May 14, 2021

What you need to know about the functions of management

Things you need to know about the functions of management

When taking up a managerial role, it’s imperative to familiarize yourself with the functions of management, which define or describe the job of the manager. These functions include planning, organizing, leading, and controlling.

In this piece, we will be having a deeper look into the functions of management.

The 4 functions of management

A French industrialist, Henri Fayol, identified 5 elements to be the basic management functions. However, today, there are four generally accepted functions. Together, these functions help in creating, executing, and realizing organizational goals. Each function is built on the previous one. Every manager, to be successful, must follow these functions.


It’s the stage in which managers must establish organizational goals and create a plan to achieve them. The manager is to make a strategic decision for setting a direction. A team of managers may sit down and brainstorm ideas to achieve the objectives before outlining a course of action.

Typically, managers must conduct an in-depth analysis of the current situation of the organization, consider the mission, vision and evaluate the resources available for meeting the goals. Managers must evaluate the internal as well as external factors that might the execution of the plan. Then, a realistic timeline must be established for achieving these goals depending on the resources, finances, and personal.

These are the common approaches to planning:

  • Strategic planning

It’s the type of planning which is carried by the top management to set goals for the company. Organizational threats are analyzed along with the strengths and weaknesses. Then a plan is created to help the organization complete. This type of planning has a timeframe of 3 years or more.

  • Tactical planning

This type of planning is used for achieving short-term goals that take a year or less to achieve. The organization’s middle management carries out tactical planning. The departments include marketing, finance, production, personnel, and facilities.

  • Operational planning

This type of planning uses tactical planning for achieving strategic planning. A timeframe is created for putting the goals into practice.


Organizing is one of those functions of management is distributes resources and delegates tasks to the right people for achieving the goals established in the first function.

The managers must work with other departments like finance, marketing, operation, etc. to create a productive work environment. Managers take into account the motivation of the employees as well as their aptitude to match the roles of the employees and assign them takes that fit their skills and abilities.

All employees must understand their duties well. In order to make sure that the employees feel engaged and productive to complete the tasks assigned to them.


Leading involves motivating your employees and influencing their behavior for achieving objectives set in the first place. The leaders must focus on managing people as individuals as well as the team. Managers must direct their teams by giving them orders.

Here, the leadership skills of managers come into play. They use interpersonal skills to encourage, motivate and inspire the workforce to perform the tasks to the best of their abilities. A good manager fosters a positive work environment by identifying moments when their team needs direction or encouragement. Last but not the least, it’s the responsibility of the manager to praise the ones who do a great job.

These are some of the examples of leadership styles:

  • Coaching

A manager can pitch his ideas to the work to build trust and offer managerial support to the employees to help them develop skills.

  • Direction

A manager leads by example but sometimes, they can direct employees to perform an action. Plus, some employees need initial direction and training to do the job well.

  • Support

It is at the discretion of the manager to choose those team members who focus on relationship building. This leadership style works on those employees who have developed their skills fully but sometimes, lose consistency in their performance. 

  • Delegation

Sometimes, a leader has to provide guidance to their employees to develop a vision for the day-to-day operations.


Controlling is one of the functions of management that involves the execution of the plan and make adjustments for achieving organizational goals.

In the controlling stage, the managers might have to train their employees and meet deadlines. They must monitor the performance of employees give feedback and give suggestions for improvement. It is the responsibility of the manager to manage organizational resources in an optimum way. Managers must create an environment that helps employees to accomplish their goals by using the resources available.

The controlling function must be confused with control in behavior. The managers must not manipulate the employees to get things done. Instead, they must take necessary steps to ensure that the activities remain consistent and contribute towards accomplishing the objectives step in the first step.

Often, controlling is in the form of financial criteria where managers must control the operations, production procedures, and processes for delivering services in compliance with the organization’s policies.

  • Commanding

Although this function is obsolete, it should be mentioned explicitly – it’s commanding. Managers are expected to supervise their subordinates in daily operations and inspire them for achieving the company goals.

The managers need to communicate the goals of the company and policies. The commands are given to the subordinates to remain consistent with the company’s policies. Successful managers communicate roles effectively and base their decisions on regular audits. Also, managers must motivate their team and encourage them to take an initiative.

Why is management important?

Every organization relies on group efforts for achieving its goals. Whenever there are 2 or more involved, management is required. Here are some reasons why having a manager is necessary:

  • Accomplishing goals without management is not impossible but it can be extremely challenging. With the presence of management, an organization is able to plan and balance resources for completing a task. This applies to everything in life, not just business.
  • No company can afford to waste time. Thanks to good management skills, a company can get more things done in less time. In other words, management helps make the best use of time.
  • Management always makes decisions that are in the best interest of not just the employees but the organization as a whole. Good managers weigh the positives and negatives before making a final decision.
  • When all the benefits above are combined, successful management makes a business profitable.

Tips to apply the functions of management

Applying all the management functions can seem challenging but resources are optimally used, managers can carry their duties successfully. If you are feeling intimidated, here are some tips to get started:

  • Document everything. Perhaps use project management software to keep up with the progress and stay organized.
  • During the organization stage, figure out ways to make your team work together in the best interest of the organization
  • Create an employee appraisal process to recognize their efforts on a project and acknowledge their efforts

All managers must remember that leadership is a learning process. Teams and projects change. Over time, you will uncover areas to improve and grow.

5 key benefits of management

Once you become a successful manager using these four management functions, these are the benefits you will experience:

Offer vitality

Management is vitalizing. They direct energy and control the activities of the organization for reaching the desired goals. The managers animate productive forces. Their energy drives the entire organization.

Key to productivity

There is no brainer – the success of an organization depends on its productivity and managers play a significant role in keeping its workforce focused and productive.

Achievement of goals

Managers don’t just help set organizational goals but the goals of employees. They encourage employees to use their skills and abilities to achieve these goals.  This way, the employer and employees both prosper.


Good management fosters creativity in processes, ideas, and thoughts. After all, creativity is the key to survival and success in the modern world.

Driving force of motivation

When the odds are against your organization and employees are feeling down, it is the leader to inspires everyone to see the bigger picture. Great leaders create conditions that motivate all employees to give their 100% for meeting the goals and objectives.

A good manager drives all these benefits automatically. They may not be born leaders but they can certainly develop leadership skills to motivate their workforce. The managers must remain throughout the process because it helps build trust. After all, if employees don’t trust their managers, nothing they will say or do will be able to inspire their subordinates or employees. On the other hand, if the managers play the role of a mentor, a charismatic leader who is true to his job, he can drive change!


Management in business is not easy. There is no cookie-cutter approach to management that works for everyone. However, every manager has to fulfill the same core responsibilities – which are these four functions of management.

A manager that follows all these functions is well-equipped to lead projects, teams, departments, and the entire organization.

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