Direction is an indispensable managerial function because it deals with human resources. Most importantly it deals with human relations and suggest ways of improving the performance by the employees in an enterprise., Direction is aimed at maintaining harmony among employees and groups in an organisation. It is the process around which all other management functions revolve. Direction is a kin to ‘nucleus’ of an organisation. The individual goals and organisational objectives are integrated only through directing function. This integration is achieved through the elements of direction viz communication, motivation, leadership, and supervision.
The principles of direction can be summed up as under:
(i) Harmony of objectives– One very important principle of direction is to harmonise the objectives or goals of individuals with that of the enterprise. A manager should foster the sense of belonging to the organisation among individuals and groups and see that the members identify themselves with the organisation. Goal incongruence may lead to ineffectiveness and inefficiency.
(ii) Unity of command– Another sound principle of direction is that the subordinates should receive orders from one and only one superior or boss. Presence of dual subordination inevitably brings chaos and disorder. For achieving efficiency, unity of direction should be strictly followed.
(iii) Direct Supervision– When manager is directly involved in supervising the employees i.e. when he comes into personal contact with the employees, especially in the work- related areas, a sense of belonging gets developed in the minds of employees and this paves way for escalated morale and making sub-ordinate happy. Direct supervision also ensures quick feedback of necessary information, the manager would get first hand information from the employees through face-to- face communication.
(iv) Appropriate leadership style– Leadership is a process of influencing the employees in the work environment. A manager should exhibit appropriate leadership style to direct the employees to achieve the organisational goals effectively. Leadership style is a function, of characteristics of leader, characteristics of subordinates, and the situation.
(v) Use of motivational techniques– One of the principles of effective direction states that the manager should employ some motivational techniques such as pay, status, job enrichment, etc. so that the productivity and the quality of the commodity (or service) produced by the employee increases. Motivation leads to higher job satisfaction.
(vi) Follow up– The last, but not least important, principle of direction is ‘follow-up’ because without such a follow up, it is quite likely that the subordinates just receive orders and do not follow them at all.