Operations managers are the people who oversee and manage the day-to-day operations of a company. They are the bridge between the company’s objectives and reality. In a rapidly changing world, that is not always easy. The good news is that operations managers can use their unique skills and knowledge to provide the insight needed to help their company thrive and grow.
In this blog post, you will find a list of helpful tips for the operations manager’s career. However, before you dive into these helpful hints- you do know they are here to help, right?- here are some quick reminders on what an operations manager does:
1) Keeps the team focused and organised
An operations manager is responsible for the operational aspects of the company. That means that their job is to make sure the company’s objectives are met in a timely and efficient manner. In this day and age, things can be stressful in any kind of work environment. For example, an operations manager might be responsible for training new employees to perform their job duties and keeping old workers on track so the company meets its goals.
2) Makes sure everything is running smoothly
To ensure that all operations within a company are running at optimal efficiency, an operations manager will have to make sure that everyone who needs to know what is going on is aware of this information as soon as possible.
3) Enables continuous improvement
Maintains a spirit of continuous improvement in all facets of their operations and in the people working there. Learn about the latest methodologies and technologies that apply to operations today and learn how best to implement them.
4) Brings together people and processes
Manages the different aspects of a company’s business, such as finance, shipping, logistics, and human resources, intending to deliver value to its customers.
5) Balances budget and performance
An operations manager keeps an eye on how much the company is spending as well as how much it is delivering/making. Without properly balancing these two factors, the company can easily see itself in the red without a way to get back out of it. At the same time, you can’t just spend all your money on production and forget about how long it will take to get your products to your customer. You need to find that sweet spot where you are balancing everything effectively.
While operations may not be the most exciting part of a business, it’s worth remembering that companies like Amazon owe their ongoing success to their ability to develop the processes needed to run a successful online business with the operations needed to deliver international success.
What does it take to become an Operations Manager?
When looking at the role of an operation manager, it is important to know what skills and qualifications it takes to make it as one. Below, we have put together a list of some of the skills you should consider having to be a successful operations manager, so whether you have studied for a Masters in Operations Management online or you have worked your way up from the warehouse floor, you will need the following skills:
1) Management and supervisory skills
Operations managers are responsible for managing their teams. This means they will need strong leadership qualities, as well as being able to supervise and communicate with each employee.
2) Analytical skills
An operations manager needs to be able to analyze the different components of their job. This can include analyzing costs, schedules, and other aspects of the business, as well as analyzing potential threats that could affect the company’s success.
3) Ability to inspire people
A high level of energy and stamina will be necessary. On the job, you never know what is going to happen next. As such, an operations manager needs to be able to keep their cool regardless of how stressful the situation is. They also need to have a lot of energy and stamina because they will need to inspire their teams.
4) Effective communication skills
Operations managers are responsible for communicating with every one of their employees, as well as partners, management, and sometimes even outside clients. Because of this, you will need effective communication skills that can help you solve any problems that may arise in your company’s daily operations
5) Decision-making abilities
Operations managers will have to make decisions on the fly, which means quick thinking is very important when making those decisions. Along with that, you will need to be able to make quick calls on any situation, as well as keep your cool even when things get out of hand.
6) A great deal of drive
An operations manager will have to motivate their team to make sure everything runs smoothly. If the team is not motivated, they will not perform at their best. For example, a poor performing operations manager might have an employee who is not pulling his or her weight on the job and find it very hard to get them to improve.
7) Great time management skills
A top priority for operations managers should be making sure they can manage their time effectively throughout the day. If you are working in a fast-paced office, where time is of the essence, an operations manager will be able to see and assess the situation quickly and then make any necessary changes to ensure their team can work productively and efficiently.
8) Strong character
While all jobs have their negative aspects, as an operations manager, you need to make sure that you can work well under stress, which can sometimes be a challenge. This will also help your employees trust you so they are not worried about any unprofessional behavior on your part. An effective Operations Manager must be someone who can take charge in any situation and push for results. They will often have strong leadership skills and a great deal of creativity.
9) General management skills
Throughout your career, you will have many different roles that you must play, such as being a manager, leader, and other business-related roles. This means you will be able to demonstrate the ability to work effectively across different departments and job functions as an operations manager.
How to Become a Top-Performing Operations Leader
The top-performing operations leader is someone who has a clear vision, understands the business, and can manage people effectively. Below are some key attributes of a top-performing operations leader:
Here are the top tips for becoming a successful Operations Manager
1) Planning, planning, planning
An effective operations manager knows that the key to success is planning. Having a plan means having a clear vision of what you want to achieve. This vision can help you create a schedule for achieving your goals and stops you from wasting time on things that may not be relevant.
2) Knowing your numbers
Having a good grasp of numbers is very important when it comes to managing your team’s performance. For example, if there are problems with the number of hours being worked or even the quality of work being produced, an operations manager will be able to quickly spot these issues and take action to resolve them on time.
3) Keep your industry knowledge current
Having a knowledge of your industry is good for an operations manager. This will allow you to have better conversations and understand the market better. For example, if you can talk about your product in a way that other people understand, they will take your advice more easily and it can help improve relationships with customers.
4) Getting to know your people
An effective leader knows what makes their team members tick and how they can motivate them. You need to be able to get a sense of who they are as people but also what their ambitions are. As long as their goals align with yours, you should have no problem motivating them to achieve them.
5) Active Listening
An effective leader needs to actively listen to what their team needs from them. This means you should ask the right questions that will help you understand what their issues are and how your point of view can help them. For example, if you are having problems with someone in your team then you need to give them the right support and advice to get them back on track.
6) Understand how to resolve conflicts between different departments or individuals
A good operations manager will know how they can resolve conflict with their team members. It is important that when conflicts do arise, they are handled effectively by being able to address the issue without creating a bad atmosphere. A great operations manager will be able to bring the team together by identifying the problem and coming up with a solution that everyone can agree on.
7) Creative problem solving – be prepared to think outside of the box
An operations manager will have to be able to solve problems as they arise. The nature of the job means that you will have to be able to think on your feet and come up with solutions in a matter of minutes. For example, if there is an issue with a client or a supplier, then you will need to find a solution quickly before it becomes problematic for your company.
8) Time management
An operations manager will often be required to work long hours to keep their company running smoothly. Because of this, you need to be able to make the most of your time by being as effective as possible. This means knowing when it is time for you or your team members to work and when it is best to take a break.
9) Delegation skills
As an operations manager, you need to know when and how it is best to delegate work to your team members. While not every member of your team may have the same skill set, there is usually someone who can help them out, which allows the operations manager more time for themselves.
10) Develop observation skills
A good operations manager will be aware of what is going on in their company at all times. They will know how the sales are going and whether or not there is an issue with the number of products that are selling. They also need to be aware of when a new product line is coming out and be able to give advice so that everything goes smoothly and the product can come out on time.
11) A clear vision of what the company is looking for in terms of efficiency and success.
As an operations manager, you will need to set out your goals clearly, communicate this with all employees, and ensure that everyone works towards those goals. You can do this by implementing project management techniques and creating an environment where people feel empowered.
12) Being empathetic to your team’s needs
An operations manager, will need to be empathetic to motivate their team members. This means that they need to understand where their employees or clients are coming from and be able to work towards an outcome that everyone can agree on. It is also important for them to understand how the team feels and be able to give them the support they need.
A good operations manager will have the skills that are described in this article. They need to be able to have a clear vision of what they want their company or team to achieve and take steps to achieve this. They also need to understand what they are doing and why they are doing it and how this relates to the company goals. In essence, as an operations manager, you should know why you are working so hard, and you should know how everyone else is working so that everyone can work at the same pace. A great operations manager will not only be able to get a lot done but also work well with their team members as well.