Operations Manager Job Description and Role
For someone to become an operations manager, it takes years of experience, a diverse skill set, and great leadership. Few roles require as much responsibility from a single person as that of an operations manager.
Looking at an operations manager’s job description, you might be tempted to think that it’s a role worthy of at least three different people with different backgrounds, levels of experience, and education. However, as we’re about to show you, a competent operations manager is more than capable of handling a myriad of different tasks on a daily basis, all the while focusing on the bigger picture and company goals.
Meet the operations manager — one person to hold the entire organization in place.
Who Is the Operations Manager?
An operations manager is the glue that holds the entire company together. There’s simply no other way of putting it. The operations manager coordinates communication between separate teams and drives them towards the same goal.
For someone to be able to do so successfully, it requires two important character traits — leadership and exceptional organizational capability. While it’s possible to learn and nurture leadership skills, natural-born leaders are the perfect operations manager candidates.
For operations managers to live up to their job description, they need to be able to lead by example and inspire everyone around them. That’s because they’ll be cooperating with the most diverse sets of people within the company and will have to motivate them all equally.
Excellent communication and interpersonal skills go hand in hand with leadership, and an operations manager should have an abundance of all these characteristics.
However, no amount of soft skills can replace the organizational competence that is required of an operations manager. Their job description involves so many tasks, processes, and responsibilities that anyone who’s less than outstandingly organized won’t be able to carry them out.
To sum up, an operations manager is a person who oversees a wide variety of processes within the company and possesses the leadership skills necessary to delegate tasks properly and ensure they’re carried out to the letter.
Operations Manager Job Description
What exactly does it mean to oversee a wide variety of processes? An operations manager job description includes a great many things, from participating in HR activities to optimizing the existing business processes.
We’ll go over each item you can find in a common operations manager job description and explain what their role is.
High-Level HR Activities
High-level HR activities include more than just the organization of separate teams and their day-to-day activities. They supervise, hire, and train employees. Operations managers are also in charge of attracting talent, improving hiring procedures, and setting training standards.
In many cases, operations managers start their careers as HR assistants, then work their way up the corporate ladder until they become operations managers, and eventually chief operating officers (COOs). So for most operations managers, experience with HR processes is a given.
They know what it takes to manage large groups of diverse people and to do so efficiently, as well as to set the standards for carrying out future admissions and expansions.
Suffice it to say that they handle all the communication between workers and top management as well.
An operations manager doesn’t just handle interpersonal communication with employees and other managers within the company. They also reach out to executives from other companies with the purpose of establishing new partnerships and nurturing healthy relationships with them.
You could say that it’s in their job description to build alliances with other companies, negotiate better deals, and in that way, continue optimizing company processes.
Operations managers are often in charge of optimizing the money flow within the company. Cash-flow management and other finance-related responsibilities are well within the scope of their duties.
They oversee inventory, handle finance reports and audits, and make future plans. Financial management and understanding of general finance and budgeting are common requirements for them.
The goal is to understand budget constraints, forecast expenses, and operate the business optimally given the financial limitations. However, it’s also their job to find ways to cut costs and do more with less, as well as to oversee accounts payable and accounts receivable departments.
It’s up to them to also ensure that all company operations follow the letter of the law and that the company activities are legally compliant. They have to make sure all legal and regulatory documents are filed on time and have to work closely with the company’s legal department. On top of that, they need to be aware of any changes in pertinent laws and regulations.
It’s a more general task that operation managers have, but problem-solving is an important aspect of what they do.
Problem-solving allows them to find inefficiencies in the current company operations. They’re tasked with finding processes and procedures that aren’t running optimally and improving them.
They either do so by streamlining existing processes or by finding unique solutions by thinking outside the box. The end result is supposed to be smoother operations and more money in the budget.
Strategizing and Decision Making
Strategizing and decision-making are crucial aspects of leadership positions in general, operations managers included. They need to collect information to make data-driven decisions and formulate business strategies.
It’s up to them to pursue those strategies and reach the operational objectives they’ve set. They are measurable goals that bring the company value in the short term, while also progressing towards long-term milestones.
Quality assurance and timely project delivery are within an operation manager’s job description. They should always strive to improve customer service and deliver the most outstanding product that they can.
What Is the Role of an Operations Manager?
The role of an operations manager differs from one company to another. They are sometimes in charge of the operations of non-profit organizations, government agencies, and many different types of business entities. The settings they work in are as varied as their responsibilities.
For that reason, it’s not always possible to pinpoint what an operations manager does within an organization and what their role is. They usually specialize in one or two aspects of the organization they’re in while taking care of more generalized tasks at the same time.
Regardless of what their role is, you can rest assured that operations managers are at the very top of the company structure. No matter where they are, they’re in positions of responsibility and leadership, even though the specifics of their job descriptions might vary.
The Centerpiece of Every Business
Operations managers hold entire companies together, provide support for distinct teams of people, and ensure smooth operation. They work to improve quality, productivity, and efficiency, and in that way optimize company operations and make it more successful and profitable.