The Need for Cross-Functional Training for New Recruits: Sri Sathya Sai Perspective

One who conducts oneself with self-discipline, irrespective of one’s profession, can be construed as the real business manager. One who is harmonious with others, well-mannered, and skilled in inculcating similar qualities in other people is the real business manager. Business managers are of two types depending on the nature of their work: 
1. Those that discharge certain line management functions like production, marketing, distribution, transportation and maintenance.
2. Those that undertake other staff management functions like finance, human resource management and public relations.

Whatever be the function of management, ‘Man-Management’ is the undercurrent in every functional area and is essential for the success of every manager. In the field of management, one frequently encounters Customer Management. A manager is responsible for enhancing the amount of production and also the income of the organisation. For this, he must be an expert at identifying those items that have high demand among the consumers and take necessary steps to increase the production of such goods.

 

Initially, the freshly recruited executives at the entry level are assigned tasks only in one particular department, which may not be appropriate. It may not be conducive to the advancement of both the individual and the organisation. The probationer can be on job-rotation for some time in various functions of the organisation. The trainee executive should also be exposed to the technical aspects of the job. This makes him familiar with all aspects of business. Financial Management is an important subject which is not imparted to all in sufficient detail. Efforts should be made by all budding managers to get a fair understanding about Financial Management. 


Distribution Management is another important area. The distribution of products in the market and the target consumers to whom they must be distributed are important issues which must be understood by the new recruits. General knowledge is to be applied here. Lack of knowledge about Distribution Management is responsible to some extent for the loss in revenue. Similarly, Marketing Management, production and transportation are also essential. Fresh executives must evince interest in every field of business and acquire the basic knowledge, information and skills pertaining to these essential functional areas of business management. They must also be familiarised with certain engineering aspects of business and marketing. When such (two or three month) rotation-based grounding is given to new recruits, they would become suitable candidates ready to shoulder greater responsibilities. With such an exposure, the freshly-recruited executive gains hands-on experience in each and every function of management. He can then be promoted to the next level in the hierarchy.

Source: In Search of Excellence in Man Management: An Indian Perspective, Chapter 15, Man Management: A Values-Based Management Perspective – Based on the Discourses of Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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