Henri Fayol’s 14 principles of management
“Manager”, the label before your name, the nameplate on your cabin door, and at your desk, we all have imagined this since day one of our jobs. But only some of us are fortunate enough to have lived this dream.
Are these people, who were once your peers really fortunate or they did all the right things, acquired the right skills and strategically thinking techniques that the manager needs?
Well, later is true in most cases. Management is a skill that requires talent, techniques, and personality traits to manage a team. A good manager knows when to manage a team and when to lead people.
A manager is supposed to know what is planning, what aspects to consider and look over in decision-making. A manager should define and describe balance, discipline, work division, and unity to their team.
In simple words, for management at any organization to work in harmony with employees towards business growth, managers need to grasp Henri Fayol’s 14 principles of management.
What are Henri Fayol’s 14 principles of management?
You must have heard Henri Fayol’s name before. French industrialist, who is now recognized as the Modern Management, in his book ‘Industrial and General Administration’ in 1916 described 14 principles. These principles are now considered as universally accepted guidelines for managers to serve their responsibilities.
14 Principles of management by Henri Fayol
- Division of work
Dividing work according to specialization among departments and teams leads to efficiency which results in improving productivity, which in turn leads to business growth and profit.
- Balancing authority and responsibility
“With great power comes great responsibility” you must have heard this dialogue before. Maybe that’s what Henri Fayol tried to underline with his 2nd principle of management. Henri Fayol believes that there should be a balance between power (authority) and duty (responsibility).
If the manager uses more authority it shows the misuse of power while if there is more responsibility then the manager might feel frustrated.
What runs every organization in a certain direction is the set of rules established by the management. This is what defines discipline. It may be willingly or enforced but every manager must encourage employees to follow the rules. And to do so an impartial judgment and good supervision are required on the manager’s part.
- Unity of command
There can only be one boss to every subordinate. In other words, every employee should directly report to one boss. Why? It helps prevent confusion and mishaps due to dual subordination.
- Unity of direction
Imagine the advertising and sales promotion departments are led by different heads, even though as they both have the same objectives. As both the heads come up with different strategies to achieve the same objective it might create chaos and confusion among the team members.
Unity of direction is set to avoid this chaos. As Henri Fayol says, a group of activities with the same adjectives must be handled by one manager by following only one plan.
- Subordinating individual interest to general interest
Every organization is founded and flourished with creative talents, each of them brings a different perspective and way of handling the same situation.
However, to run the organization in harmony and lead towards a shared goal of success and growth, a manager must prioritize general interest over individual interest.
It defines the payment policy that provides maximum satisfaction to both the employees and employer. If an organization wants skilled, experienced, and high-performing employees the remuneration policy should be fair.
Centralization is the truth of almost every organization where the authority rests in few hands. However, it is not wise to build an organization that is completely centralized as it gives no power to employees to carry out their responsibilities and make sound decisions on time.
- Scalar chain
A scalar chain or chain of command defines and identifies the relationship between the superior and subordinate. In other words, it identifies the line of authority from the top to the bottom of an organization, implements unity of command, and controls information flow.
The order describes the material and social order, according to which every material thing and people in the organization should be at the right place. Misplacement of money, material, and human talent often lead to misuse and disorder.
Equity is another important aspect every organization should maintain. Employees look up to their manager for kindliness and equal justice which managers should abide by.
- Stability tenure
Once onboard, new employees require time to settle in the organization, learn the rules, work culture, and form cordial relations with their peers. It’s a manager’s job to give employees fair time to settle into the new work environment, learn their job, and become efficient.
Although showing authority and enforcing discipline remains in few hands, every employee should be encouraged to take initiative without any limits. It helps subordinates to put themselves in the leader’s shoes, think of the plan, and do what it takes to make things happen.
- Team spirit
Unity sprouted from team spirit strengthen the foundation of every organization. And it’s upon a manager to avoid divide and rule policy and instead be the catalyst for an ice breaker establishing and encouraging team spirit in organizing.
While this is just a brief, you can learn in detail about these management guidelines through online courses or reading materials and improve your managing skills as well as the work culture and productivity of your organization.