What is Directing? Definition, Features, Principles, Components, and Importance

Do you know? Only making plans, organizing activities, and keeping the right person in the right place do not get the job done. They have to get orders and instructions to get the work done and that is where directing comes to play.

Here, we will discuss the direction function of management in detail.

What is Directing?

Directing means guiding, instructing, inspiring, motivating, and supervising employees so that their collective efforts result in the achievement of organizational goals and objectives as planned. It is a manager’s function to give the proper direction of doing work to his employees.

It does not mean only guiding and motivating employees but it also includes giving necessary information, and proper feedback, working as a good leader, and ensuring that their efforts are going in the same direction as stated in the plan.

Directing is an essential function of management. It is also commonly referred to as the heart of the management process. It has a significant role in the success of management functions.

Managers should have to give clear direction to their employees as 5W and how to do it, provide balanced authority & responsibility, and proper instruction to secure the achievement of the planned goals. They have to regularly oversee the performance of subordinates and provide necessary feedback and suggestions.

Direction is where the actual work of management functions starts. It acts as an inspiring and influencing employee toward the achievement of organizational interest.

Characteristics of Directing

The common features of the direction function of management include:

A Management Function

It is a fact that directing is an essential function of management. Planning, staffing, or controlling help the management achieve organizational goals in the process of doing this direction has a significant role. It can not be separated from the management functions.

Pervasive in Nature

Proper direction is needed at all levels of managerial hierarchy, all departments, all employees, and all the units of the organization. Guidance and inspiration are needed wherever the senior-junior relationship is established in the workplace.

Human Function

Direction is a human function. It is related to guiding, inspiring, leading, and overseeing the activities of people. It aims to guide and inspire people from different departments as effectively as possible to improve the performance of the firm.

Related: What is Planning Function?

Continuous Process

It is a continuous process till the organization is left. You have to continuously give necessary direction to employees to ensure goal achievement. The employees, managers, shareholders, or location of the company may change but instruction and guidance are still needed.

Integrate Efforts

The integrated efforts of employees are essential for effective performance. Directing with its component coordination ensures to integrate employees’ efforts for better performance and goal achievement.

What is the Objective of Directing?

The main objective of directing is to give proper instruction on how to do the given task, give necessary inspiration, and watch the actions taken by employees. By doing so its purpose is to ensure that the objective or goal stated in the plan will be achieved as it was planned.

Also Read: What is Organizing Function?

Components of Directing

The directing function of management is the combination of its different components namely supervision, motivation, leadership, communication, and coordination. These are the elements that ensure effective direction in the workplace.


Supervision refers to direct and immediate guidance to the subordinates to ensure the execution of the given tasks. Supervisors have direct interaction with the working employees, they watch, monitor, and provide necessary feedback to keep the planned work on schedule.

Supervision becomes a basis of controlling function which provides feedback regarding the progress of the performance. You have to regularly supervise your subordinates’ performance to check whether or not their performance is in accordance with established plans, policies, and strategies.


Motivation is a human and psychological factor. Motivation believes that “Happy employees are the Productive workers”.

Related: Importance of Motivation

Motivation depends upon human behavior and needs. It is an important management function to inspire and stimulate employees through the psychological process to increase their willingness to devote their best to organizational interests.


Leadership is the ability to influence people and make them accept your instructions and guidance. Managers have to lead teams of employees (followers) or the whole organization.

To lead effectively managers should possess great leadership qualities like strong vision, confidence, empathy, role model, leading through example, building followers’ careers, and so forth. Further, autocratic or democratic leadership may be assumed.


Communication is the means through which two or more people communicate different things like information, ideas, fact, etc. It is the fundamental aspect of building stronger relationships in the workplace.

Whether or not the organization maintains a strong relationship inside depends on how effective the communication system is implemented inside it.


Coordination is binding together all the functions, plans, strategies, resources, people, and components of the organization to make its integrated effort a competitive tool for achieving desired goals. It ensures the unity of action, builds synergy, effective utilization of resources, and efficient goal achievement.

Importance of Directing

Why directing is called the heart of management functions? Directing is that which begins the actual work of management functions. It is that force that actually begins the work of paper works.

Management functions like planning, organizing, and staffing are related to paperwork. They do not work themselves. They are of no use if a direction step is not taken. Direction ensures the paperwork of achieving predetermined goals and objectives by implementing them.

Related: Importance of Management

Once the employee is placed in the right position he needs order and guidance to execute the work. That is why it is all which makes possible the goal achievement of the firm through the proper direction and implementation.

In addition, the other importance of directing can be pointed out below:

  • It initiates the action.
  • Means of motivation.
  • Means of proper guidance and instruction.
  • Effective communication.
  • Ensures proper coordination.
  • Gives clear duties to perform.
  • Ensures productivity.
  • Reduce employees conflicts
  • Improves employee performance.
  • Helps to cope with change.
  • Effective utilization of organizational resources.
  • Ensures effective and efficient achievement of desired goals and objectives.

Principles of Effective Directing

Although it has great importance in improving organizational performance and achieving goals. It is necessary you know some of its principles to ensure effective direction practice in the workplace.

  • Harmony of Objectives – It states that you should harmonize or reconcile the interest of your organization with the interest of employees.
  • Maximum Individual Contribution – You should implement such directing strategies that motivate employees to give their best.
  • Unity of Command – There should be an employee receiving instruction from only one superior at a time.
  • Appropriate Direction Technique – There should be a matching between direction techniques for employees and the capacity, skills, and experience they possess.
  • Managerial Communication – The information conveyed by superiors should be understood by subordinates as it is.
  • Use of Informal Organization – You should be using different informal groups in communicating the information.
  • Leadership – You should possess leadership qualities to influence the employees.
  • Follow Through – Managers should carefully oversee the performance of employees and give necessary feedback.

In Conclusion…

Hence, directing is that effort that makes it possible for the organization to go in the direction it planned to go. Managers should implement proper direction through effective guidance, inspiration, leading, and feedback.

Read Next: What is Controlling in Management?

Leave a Comment