; opportunity for learning and self-development through formal training and on the job experience; job enlargement; job enrichment; job rotation; and, fair performance appraisal.

The tools available in these aspects in any organisation are—manpower and succession planning, executive development activi­ties, regular performance appraisal, effective transfer and promotion policies, and organisa­tional development. In this area, the responsibility again is collaborative and joint—that is, of the corporate level management and the supervising executives.

To summarise, therefore, the strategies for executive motivation and development in any organisation should be:

(i) In the context of fresh recruitment—selection to match the requirements of the manpower plan and the recruit profile; induction training, job rotation to find out the likes, dislikes, skills, and aptitudes of the trainees; suitable placement; periodic objective performance appraisal and position review.

(ii) In the context of existing executives—periodic job review, and objective perform­ance appraisal, self-appraisal, counselling; position review; training and development, transfer and promotion based on the appraisal and position review data; continuous manpower succession, and career progression planning integrated with corporate long-range planning; periodic review of compensation, resources and infrastructural supports and information system; suggestions scheme and free communication system; opinion surveys as necessary, management by results—introduction of MBO or the ‘profit centre’ concept, if feasible.

While deciding on the above strategies and their priorities the management should not be oblivious of the following aspects of human behaviour:

(1) That motivation changes as an executive progress in his career.

(2) That executive motivation also changes from one point of time to another in the short-term depending upon the circumstances—his own and environmental.

(3) That individual executives irrespective of the level in the hierarchy deserve special care and attention in their development, lest they become ‘problem members’ of the corporate family for lack of motivational opportunities within the organisation.

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