There is no denying the fact that modern day managers encounter mammoth challenges in their attempt to achieve organisational objectives.
These challenges are varied in and complex in nature. Consequently, it is important to identify the challenges so as to enable managers and chief executives understand art and science underlying managerial practices, especially as it relates to managing challenges.
The business environment is dynamic. The dynamism is seen as it relates market demand; technology, productivity, social responsibility, the use of modern and efficient communication system, the use of facilities external to organisations, the management of human resources and so on.
As a result of these ever present changing conditions and variables, orthodox and atavistic management methods may be thus grossly inadequate to meet the new challenges. This means that managers should thoroughly examine their existing facilities, policies, strategies and procedures and see where they are obsolete and call foe updating or are deficient and require urgent attention. In the process of examination and review of objectives, managers will identify limiting factors to achieving the set objectives of the organisation.
Management of Human Resource
The resources of every organisation includes among other things, physical, financial, time, information as well as human. However, among all these resources, the human element is the most important. It is the only animate resource. That is the reason the most critical and challenge of the modern day managers is the human problems. Most often, human resources challenges have been described as embarrassing and intractable.
There are many organisational problems that can be associated with human beings. These includes personality conflicts, which manifest in squabbles and serious quarrels, emotional and behavioral problems. Other human problems which can be manifested in other way includes the sudden change from cooperativeness and friendliness to inexplicable antagonism, hostility and dependency on alcohol and drugs for coping with the ordinary challenges of work and life. These problems do affect an individual's work experience and effectiveness and consumes a greater part of the manager's time.
Akin to the challenges of human resource is the one of technological development. Technology is the application of scientific principles to industrial problems while the improvement in machines, methods, materials, management and so on that results from this is refereed to as technological progress.
Thus a technological challenges arises when the manager is unable to cope with some technological innovations that enhance modes of doing thins in the business environment. Related to technology but most challenging is the use of modern communication systems. The use of modern communications system is one of the major challenges which managers today face. Although telecommunication system has improved in some countries, there still appear to be problems. Managers will have to find a way to solve their communication problem in order to efficiently and effectively achieve their organisation objectives.
Customer Relations and Service
The customer is the essence of the existence of any company. However, in a country like Nigeria, especially in the area of marketing there is the lack of appreciation, all round, of the importance or supremacy of the customer. This is due mainly to a combination of factors namely; the level of awareness and the level of education in the society, the fact the customer is not aware of his rights (consumerism is still emerging) and lastly the sellers market situation prevalent in the society.
People who are paid to give a service always give the impression that they are doing the purchaser of that service a favor by serving him. Be they managers, civil servants, bank staff, shop assistants, the attitude is the same. There is thus much to be done in absorbing the culture of social responsiveness among business leaders and managers.
Designing Creative Environment
It is still problematic and challenging for modern managers to design and maintain environment for creativity and innovation. This challenge is internally and externally induced. In the external analysis, in some developing countries it does not seem that the government is interested in the reduction of unemployment but not the creation of employment opportunities. So for the modern day managers grappling with the problem of inadequate infrastructure, government insensitivity in terms of creating investment friendly environment opens yet another challenge.
Internally, perhaps, there are in many firms too much conformity, too much togetherness and too much little individual responsibility and opportunity. However, it can never be forgotten that all group activities at any kind require some conformity towards the accomplishment of group goals. But this does not mean that intelligent managers cannot design roles for innovation and imagination where they are desired, while still maintaining needed conformity to make group cooperation effective. This is not easy but it is possible/ particularly for managers who are mindful of their basic task of designing for creativity and performance.
One of the challenges facing many managers today is the fulfillment of business social responsibility. The is more urgent than before because of the utter neglect of the communities in which many firms operate. Social responsibility demands somewhat that businesses provide, housing, transportation, health facilities, building of schools, award scholarships, donation of disaster affected areas, promotion of aesthetics, provision of culturally enriching and entertaining programmes on television and the like. Even the supply of high quality products to the market cannot be omitted in the areas of business social responsibilities.
Maintain Flexibility to Meet Change
Another major challenge facing most modern managers is that of maintaining flexibility. Effective management is flexible management. Not only must effective managers be able to recognize the need for change but also in order to have time to meet it. they need to design methods of obtaining an organisational change in such areas as unproductive procedures and policies, obsolete organisational pattern and the normal human tendency to resist change.
Inconsistent government policies create an unstable environment for every manager. Many sectoral policies are made with reference to the operation of that sector. Every now and then representatives of sectors are crying out asking the government to rescind certain policies. In many instances such inconsistencies have caused national strikes. It distorts perspective planning as well as distracts forecasting focus of managers.
With the current state of competition orchestrated by globalization and liberation, businesses will need to invest more effort in the area of qualified human resource and technology if they are to achieve their goals and objectives and satisfy the needs of the public which are also multiplying.