When you’re an operations manager, your day is never the same. The responsibilities of your role are so varied that you’ll be juggling dozens of tasks at a time. It’s the ideal job for people who love to multitask and prefer not to be in a rut.
You’ll need to hone your planning and strategy skills to be a successful manager. Details are the key to a streamlined workflow, and the outcome of every move depends heavily on your knowledge and leadership abilities.
You could be an “okay” leader, giving people their jobs and going about your day. But since you want to excel in your position and be the best operations manager possible, follow these tried-and-true tips.
1. Clarify the Processes
In your role, it’s your duty to implement the processes that the rest of the organization will follow.
On the surface, this sounds pretty basic. However, the more time you spend preparing the workflow for each task in the company, no matter how big or small, the more smoothly the work will be done each day.
With clearly delineated processes, you won’t have to concern yourself much with turnover and teaching new hires because the training workflow will be set in place and easy to follow. When there’s a hiccup in the normal stream of tasks, like when a short work trip turns into an unexpected extended stay, your staff will know what to do to fix the problem.
Streamlining the Processes
Ultimately, putting in the right effort early to clarify your processes will make your job easier in the long run.
Take the time to identify the goals and missions of your company and the resources you have to reach them. Make a thorough list of the tasks that have to be completed to get there, then assign each task to a job position.
Create a workflow that explains the process to anyone in that role. Don’t assume the person doing the job has any prior knowledge. Remember, that same individual who is in the role now could need to be replaced at any time.
Test the workflow to look for any gaps or flaws, then train the team on following it. As soon as it’s ready, start implementing it full-time. Integrate any new staff you bring on board into the existing processes, and everything will continue to run as it should.
2. Hire the Right Personnel
Speaking of bringing in new staff, how is your human resources department running?
There’s a nationwide worker shortage going on in many industries. If yours has been affected, it’s tempting to bring in anyone, as long as they’re willing to show up. But hiring the wrong personnel is more dangerous than not having anyone there.
If a problem occurs due to a lack of workers, it’s easier to explain that issue to clients and customers than if someone offended them or made a mistake. The people you hire represent your company. Vet them well, give them the right training, and stay connected with them even after they’ve settled into the job.
3. Focus on Your Own Workflows
You’ve developed and perfected a system for everyone else in the company. Now, it’s time to create a workflow that covers everything you have to do.
Your job encompasses overseeing everything, from personnel to inventory, finances, and reporting. How do you ensure it all gets done without getting overwhelmed and burnt out?
Learning how to automate and delegate are vital skills in your job. Set workflows in place for managing inventory, handling budgets, revenue, and profits, and analyzing and reporting as needed.
Scour the steps in each task carefully to look for things that can be done using your customer relationship management system (CRM). You might not know how to use it, but you know it does the job. Spend an hour or two to get to know that CRM system better, and you’ll save exponential time in the future.
Consider the tasks that could be delegated, as well, keeping in mind that anyone you’re earmarking for the extra work might already be at capacity. Before assigning them the job, make sure they’re up for it or willing to do it with extra compensation.
When your workflows are on point, your job will become easier, too.
Excelling as an operations manager only happens when you’re willing to put in the hard work upfront. Your job will never be “simple,” but it shouldn’t involve putting out fires daily. With these three tips guiding your steps, you’ll create a work environment that runs smoothly for everyone.