The manager’s most basic responsibility is to focus people toward performance of work activities to achieve desired outcomes. What’s your interpretation of this statement? Do you agree with it? Why or why not?
The way I interpret this statement, it means that the manager’s main task has to do with the state of mind of the employees. In other words, the manager’s task is to make sure that the workers have the right attitude and mentality to be able to work effectively and achieve the outcomes that the firm wants.
As to whether I agree with this statement, it depends a great deal on the sort of job that the workers are supposed to do. In some jobs, motivation may well be the most important task of the manager. In others, it may be more important for the manager to do more technical and detailed work.
Let us think about a firm whose workers do low-skilled, repetitive jobs. An example of this could be a fast food restaurant. In such a firm, the manager’s job does consist mostly of making sure that workers are doing what they are supposed to do. The manager really does little more than set the schedule, assign tasks, and supervise to make sure the work is being done properly. The main task for this manager, then, is to make sure the workers are taking their jobs seriously.
Now let us think about a firm where workers are doing “brain work.” Here, the manager’s task may well be different. The manager might have to do more to guide the employees along. In this case, the manager may be a person who knows the employees’ jobs and can discuss with them the problems that they are having in achieving their goals. This manager can give technical advice and can help their workers actually do the work more effectively instead of simply making sure that they are focused on their jobs.
Thus, I would argue that this statement is truer in some firms than in others, though motivation is always an important part of a manager’s job.