In this assignment my aim is to choose 3 ideas from chapters 1-3 of the textbook ‘Understanding Management’ (Cameron and Bridge, 2012), discuss why these ideas are important and finally describe how I have started to use them in everyday life this includes aspects of my work, leisure and home life. My 3 chosen ideas are SMART objectives, time management skills, and stress management.
My first topic is the ‘SMART objectives’. ‘SMART’ is an acronym so each of the 5 letters have a specific meaning. Sometimes in the workplace it is easy to try and impose targets that seem out of reach. If targets are not clear it can sometimes be hard to measure whether a target has been met. In order to make it easier to manage the workforce’s performance clear and concise objectives must be set out.
By using the SMART checklist employers can ensure that they have set relevant objectives. The letters ‘SMART’ stand for; ‘S’ – Specific – an employee/team member needs to be clear on his/her goal. ‘M’ – Measureable – means of measuring = means of control. ‘A’ – Achievable – the goal needs to be in reach otherwise a team will not try very hard. ‘R’ – Relevant – the objectives need to add up to the overall goal of which the manager is responsible. ‘T’ – Time defined. – In order to check progress time needs to be specified. (Cameron and Bridge, 2012)
I have started to use this checklist in my work especially, as it gives a clear view on day to day goals. As a self-employed construction worker I need to be ‘Specific’ of what needs doing on a particular task. For example, before starting a job I need to specify the height, width of a wall with the client before work commences. Without these preferences the work that I carried out would be pointless as the client would most likely be disappointed.
‘Measure’ the overall progress of a task to be more efficient next time. For example, note down in a ‘works diary’ how long a particular job has taken to finish and use it as a bench mark for next time. Without a way of measuring progress a team would be insufficient. Liaise with my workforce and set ‘Achievable’ goals for the day’s work. Set targets that are in reach so as not to dishearten them. A disheartened workforce would shortfall the progression. ‘Relevance’ of the tools needed to carry out the work. At the end of each working day I like to plan ahead and make sure that I have all the relevant tools ready for the next day.
Without these the work cannot be carried out therefore delaying our commitments with the client and generally causing stress and turmoil within the workforce. ‘Time defined’, the time I have to complete a job as I am often working to a tight schedule. For example some customers need certain work carried out/finished by a certain time due to their commitments. For example, recently a client wanted his garden feature completed in time before he was admitted to hospital for an operation. Time was of importance due to the clients commitments.
My second idea is ‘Time management’ (Cameron and Bridge 2012). Time management is when you make a conscious decision on how to manage your time efficiently to ensure that you are able to complete each task you undergo with maximum effectiveness and efficiency. One way of improving your time management is to implement the ‘3 Es’ when you’re planning a task or an activity.
The ‘3 Es’ have definitely been used in my own leisure/ hobby of taking on a course. The first ‘E’ (economy) has helped me in my essay work of firstly writing a plan. This has evidently helped in the time it will take in the actual essay writing because I have a guide. ‘Efficiently’ – I have kept my course work on a ‘PDF’ on my computer for me to access them more efficiently, this will save time when I need to access them quickly. I will use ‘Effectiveness’ to use my time wisely, for example not to start an essay 12a.m when my concentration is at its lowest.
Stress Management (Cameron and Bridge, 2012) is my last idea. Stress can come from a number of different places. Stress is what occurs when someone is under a lot of pressure and their health is affected due to not being able to cope with certain pressures. Life is never simple therefore we will all feel a certain amount of stress at times this is normal however if there is a lot of stress for a prolonged amount of time this is when problems may arise. Prolonged stress can affect how well you are able to concentrate; it may impair your judgement and could also affect the standards of work. One of the first and simplest ways to manage your stress is to be aware of it. In the text ‘Understanding Management’ (Cameron and Bridges, 2012) there is a checklist that allows you to assess your own stress levels. This made me aware of certain things that may have been causing me undue stress in the workplace.
After assessing my situation and considering what could be done to help relieve this I have started to do a few things differently when I am at work. A number of these things involve good planning. A day/workforce that has a plan will have no problems which will feedback no stress on the boss/manager (me). My last thoughts are on the importance of what I have learned from ‘Understanding Management’ (Cameron and Bridge, 2012). I feel that using the above strategies has evolved my way of thinking for the better in my work, leisure and home life therefore producing a more effective and professional approach to management. **********************************
Word count – 973
Cameron S. and Bridge K. (2012) Understanding Management, Milton Keynes, the Open University.
TMA01 Task 2
On experiencing essay writing for the first time since secondary school, I felt the task a bit stressful and daunting. The most enjoyable and easiest task was reading chapters 1-3 ‘Understanding management’ in assignment booklet and note taking. I enjoyed it in school and enjoyed it now. The most difficult task was remembering to reference and where to reference. I often wondered if I was doing it enough or too much. This was down to no practice and lost touch with academic life. Another problem area was conclusion writing. 2.
In the future I could research more on conclusion writing and reference writing to make this area a little easier. Also question my tutor. Word Count – 115