Controlling consists of verifying whether everything occurs in conformities with the plans adopted, instructions issued and principles established. Controlling ensures that there is effective and efficient utilization of organizational resources so as to achieve the planned goals. Controlling measures the deviation of actual performance from the standard performance, discovers the causes of such deviations and helps in taking corrective actions
According to Brech, “Controlling is a systematic exercise which is called as a process of checking actual performance against the standards or plans with a view to ensure adequate progress and also recording such experience as is gained as a contribution to possible future needs.”
According to Donnell, “Just as a navigator continually takes reading to ensure whether he is relative to a planned action, so should a business manager continually take reading to assure himself that his enterprise is on right course.” Controlling is a four-step process of establishing performance standards based on the firm’s objectives, measuring and reporting actual performance, comparing the two, and taking corrective or preventive action as necessary. Performance standards come from the planning function. No matter how difficult, standards should be established for every important task. Although the temptation may be great, lowering standards to what has been attained is not a solution to performance problems. On the other hand, a manager does need to lower standards when they are found to be unattainable due to resource limitations and factors external to the business. Corrective action is necessary when performance is below standards. If performance is anticipated to be below standards, preventive action must be taken to ensure that the problem does not recur. If performance is greater than or equal to standards, it is useful to reinforce behaviors that led to the acceptable performance.
Steps of Controlling Process
Controlling is a function in the management cycle closely related to planning. Controlling is a six-step process that involves several systematic approaches to ensure performance standards are met in the most efficient way possible. While controlling is a complicated management function, its importance must not be under-rated.
Establish performance standards. Performance standards give employees an idea of what is expected of them and tells them how you assess their performance. This is key to maintain management control.
Conduct a job analysis and create a job description for each position within the company. Give feedback regularly and give annual performance appraisals. This makes the employee aware of her individual strengths and weaknesses.
Monitor and measure performance. Draw up a new business plan and assess current performance against expectations. Refocus the efforts of managers, employees and stakeholders as needed.
Compare your measured performance against established standards. If anticipated performance is below average, take preventive corrective actions to ensure compliance to specified performance standards before a problem occurs.
Take corrective action. This is often a difficult aspect of the controlling function of management. When problems arise, handle the situations fast and efficiently. Ignoring a challenging situation only makes things worse.
Practice preventative methods like coaching in order to avoid corrective action. Coaching allows for consistent feedback from management. It also helps train employees on a daily basis and eliminates the need for severe corrective action except in extreme circumstances.
Characteristics of Control
• Control is a continuous process
• Control is a management process
• Control is embedded in each level of organizational hierarchy • Control is forward looking
• Control is closely linked with planning
• Control is a tool...