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Control Process

The process of control involves the following steps:

1.  Determination of areas of control:

It is not possible for managers to control every activity and workers also do not like that every activity is controlled by higher levels. Managers determine the key areas where controls should be developed. These areas should best reflect the cognitional performance.

2. Setting standards:

Standards are the basis for evaluating performance and relate to goals of the enterprise. They are the specific criteria to be fulfilled by the workers.” A standard is a desired outcome or expected event with which managers con compare subsequent activities performance or change.” Standards are useful for the following reasons:

(a)    They enable employees to know their limitations of work and expectations of managers from them.

(b)    They enable employees to know their abilities to perform according to standars .If they feel they cannot achieve the standard performance, trading can increase their potential.

(c)    They coordinate individual goals with organizational goals.

Standards should have the following features:

(a)    They should be achievable.

(b)    They should be objective that is, based on scientific analysis and not guesswork.

(c)    They should be flexible. If circumstances want, they should be subject to change.

(d)    They should be framed in consultation with employees. Standards which are framed with workers’ participation are better accepted and achieved by them.

(e)    They should be reviewed periodically and altered from time to time. Standards may be quantitative or qualitative. Quantitative standards are set in monetary or intangible terms which cannot be measured precisely. A company may set  the following  standards:

(i)    Time standards: They specify the time that employees should take to complete the work.

(ii)Production standards: Production standards specify the units that should be produced within the time standards. For example, company can set production standard that one employee should produce 10 units of product A in one hour.

(iii)Cost standards: The products must be cost effective tomaximise profits. Cost standards specify per unit cost of products. For example, cost standards can specify:

(iv) Quality standards: Quality standards maintain the quality of goods. Goods should be const effective and qualitative in nature.

(v) Behavioral standards:
These standards specify how employees should behave with each other, superiors and people outside the organizational, such as customers. Employees must be courteous and polite with work groups internal and external to the organization. These standards increase employees’ morale and job satisfaction.

3.  Measurement of  Performance:

After setting the standards, workers perform according to standards. Manages measure their perforce from time to time. Quantitative performance can be better monitored than qualitative performance. Whether or not workers are polite or courteous cannot be easily measured. Personal observation, performance reports, sample checking etc. are some of the ways in which data on performance can be gathered.

4. Comparison of performance against standards:

After measuring actual performance, it is compared with standard performance. Two possible situations may arise on comparison:

(a)    Actual performance is equal to or more than standard performance.
(b)    Actual performance is less than standard performance, that is, standards have not been met.

In the first situation, though no corrective action is required, managers should recognize workers. Positive performance and offer them rewards; financial (bonus, increase in pay) or non-financial (recognition and prestige). The of rewards varies with the needs of employees.

In the second situation, when there are deviations in the actual performance, the deviations may be significant or insignificant. If the deviation is not significant (deviation which is in the range of acceptance), it may be ignored but if it is significant, it must be brought to the notice of top managers. This is in keeping with the principle of management by exception. The principle states that since managers are occupied with much important organizational matter, every matter should not be reported to them. Only exceptional matters where performance significantly deviates from the standards should be brought to the notice of top managers so that action can be taken to correct the deviations. “Management by exception is a control principle which suggests that manages should be informed of a situation only if control data show a significant deviation from standards.”

5. Correction of deviations:

After detecting the deviations, manages ensure that deviations do not occur again. The problem may lie in worker’ initiative to work or standards may have to be revised because they are sub-optimal or over-optimal.

The corrective action can be :

(a) Immediate:

Managers correct the deviations immediately to avoid major problems. In the production process, for example, if deviations occur at the transformation stage, they should be corrected there and then, otherwise the final output will not sell in the market.

Immediate corrective action may involve(1) hiring additional staff (2) removing existing staff (3) training the staff (4) change in leadership style , or (5) change in motivators.

(b) Permanent:

Permanent actions remove the cause of deviations so that deviations do not recur in future.

The fault may not always lie with execution of standards. The standards and the measures of preface can also be faulty. Managers any, therefore, have to revise their plan and reframe them. A new selection policy, for example, for reshuffling the employees may be helpful rather than hiring and firing employees according to existing employment standards.

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