Direction is an important managerial function which is required to initiate the actual action. Direction is the process of activating human resources to achieve the organizational objectives. It includes assigning jobs, issuing orders, supervising the subordinates and rectifying the errors in time. Direction brings the whole organizational plans, policies and strategies into action. He also communicates with the subordinates effectively. Without direction, nothing can be accomplished. Direction can be also defined in terms of instruction, supervision, motivation, leadership and communication.
According to Ernest Dale,"Direction is telling people what to do and seeing that they do it to the best of their ability."
According to Theo Haimann, "Directing consists of the process and techniques utilized in issuing instructions and making certain that operation is carried out as originally planned."
In conclusion, directing is a function that includes all those activities , which are designed to encourage a subordinate to work effectively and efficiently. It includes making assignments, corresponding procedures, seeing that mistakes are corrected, providing on the job instruction and of course, issuing orders.
Any seven principles of direction are as follows:
- Harmony of objectives:
The first principle of direction is to maintain harmony and establish consistency in the objectives of individuals and enterprise. The employees and the departments of the organization may have their own objectives. So there must be harmony between the objective of the employees and the organization. Thus, through proper and tactful direction, a manager can easily integrate individual and organizational goals or objectives.
- Unity of command:
According to this principle, each and every employee should receive command or instruction from only one superior at a time. If orders are given by more than two superiors, it will surely create confusion, conflict, and disorder in the organization. Therefore, only one superior should command the subordinates.
- Direct supervision:
The manager should provide direct supervision to the subordinate. Within the organization, the superiors are required to make direct contact with the juniors, subordinates, and staff members to whom they have assigned the jobs and prescribed instructions. Direct supervision of the manager on the spot will boost the morale of worker and increases the loyalty of subordinates to the superior. This principle may help to boost of working staff. Thus, personal supervision and face to face communication with the subordinates ensure successful direction.
- Effective communication:
The effective direction is possible through effective communication. The principle of direction state that two-way communication must be followed i.e. downward and upward communication. Downward communication carries the orders, instruction, and guiding etc. to the subordinates. Upward communication enables the manager to understand the subordinates. If senior knows and understands the workers feeling, then it will be easy to make the direction more effective.
Direction conveys the working procedures to the subordinates about what to do, how to do, when to do etc. This principle ensures that the subordinates understand the order of the manager in the same sense in which they are conveyed. Partial convey the meaning may not ensure the understanding.
- Flow of information:
For the effective and efficient direction, the direct and complete flow of information is necessary. Information is necessary for communication, communication is necessary for direction and effective direction helps the organization to achieve the corporate goals. Thus, the principle of direction is the flow of information.
- Effective leadership:
A manager must possess a quality of leadership if he wants his subordinates to perform work well. So, effective leadership is essential for effective direction. It helps to the superior to win over the confidence of subordinates. He should assign the job with instruction and guide them and provide his personal advice too.