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Directing can be defined as the continuous task of making contact with subordinates, instructing them, giving them orders, leading them, and inspiring and motivating them.

It is the process of giving instructions and leading and motivating employees while they carry out their daily tasks.

Directing is the managerial function of guiding and supervising the activities of the subordinates in the organization.

It can also be defined as the process by which managers instruct, guide and influence the performance of activities in the organization.

Directing involves guiding, supervising, influencing and motivating staff members to meet organizational objectives. 

Features of Directing

1. Pervasive: Just like planning, directing is pervasive as all managers must influence and guide their subordinates.

Top-level, middle-level, and lower-level managers all have the responsibility of influencing and leading their subordinates. Consequently, directing is a pervasive function of management.

2. Continuous activity: As long as the organization continues to exist, managers must lead, guide, influence and supervise the activities of subordinates.

Because of this, directing is a continuous activity.

3. Performance-oriented function: Because it transforms abstract plans into action, directing is a performance-oriented function.

The core elements of directing are performance and action. Planning, organizing, and staffing all set the stage for real performance, which is done in directing.

4. Human factor: Directing involved guiding and supervising subordinates. Hence, it is a human factor.

When you consider how differently employees behave, the importance of directing becomes quite evident.

it is necessary to lead, influence, and guide them in achieving the organization's goals, which is exactly what directing does.

5. Executive function: Because it is carried out by a superior and not a subordinate, directing is an executive function of management.

In the chain of command, superiors can direct and influence the subordinates who report to them, while subordinates cannot direct and supervise their superiors.

As a result, directing is an executive function, that can only be done by superiors.


Importance of Directing

1. Initiate actions: Directing is the action-initiating function of management.

While staffing, planning, and organizing all prepare the organization for its actions, directing starts the actual action of the organization.

While planning determines the objectives of the organization, organizing determines the works to be done, and staffing finds suitable people for the organization, directing serves as the starting point for the implementation of the planning, organizing, and staffing activities of the organization.

2. Provide motivation: Since the directing function of management entails guiding, persuading, and leading subordinates, it is a significant source of motivation.

Directing motivates staff to contribute their efforts towards the realization of the objectives of the organization.

3. Facilitate changes: Through better communication and leadership, directing enables an organization to accommodate changes in the business environment.

Although people have a natural tendency to resist change, good leadership ensures that subordinates are aware of the benefits and reasons for certain changes so they may successfully adjust to them.

4. Integrates employee effort: Directing integrates the efforts of the organization.

Through directing, superiors can guide and inspire subordinates to work.

Directing integrates and aligns every individual effort in the organization by providing better leadership to oversee and instruct the activities of individuals in the organization.

5. Improves efficiency: Directing involves guiding, influencing and leading subordinates.

Directing also involves motivating and better communicating with subordinates in a way that improves performance.

If directing is done properly, the organization will become more efficient because well-motivated employees will give their best to the organization.

6. Improves superior-subordinates relationship: Directing is a human function of management because it deals with the human elements of the organization.

Directing improves superior-subordinate relationships through good communication, leadership and motivation.


Elements of Directing

1. Leadership: Simply put, leadership is the process of influencing a person's or a group's actions or activities in order to achieve the desired goals.

The core purpose of leadership is to influence others toward achieving the objectives of the organization.

2. Motivation: This entails inspiring and encouraging subordinates and other organization members to perform the necessary actions.

Motivating subordinates entails providing both money and non-financial incentives.

3. Communication: Communication is the transfer of information from one person to another.

The person sending the information is called the sender while the person receiving the information is the receiver.

4. Supervision: This is the process of supervising and overseeing the activities of subordinates in the organization.



We just discussed the meaning, features, importance or elements of Directing.

To recap, directing is the process of influencing, leading, instructing and leading the people of an organization towards the achievement of organizational objectives.

The features of directing include executive function, performance-related function, and pervasive, continuous activity.

We noted that the fact that directing initiate action, gives people motivation, boosts productivity, and makes changes easier is what makes it so important to the organization

Also, there are four elements of directing, namely; motivation, supervision, communication, and leadership.

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