Smooth workflow, effective communication and strategic planning are some of the basic ingredients that lead to an organization’s success. But just as the ingredients of a recipe need to be mixed in the right proportions for a delicious meal, in the professional world, every organization needs personnel to ensure operational excellence. Enter, operations managers.
Operations managers are key members of management in an organization. They must have a broad overview of the organization’s functions and work with multiple departments to ensure efficiency and uninterrupted business operations to meet targets in a timely manner.
Let’s explore some of the key skills of an operations manager.
Skills Of An Effective Operations Manager
While the specific duties of an operations manager vary depending on the organization, there are certain common responsibilities that come with the position. According to Neil Mcgregor, operations director, REPL Group, an operation manager’s role can be divided into five main areas. These are people, core operations, budgets, project delivery and strategy.
To effectively execute such a diverse range of responsibilities, operations managers require a well-balanced skill set. Here’s a list of operations manager skills:
People skills or interpersonal skills are highly valued as one of the top operations management skills today. Operations managers need to communicate effectively with a range of people regularly—from associates to upper-level management to customers. Perfecting diverse modes of communication, both verbal and written and an open body language can go a long way in skillful operations management.
Other sought-after operations management skills include the ability to juggle an array of different projects within a set period of time without losing focus or quality. When we set out on a long journey, we run through a checklist to ensure our car is in perfect working condition. Similarly, a successful operations manager plans, organizes and oversees organizational agenda to ensure ongoing projects are on schedule. Lack of organizational skills can lead to project delays and higher project costs.
The ability to think on one’s feet and make effective decisions is one of the skills required for operations manager roles. They often need to take a call based on the immediate situation at hand, and their decision is likely to have a significant impact on the organization’s progress. For example, such operation manager skills as making quick, informed decisions often become vital when the organization is going through a period of change.
A Houston Chronicle article says that when operations go through a change, it often requires cross-training of employees. This allows them to operate new equipment and function in new roles effectively. While making a decision, operations managers must take into account the qualifications and skills of the employees involved in the transition, assigning specific tasks to any new roles created.
Among must-have operation manager skills is the capacity to analyze several business processes in detail. Challenges can crop up at any level and decoding and addressing issues in a timely manner allows operations to go on without a hitch. Operations managers should be able to implement proper solutions across a range of departments.
An efficient operations manager must have motivational skills. Demotivated employees can cost any organization dearly. Operations managers need to address the individual concerns of employees, sort out issues and motivate them to deliver their best. This not only helps the organization meet its goals but also builds strong teams of positive-minded people committed to the organization.
Top Three Qualities Of An Operations Manager
Now that we understand the skills required for operations manager positions, let’s take a look at three professional qualities that’ll help an operations manager fulfill their responsibilities effectively.
Understanding Customer Needs
An efficient operations manager not only understands but also anticipates what the customer might need from the organization. Operations management skills like interpersonal skills help us identify what would satisfy a particular kind of customer. This allows operations managers to directly address customer requirements, which in turn improves customer satisfaction.
One of the key qualities of an operations manager is employee management. A successful operations manager monitors and sets work goals for each team member to track their development over time. When employees perform better, it improves the productivity and overall growth of the organization. This also creates a healthy work environment.
Almost all organizations follow certain set procedures for running their operations. Ensuring that employees comply with all these standards as well as government regulations is also part of operation manager skills. Non-compliance can lead the organization to incur significant costs and also face legal consequences. Enforcing standards is, therefore, among the core competencies of an operations manager.
Power To Passion
Oprah Winfrey said, “Forget about the fast lane. If you really want to fly, just harness your power to your passion.”
Harappa’s First Time Manager program will teach aspiring operations managers how to harness their “power to their passion”. It’s specifically designed for individuals preparing to take up managerial positions and comprises a carefully curated selection of academically robust and application-oriented concepts.
Harappa’s signature 10-on-10 pedagogy combines 10 key elements across three critical phases: activation, cultivation and elevation of a cohort’s performance. Activation comprises cohort engagement and skills benchmarking. Cultivation involves prompt-rich nudges, self-paced online courses, live masterclasses and habit drills. Elevation offers participants a dynamic dashboard, a behavior custodian, meaningful milestones and observed feedback.
The 15-week program hinges on six fundamental outcomes that allow learners to raise the bar. These include increasing self-awareness and how to transform into a project manager from an individual contributor. With the Harappa edge, operations managers learn to deliver excellence in no time!
Explore Harappa Diaries to learn more about topics such as Who is a Project Manager, Must-Have Skills For Leadership, Top Behavioral Skills For Managers, Managerial Roles And Skills, which will help organizations tap into their employee's potential.
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