Tools of management refer to materials which have been developed by managers and used as an aid to effective management. The tools required by a food service manager for efficient management are Job description, Job specification and work schedule.
A job description, by its very nomenclature is a written description of the job to be performed in a job position. It an effective tool for managing at every level of the organization structure. Job description specifies the parameters within which a job is done. It is a realistic guide to any employee. The duties and responsibilities of a position, reporting relationships, authority and control, co-ordination with other departments and job positions are clearly spelt out.
Job description refers to the definition of a job in a precise manner indicating exactly what is to be done by people who are occupying or would be occupying a job position in an establishment.
A good job description can be used for matching qualified applicants to the job, for orientation and training of employees, for performance appraisal, for fixing pay and defining authority responsibility limits. In many organizations, the job descriptions are incorporated into a procedure manual or kept in leaflets for easy access.
Job description at various levels:
At higher operative level, where mental work increases, greater flexibility in timing their work is possible.They can adjust their schedule and feed information required by operating staff at the right time.For example, in a food service operation job description of a chef and a manager varies. Chef has to report on duty at 8.00 a.m to complete his various jobs and supervise those of his team in the kitchen for lunch service.On the other hand, the manager can work on a more flexible schedule so long as the menus are planned in advance, food materials ordered in time and meals checked for quality before they are served to customers.Thus job description not only aids in job performance at all levels of an organization, but also helps to draw up recruitment plans, aids in controlling activities within the establishment and removes conflicts between people in terms of specifying each person’s job responsibilities.
A job specification is a statement indicating standards to be achieved for a particular job. It also covers duties expected to be performed, working conditions in which the job would be carried out and the qualifications required.A job specification is generally used as a tool for selection of the right employee for a particular job. Many small institutions use the job description as a job specification also.
Work schedule is an outline of the work to be done by an employee. When the work schedule is completed within a time schedule, it is referred as a time and activity plan. Any task in the food service has to be segmented into an organised plan so that time and sequence of operations can be known easily. Work schedules are especially helpful in training new employees. They are given to the employees after the person has been hired and for training new employees. Work schedules should be reviewed periodically and adjustments made as needed to adapt to changes in procedures. A work schedule includes the days of the week and times of the day a particular employee is scheduled to work at a job. Normally a full time work week involves eight hours per day. However, many employees offer part time and alternative schedules to cover their work needs and attract workers. Work schedule for employees in the food service operations is different from that in other businesses. These employees work in a variety of shifts covering busy and slow times.
Reasons to schedule work and staff
Work and staff need to be scheduled properly for two main reasons:
– to have the right type of skills as and when required and for maximum efficiency. For example, more service staff will be needed at lunch service rather than lounge staff. Maximum efficiency can be achieved only if production and service are not over crowded.Working conditions such as the physical factors of temperature, humidity, lighting and safety influences the scheduling of personnel and thus affects worker’s performance.
The distance each employee must travel within his or her work area should be kept at a minimum in order to conserve the individual’s energy and time.
Scheduling the task:
Proper scheduling involves analysis of tasks that are to be performed on a particular day. Before scheduling tasks, an understanding of low and high production period is important. Workers can be scheduled successfully only after thorough analysis and study of the jobs to be done and the working conditions. The task has to be segmented or broken into fragments and allotted to the staff. The task that requires minimum effort, time and attention should be scheduled during low production periods. The best time to schedule complicated task is as first task in the morning, when workers are fresh. The normal work hours is mostly eight hours in a day and would vary according to situations in a food service.
Types of work schedules :
Three basic types of work schedules namely, individual, daily unit and organization may be used.
1) Individual work schedule:
Schedules made on an individual basis day to day. It is too time consuming for most managers.
2)Daily unit schedule:
Schedules prepared for the unit as a whole on a daily basis.
3)Organization work schedule:
It gives the standing assignments by half- an-hour periods for all employees in chart form. This type of schedule shows graphically the total workload and its division among employees. It would be effective only when accompanied by daily assignments or a production schedule.
Sample work schedule for a self-service canteen:
The task is a sample work schedule for a canteen offering self-service operating between 10.00 am and 5.00 pm offering a choice of plated lunches, snacks, sweets and beverages. Thus, work schedule is an important tool for giving a clear idea about the responsibilities of each worker and give workers a feeling of security. It gives workers a sense of areas achievement at the end of a task.Food services can adjust their work schedule depending on the part of technological and other department environmental changes.It can be concluded that tools of management are as varied as the type of managers who develop them. Tools thus evolve and get adapted to the needs of particular situations. Tools to a manager are as useful as he can make them. If he has initiative and the will to succeed, he can create new tools or shape old ones to suit his particular needs.