If you are an operations manager and this article caught your attention, then it is safe to bet that you are sitting in front of your computer and having a sleepless night. Well, time is never enough, and indeed you have a considerable workload and several types of research to conduct.
After all, you have numbers to crunch and a million things to think about, resolve, plan, prepare, schedule, report. So, with a great appreciation of your valuable time, let’s discuss some ideas to help you achieve your targets.
First of all, take a deep breath! At the end of the day, we all understand that you are a vital member of the management team, ensuring efficiency, reducing costs, improving customer service, taking on the key metrics that determine the company’s performance, and ensuring that the organization is operating at full speed.
You know that you play a crucial role in performing the valuable and necessary day-to-day functions that enable other parts of the company to succeed. So you are making a difference.
So why are you still awake? This is most likely due to one or more of the following reasons:
Too concerned about the productivity
Operations managers increasingly feel the need to push employees to perform faster and better. The key questions that arise are: how can we get the team in order and fulfill our responsibilities quickly and successfully? How to ensure continued success after completing primary education? How can they best involve employees so that they use the knowledge and skills learned during training, and can they apply it when they return to their jobs?
In such a case, operation managers can always rely on timesheet software that facilitates employers to keep track of the workforce’s working hours to analyze their total productivity. Some examples of these tools include BambooHR, FactoHR, and others. Furthermore, these can be used as an efficient monitoring aid for the employees who work remotely. Thus fulfilling the business demands even during COVID-19.
Conflicts between departments
As workplaces consist of people-employees, it is reasonable to expect that there will always be some level of misunderstandings or conflicts.
Let’s be honest – sometimes you can compare offices to big families with different groups, with varying plans, and all think that they are “Mr. Always Rights”, and “Mr. Know Alls”.
Managing conflicts or competing business practices within an organization is a significant challenge for operations managers, who often seem to be a mom of a group who needs to calm down the situation.
Such situations are like burning volcanoes as:
- The problem often comes to the attention of the manager in public (for instance, one colleague suddenly refuses to work with another, and the rest of the team gossips about what happened);
- By the time a conflict comes to the surface, the problems are often very complex and require “serious” intervention, in which you must uncover layers of toxic conflict over long periods; as well as
- Managers are likely to be confronted with difficult questions about how the situation could have gotten to this point without prior intervention.
As a result, these conflicts between departments can be detrimental to operations when they impact efficiency or productivity. Operations managers can end competing practices by setting organization-wide standards and goals and encouraging open communication.
Even in small businesses, where one person can perform multiple functions, all team members need to understand how the organization works and follow these procedures. The operations manager’s job is to ensure that everyone uses the same methods, follows the same policies, and communicates openly.
Getting in a panic about Customer Satisfaction Rates
Even though there is a stereotype that customers are mainly a sales department concern, ensuring customer happiness isn’t very far from the operation managers’ minds. So, how and where to start?
Well, according to research on many successful business cases, statistical results show that user acquisition costs five times as much as keeping and satisfying current customers. As claimed by the research, the existing customers who are loyal to your brand are easier to promote, they come to you more often, and of course, the customer retention strategy gets cheaper. Therefore, companies and businesses that shift their marketing focus towards increasing customer retention can grow their business without increasing their costs. At this point, be sure to update or create a good Terms and Conditions page for your website as well, as data collection and use is a major concern for users. Having well-informative TOS is a must for earning the trust and loyalty of your customers.
Difficulties while recruiting talented people for a job
Finding and cultivating good employees is not an easy task. The ultimate stars of the show in the workplace are your people, despite all the computers, software, cellphones, and other supporting technologies. That implies you should make employing workers who live, breathing expressions of themselves a top goal. The operation manager motivates people through hard times, training, educating, and managing diversity and cultural differences. This can be incredibly frightening during periods of change or growth in which companies need to hire in large numbers. However, a well-planned and well-executed employee onboarding process will increase the chances for a positive work experience, leading to a win-win relationship between the new hire and your company.
Business operational sustainability is defined as a “means of analyzing whether a business can retain existing practices without jeopardizing future resources,” according to the experts. The Three Pillars of Sustainability-social, environmental, and economic, are frequently mentioned when addressing the concept of sustainability. Therefore, operations managers must think about how their job affects safety, welfare, communities, the environment, economic sustainability, and the outcomes of each of the pillars. Effective operations managers must apply best practices while keeping all three pillars of sustainability in mind. They must also take corrective action and verify it when one of the three pillars’ outcomes is endangered.
Ethic’s role is vast in production. Ethics is a subcategory of business ethics, “meant to ensure that the production function and activities do not harm either the consumer or society.” Organizations should consider the impact of new technology, defective services, animal testing, and business dealings on people, safety, and the environment in particular. The operations manager is responsible for being ethical in all aspects of the organization, including bookkeeping, human resource management, marketing and sales, and production.
Things to keep in mind in order not to get lost in this puzzle
Make Communication Effective
It can be challenging for anyone in any company to remain consistent and effective while communicating. The operations manager’s challenge is to communicate with all internal and external stakeholders effectively. They must successfully deliver their message and process the messages directed at them, whether on the office floor or in the boardroom. Oral, written, and nonverbal communication skills are essential for effective day-to-day operations. In addition, building employee morale and increasing trust with management requires effective and efficient communication. Operations managers that take the time to reflect on themselves, take the initiative, be honest, and put up the effort to improve their communication skills will undoubtedly be productive and successful. Upper-level management usually requests the development of these abilities from new and mid-level managers, and they are essential to be successful in any company.
And hey, guess what? Now it is 100x easier to keep all the chats/ written conversations you had in one place! You can always find tools to manage business communications at the enterprise level. Campaigns like SMS marketing will help your business in crafting a great marketing strategy as well as communicating with customers.
Keep up with the trends
This is quite a challenge every one of us faces nowadays! But for operations managers, it’s more difficult to constantly bring fresh ideas to the company and make sure the coworkers are working instead of shooting the new TikTok trend they showed that morning.
This might sound odd, but you can always make some updates on the salary-paying methods and ways. If there are employees who prefer to get paid with Litecoin, be open to providing comfort for them. Therefore, you can adopt this way of paying your company (make it optional, as not everybody is a big fan).
Be the right hand of the company.
As an Operations manager, you need to know that all the undone tasks and “good to have” things are under your responsibility. Like, you are the one who handles “company cannot purchase this/that right now” situations and find alternative solutions how you can replace that missing thing with another. When it comes to having a website for the company, and there are not enough funds, don’t search for a cheaper solution; develop your skills and easily build your Business website without any coding.
We mentioned some difficulties and challenges that the Operations manager’s job suggests. Still, they are not all difficulties that operations managers must be aware of and effectively respond to when they work in multidisciplinary environments. Anyway, following them, operations managers will succeed in the business, technical, and interpersonal areas of their jobs while actively supporting their organization’s mission and vision.