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5 Necessary Management Traits Of Operations Leaders

September 4, 2023
Bill Kimball

For operations managers to thrive in their position, they need to understand the importance of time management. There will be various deadlines that you must adhere to, so reporting to your team of supervisors or managers with realistic time frames is essential. The last thing you want is to miss deadlines, as you may lose custom which can be severely damaging to the future of the business. Operation managers who possess time management skills can deliver work on time, provide a better quality of work, and tend to procrastinate less. Regardless of what task you have been set, an operations manager needs to possess excellent planning skills. Arranging all your skills and projects according to what needs to be finished throughout the day can help you keep on track with your workload and ensure you know what you’re doing from beginning to end. Your duties may include developing procedures and policies, creating budgets, and supporting all functions, which is why planning is a key component of operations management.

Some schools may have specializations in operations management or related fields. First, we break down the key responsibilities of an operations manager’s day-to-day work. These responsibilities range from making policy decisions to influencing company culture. To flourish in operations management, all the skills listed above are what employers look for in candidates. Whether it’s knowing how to lead a team, or work well under pressure, there are lots of transferable skills that can help you manage your time better and ensure you work to the best of your ability. When working on a project or task, you may need to come together with your team to get the job done.

how to be a good operations manager

An employee being entrusted with making high-level decisions should have experience in leading other employees and shaping an organization beforehand. Business operations managers are expected to work with both processes and people. One day they might be balancing the budget, and the next, they’re revamping entire workflows for teams in various departments. Supply chain management is an integral aspect of overseeing the operations of your company.

Advance Your Career In Operations & Management

A business operations manager analyzes, oversees, and makes decisions regarding the overall systems and productivity within a company to ensure its maximum efficiency. A business operations manager plans and organizes the activities of a business, government agency, and non-profit organization. Depending on the organization, business operations managers may be responsible for overseeing a variety of departments; from human resources to accounts payable.

Wherever the road takes them, professionals seeking a career in business operations management will find it both challenging and rewarding. As you can clearly see after reading this ultimate guide to becoming a business operations manager, this role involves many components that span industries and applications in business leadership. Business operations management is an in-demand field with many career opportunities to offer those who are highly qualified. For those worried about how their skills line up with those in operation management, it is good to know going in that business operations managers must be organized and focused as workers. Professionals who are pragmatic, logical, and possess even a small amount of creativity can succeed in this role. If they can do things correctly, be aware of everything, and try to relax and be patient when mistakes are made, they will thrive in this business area.

how to be a good operations manager

Operations managers rely on many skills to perform successfully in their roles. If you’re transitioning to an operational management role, the skills you apply on the job can boost your success and effectiveness.

The position is a continuous adventure of challenges that teach the manager many lessons throughout a career. In the 1980s, Motorola’s engineers continued business operations and production efficiencies by creating a methodology that measures defects and irregularities in products. Rather than measuring the quality of many products, they could standardize and measure millions of products at once. Ultimately, this quality control method helped organizations streamline production, lower production inefficiencies, improve completion time, and improve production standards. An operations manager fills a pivotal role in a business, government or other organization. The precise tasks of an operations manager depend in large part upon the nature and size of the company or organization, however a wide range of business and interpersonal skills are needed to succeed. More and more Directors of Operations are leveraging professional services automation software that unites projects, resources, and budgets in one complete suite and cuts on admin work.

Product Development

If they don’t understand how what they are doing fits into the bigger picture, there’s probably a lot of improvements that can be made without any investments in fancy equipment or software. Improving the production or distribution processes are nice, but if those efforts don’t translate to more sales, they may not be as valuable as you thought.

All kinds of industries need talented operations managers, which means an operations professional can have a varied career working in retail, transportation, technology, healthcare, or any field they find interesting. Operations management is critical when working with people, processes, technology, materials, and machines. To thrive in the marketplace, this entire value chain needs to be managed efficiently — which is where operations management comes in. “What’s the most efficient, cost-effective way to deliver our goods and services?” If you’re searching for an answer to this question, you already know how critical operations management is for business success. As an operations supervisor, you need to ensure your staff adheres to all policies and practices established by your organization and government regulations.

  • The role of a business operations manager touches every part of an organization.
  • The book tells how operations management’s theory improved product quality and efficiency by encouraging organizations to make small, incremental changes in their procedures and processes.
  • Operations leaders have begun to treat their supply chain networks—consisting of logistics providers and contract manufacturers—as partners, in order to align goals and effectively orchestrate collaboration across these groups.
  • In other words, a Director of Operations is the jack of all trades within the company, in a positive sense.
  • A company always requires time management and delivery of its materials, supplies, and products to successfully fulfill client commitments.
  • Most operations managers have a Bachelor’s degree in a business-related field, and many either have or are working towards a Master’s degree in business administration.
  • If a task doesn’t require a deep level of emotional intelligence, automate it.

Most operations managers have a Bachelor’s degree in a business-related field, and many either have or are working towards a Master’s degree in business administration. If you’re ready to hit the books, you can find online operations management degree or certification courses or complete an online MBA program.

What Is An Average Operations Manager Salary?

This will include directing your crew to other tasks to reduce bottlenecks or finding replacements in case of no-shows. Utilizing scheduling software will allow you to reduce time needed to perform the tedious task of staff scheduling. With the help of scheduling software, operations managers can schedule their personnel based on skills, seniority or desired workload, as well as track time off and view staff availability and number of hours scheduled. Overseeing the operations of any business is a career in which the right business-minded individual can truly succeed. An operations manager is tasked with ensuring that operations are both efficient and effective. However, this requires not only understanding a business’s overall goals and objectives, but using that information to run the business successfully. At its core, the skills needed for a successful career in operations include the ability to think analytically, communicate effectively, and execute efficiently.

Ensure the reporting tools and processes are efficient and reliable so that reported data can be trusted. Successful Directors of Operations always have one thing in common – they know how to visualize the health and performance of the company in an instant. This can only be achieved with a single location where you can keep tabs on everything that’s happening. You don’t need to upgrade a lot of tools to accomplish this feat – just one place you go for information about every aspect of the business. The ability to consider all angles that affect your organization’s success should be your go-to mindset.

Train the people, it is well invested and will have a quick ROI (for every $1 spent on upskilling, businesses typically earn or save $2.6, according to PwC). Align with project managers to understand their needs in short, mid, and long term perspectives. One of the goals of hiring a Director of Operations is to make sure that the organization runs efficiently. Admin work is often a silent killer of efficiency, and if you don’t chase it, it can easily chip away from your margins. The admin work itself is not the problem; it is something that needs to be done. Rather, it’s how companies get bogged down into ways of doing things that are inefficient. By consenting to receive communications, you agree to the use of your data as described in our privacy policy.

What Does An Operations Manager Do?

As a role model to your staff you also need to be responsible for your own self-development. Operations leaders within an organization are working to design and execute supply chain strategies that maximize productivity, minimize risk and effectively respond to fluctuations in demand. Supply chain management encompasses the shaping of supply and demand along with the optimal design of products themselves, creating a wide range of responsibilities. Operations leaders have begun to treat their supply chain networks—consisting of logistics providers and contract manufacturers—as partners, in order to align goals and effectively orchestrate collaboration across these groups. Establishing an effective operations process involves strategy development with some trial and error, but skilled operations leaders can shape efficient and effective business processes by employing a few important traits. Business operations managers are always faced with the job of making difficult decisions about broad processes and workflows.

This mindset can help aid in strategic planning and your long-term vision for the organization while also narrowing down some of the major issues that are causing problems within your organization. A curious mind will help you notice ‘little fires’ and put them out once they appear.

If the quality of work is deteriorating, it’s your job to hold regular meetings to check in on your team and iron out any problems that may hinder the project. There are numerous tasks that you will be expected to carry out, so you must have the right skill set and knowledge to help the business grow.

Policy And Strategy Decisions

And while all of the skills listed above are indeed strong identifiers of an effective operations manager, there’s a lot more to being a good operations manager than this. When operations leaders pay greater attention to quality, it helps to inspire their employees to strive to meet leaders’ expectations. Anyone who has studied the way Steve Jobs operated at Apple understands how his demand for perfection drove his people to do everything possible to meet those demands. It was well-known that Jobs took tremendous pride in the equipment and devices that his company developed.

There is always room for growth and improvement in operations management, so overcoming hurdles, and using the correct techniques is key. Prevent potential delays, identify areas for growth, and facilitate real-time communication within your teams by implementing an intuitive work management platform. Automate monotonous processes and save time with pre-designed templates that help your team to move towards better organizational outcomes. Examine your team’s internal workflows and processing timelines, and closely review any concerns conveyed by cross-functional teams. Frequent reviews can help you discover areas of improvement to boost individual, team, and organizational productivity. Spend at least an hour each working day with your team, field staff, internal sales teams, or key vendors to see what they see. It is the key that unlocks the door to higher organizational productivity and helps identify growth opportunities for individuals, teams, and the entire company.

A significant amount of responsibilities and requirements show how essential and challenging the position is in many organizations. However, they also reveal a great opportunity for anyone wanting a job that touches the many aspects of business operations careers. Professionals who work in operations management roles take on responsibilities that are crucial to the success of their companies. Skills like project management, delegation, flexibility and business finance knowledge help operations managers make decisions about product development, risk management and cost reduction strategies. With in-depth knowledge of business processes and management, operations managers are better able to initiate projects, collaborate with teams and meet important deadlines.

This doesn’t factor in your location, skills, years of experience, or any advanced degrees you may have acquired. Always check job search sites like Payscale, LinkedIn, or Glassdoor for a more accurate look at your salary expectations. Operations managers also have a business’s financials high on their priority list. Efficiency is usually thought of in terms of how quickly a project can be done in terms of time, but financial efficiency is just as, if not more, important for a business. With a background in computer science, Dan is the lead product tester at Binfire.

In some ways, it built the roof on the foundation and walls that the different strategies constructed. BPR focuses on designing business processes and workflows that improve customer service, decrease production expenses, and increase business value. Rather than streamlining a single business process, BPR facilitates all of an organization’s operations to provide unparalleled quality and service.