Supervision and Motivation

Directing refers to the process of instructing, guiding, counseling, motivating and leading people in the organisation to achieve its planned objectives. Features of directing:
•    initiating action,
•    pervasive,
•    continuous process,
•    downward flow, etc.
Principles of directing include harmony of objectives, unity of command, unity of direction, etc.
Supervision is the process of overseeing the actions of subordinates and providing instructions to ensure optimum utilisation of resources to achieve work targets. Characteristics of supervision:
•    processes and techniques,
•    instructing,
•    guiding,
•    inspiring subordinates,
•    universal activity performed at all levels, etc.
Functions of supervisor consist of guiding, acting as a link, training, etc.
Motivation is the process of infusing enthusiasm in employees and inspiring them to work and act in a desired manner to achieve organisational objectives. Features of motivations comprise of internal/ psychological feeling, goal oriented, complex process, continuous process, etc.
Process of motivation starts with unlimited need creating tension. This stimulates drives and drives generate search behavior which satisfies need and consequently results in reduction of tension. Motivations in an organisation are very important for improving performance, better organisational image, reduction in employee turnover, etc. Maslow’s theory of motivation is based on five human needs:
•    basic physiological needs,
•    safety and Security needs,
•    social needs,
•    esteem needs and
•    self actualisation needs.
Incentives are all those measures and techniques which are used in motivating people to improve performance. Financial incentives include pay and allowances, productivity linked wages, bonus and commission, etc. Non-financial incentives for motivation include status, organisational climate, career advancement, job enrichment, etc.


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  • Q1

    Explain ‘‘Esteem Needs’’ of an employee.


    Esteem or ego needs consist of two different set of needs :
    (i) Self esteem: Self esteem needs include needs for self-respect, self-confidence, competence, autonomy and knowledge. Self esteem needs may be satisfied by recognising good performance, providing challenging job assignments and opportunities to the employees.
    (ii) Esteem from others: Other esteem needs relate to reputation, prestige, power, status, recognition and respect of others.

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  • Q2

    Rahul has been appointed to oversee the work being performed by a team of workers in a factory. Which element of ‘Directing’ is being performed by him? Enumerate his functions.


    Rahul is performing the element of ‘Supervision’.

    Supervision means monitoring the progress of routine work of subordinates and guiding them.

    The functions of a supervisor are:

    i. Maintain day to day contact and friendly relations with workers

    ii. Act as a link between workers and management, conveying management policies & ideas to workers and reporting worker’s grievances to the management.

    iii. Ensure performance of work according to the targets set by the management, by assuming responsibility.

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  • Q3

    Explain the features of directing.


    A.The features of directing are:
    i. Directing initiates action: Directing involves guiding and instructing the employees at work according to planning, organising, staffing and controlling functions. So it initiates the actions of the employees.
    ii. Directing is a continuous process: Directing takes place throughout the life of the organisation as manager has to guide, supervise and motivate his subordinates continuously.
    iii. Directing flows from top to bottom: Directions are given by managers to their subordinates. Every subordinate receives direction and guidelines from the immediate boss thus direction flows from top level to lower level.
    iv. Performance oriented: Directing is regarded as executing function which puts plans into action by providing directions and instructions to the subordinates. So directing brings efficiency in performance.

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  • Q4

    How does directing facilitate change in the organisation ?


    Organisation is directing a part of society and any change in the society changes organisational process to keep the organisation ready to face environmental changes. Moreover, there are changes in the organisational structure and in individuals also. In order to incorporate and implement these changes, management motivates and initiates individuals to adopt these changes and guides them in that direction.

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  • Q5

    Explain the meaning of directing in terms of its elements.


    Directing means guiding subordinates in doing work. Directing is the managerial function of guiding inspiring, instructing and overseeing people towards the accomplishment of the desired results.

    Following are the elements of directing :
    (i) Supervision
    (ii) Motivation
    (iii) Leadership
    (iv) Communication

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