In order to ensure the successful functioning of a business, regular monitoring and efficient management are imperative. Any large business will know that this requires an operations management department, and anyone working within this department will, therefore, need to be competent and productive. An operations manager must possess certain skills in order to carry out their job to the best of their ability, with some of the more obvious skills being effective communication and problem-solving. However, there are some other essential skills and qualities that will put them at the top of their game. These include the following:
Ability to Build Good Rapport with Staff
All good operations managers must understand that the staff working under them are not just cogs in the business wheel, but valuable assets. If you can build a good rapport with other employees and show that you understand and fully take on board their problems and issues, you will be able to convince them to perform tasks effectively. In addition to this, a good operations manager will allow employees to make decisions by themselves to instill a sense of self-confidence. You can build good rapport by:
- Giving them the benefit of the doubt
- Showing empathy
- Getting to know your team as individuals
- Positively reinforcing good work
Knowledge of How to Maximize Resources
The responsibility of getting the job done in the most efficient way possible lies with the operations manager. They must, therefore, know how to use business resources wisely in order to maximize profits while reducing the cost of production simultaneously. This could be by analyzing work functions and determining whether equipment upgrades would improve productivity, or implementing new methods to facilitate better communication between departments. There are many business tasks that are directly affected by the operations manager, including:
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Emphasize a Focus on Quality
Long gone are the days where the focus was on cheap mass production; many consumers nowadays are looking for quality over low price and mediocracy. However, improving the quality of a product must be carefully balanced with production costs. A skilled operations manager will know that providing the consumer with good quality products will, in turn, instill a level of trust in employees who will increase their efforts and take pride in their work. When employees improve their productivity, by default, the cost of production will come down. The business will ultimately grow and continue to benefit. Ways to focus on quality but reduce production costs include:
- Concentrating on prevention over correction
- Reducing waste
- Know your customer requirements
Ability to Lead the Team
When it seems as though production is not running as smoothly as it could, or products are not up to standard, a good operations manager will be able to step up to the plate and become the person that leads the team. Good leadership means organizing meetings with staff members and managers to identify issues and help keep an eye on operations. It also means having the ability to maintain a healthy, motivated environment at all times.
Keeping Ahead of Industry Trends
If you blindly operate in the same manner because that’s the way things have always been done – and don’t pay attention to the changing industry trends – you could seriously fall behind your competitors. A good operations manager will always pay close attention to the changing needs of their target demographic, and try to foresee any upcoming trends. As the business is seen to keep up with the times, customers will begin to trust your brand and recognize it as a key player in your industry.
A Willingness to Embrace Technology
You must be able to identify which technology is likely to benefit and enhance your business as an operations manager. You can then devise strategies to help implement them in the most effective way. You will also need to ensure all staff are trained to use any new technology that you wish to introduce and know that a lack of training will only cause the business to fall at the first hurdle.
Admit Your Mistakes
And finally, admitting your mistakes is important for yourself, your team and your organization. Mistakes will be made, as you won’t always get things right the first time, but make sure you learn from them rather than dwell on them. Put them down to learning experience, and know that your team will admire you more for it.
Adopting these skills and qualities as an operations manager will help you on your journey to growing a stable business.