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The Top 10 Skills of Effective Operations Managers

By Joanna Wyganowska


here is no doubt that the effective operations manger contributes directly to the organization's success. If you are a recreational facility manager, golf course superintendent, school administrator, shift manager at a resort or hotel—you name it—you are basically asked only one thing: to ensure that customer service standards are met. But in order to do that there are certain skills that an effective operations manager must possess. Here are 10 traits of successful operations supervisors. How many of them do you share?

1. UNDERSTANDS CUSTOMER NEEDS
A successful operations manager needs to have a deep acknowledgment of customer needs. That requires an understanding of what is a true measure of satisfaction to a customer. Maybe it is an immediate response to customer inquiries, a safe environment or fair price assurance. By knowing what makes your customers happy, you will be able to connect with them and provide guidance to your subordinates on how to take care of customers' needs.

2. COMMUNICATES EFFECTIVELY
An effective operations manager knows how to communicate on many different levels with all types of people. The ability to get your message across to your staff, your superiors and, most importantly, your customers is an essential skill that will be put to the test each day. Using a wide array of communication vehicles, including verbal, written and body language techniques, will allow you to establish a rapport with each audience.

3. UNDERSTANDS THE ORGANIZATION'S FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE
Operations managers are directly responsible for contributing to their organizations' financial performance. A successful operations manager knows how to prepare sales projections and expense budgets, and analyze profit & loss statements and balance sheets. To simplify the process of creating financial projections, an efficient operations manager should utilize business planning software, which allows one to build a comprehensive set of financial projections, reports and charts in less time.

4. MOTIVATES THE TEAM
Organizations don't get much done unless their people are motivated. A successful operations manager knows the importance of building a strong team and developing positive relationships among team members. This can be achieved by understanding and addressing the individual needs and concerns of your staff.

5. TRACKS AND MEASURES STAFF PERFORMANCE
It's essential to set work objectives for each of your team members and be able to measure their progress. As an operations manager, you need to establish specific measurements that tell your staff how they are doing against the goal. This will provide you with the clear base for employee recognition, but also for staff development. In addition, measuring and tracking individual personnel performance will provide feedback that helps focus on issues and success factors that will improve the overall organization's performance. An effective operations manager should look into utilizing human resource software, which streamlines the process of setting performance goals, evaluating employees and maintaining up-to-date training and certification information.

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