Dear NPLI Management Solutions,
I’m a manager with roughly 3 years’ experience; however, much of my time has been spent with employee issues and dealing with customers. Now that things are beginning to calm down, I’m now wondering how am I supposed to spend my work time. What exactly are the regular duties of a manager working in a small-to-mid size company?
RESPONSE: This is a common question asked by many managers – even if they only ask the question to themselves. A manager’s job duties can be broadly or narrowly defined…often falling somewhere in the middle. In general, a manager’s job duties can be grouped into three major categories – planning, coordinating, and monitoring.
- Planning involves setting short-term and long-term strategic goals for the company;
- Coordinating involves identifying, acquiring, and positioning all necessary resources (including human resources) needed to successfully achieve the goals set for the company; and
- Monitoring involves measuring anticipated outcomes with actual results & making necessary adjustments.
If you are wondering how best to allocate your time, here are a few suggestions.
• If the organization is new or going through major changes; then much of your time (roughly 50%) should be spent on strategic planning. Otherwise, 20-35% of your time should be sufficient.
• If the organization is facing issues such as low employee morale, high absenteeism, low productively, then much of your time (roughly 50%) should be spent on coordinating. Otherwise, 20-35% of your time should be sufficient.
• If the organization is dealing with issues such as low customer satisfaction or lower-than-expected sales/participation rates, then much of your time (roughly 50%) should be spent on monitoring. Otherwise, 20-35% of your time should be sufficient.
These are just suggestions and may not fit with your role within your organization. You may have to create your own job duties by keeping a log of the things that you do on a regular basis. Make a clear distinction between tasks that could have been completed by someone else vs. those that only you or someone at/above your authority level should do. Keep the “someone else can do” tasks at a minimum – these you should aim to delegate or eliminate. All others are ones you should keep and aim to master.