Top 3 skills you need to be an operations manager

Operations management is an ever-changing and satisfying career for many, but it requires a very broad skill set and isn’t for everyone. Not sure if you have what it takes? Here’s an overview of the most important qualities you need to be a successful operations manager.

Analytical and problem solving

The primary role of an operations manager is to direct and improve workflow for goods, services, and employees to ensure an organization is running as efficiently as possible. An ideal candidate is someone who can look at existing processes, examine them, and come up with necessary solutions. This isn’t as boring as it may seem—operations management involves a lot of creativity. (If it didn’t seem boring at all, you’ll probably make an excellent operations manager.)

Effective communication

Operations managers don’t have ordinary desk jobs; they juggle many roles, and all of them require strong oral and written communication skills. As with most business positions, operations managers must be able to read and write extremely well—they look after many reports and a lot of research. Operations managers also have to spend much of their time working with people—stakeholders, potential candidates, customers or clients, employees, third-party vendors, and more—and preparing presentations.

Strong initiative and leadership

In addition to being good communicators, people in operations management positions must be self-starters. Proposing changes to how organization works—no matter how small—requires a lot of initiative, and you have to be able to justify your recommendations.

Like any manager, those in operations must able to lead and motivate employees. They should also be comfortable dealing with employee issues, working in team environments, and delegating work to others.

Published on January 9, 2012
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