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Want to be a Great Operations Manager? Here are 8 Ways to Achieve Your Goal

Want to be a Great Operations Manager? Here are 8 Ways to Achieve Your Goal

Good management does not come easy; it takes mindfulness, hard work, and dedication to lead a department, industry, or business in the best possible way. Even if you possess the best skills in management, honing these skills and understanding your business needs specifically is key to progression.

Being a great operations manager is very different from simply being a boss. So, if you are looking to be the best manager you can be, here is a guide on what being a great manager means and 8 ways you can achieve those career goals.

What Makes a Good Manager? 5 Key Personality Traits

The following traits you may have or may wish to develop. New skills and ways of thinking can always be learned in line with the type of manager you wish to be.

  1. Organization. This is key for good management, and especially operations management. You will need to be thoroughly organized to run a process like this.
  2. Bringing out the best in people. Good managers will identify the positives in a situation, think innovatively, and know how to get their team working in the best possible way. Instead of focusing on problems or negatives, good managers will work to inspire the positives out of a workforce and work process for maximum productivity.
  3. Leadership. This is a fundamental skill for a manager. Without it, you will struggle to motivate a team and have everyone working at their best throughout the operation. Leadership and management go hand in hand.
  4. Communication. Good communication is essential in any business, for any level of worker, but for a manager, it is absolutely imperative. Good communication means you and your team understand each other, processes are completed effectively, and there is no ambiguity regarding jobs needing to be done.
  5. Compassion. A workforce is filled with people with their own personalities and emotions. Good management and leadership are not just about focusing on the job and work process. It also understands the people within your business, being approachable for employees if they have any problems or making any mistakes.

8 Essentials for a Great Operations Manager

Below are some considerations to make when thinking about how to become a better operations manager.

  1. Always Put Others First

Being in charge does not mean that you are number one, but sadly it is an idea that many managers or bosses take on board. Being an effective manager means always putting others before yourself, and that means caring for your team and ensuring that they feel safe. Especially within operations management, team safety is paramount if you’re working with materials, machinery, or a factory or warehouse setting.

Not only do you need to put team members at the forefront of everything you do, but you also need to communicate that this is the case. Working behind the scenes and being absent from your team (even if you are working hard to keep them safe and working efficiently) will not allow them to see you working on their behalf, so it will do nothing to foster trust.

  1. Be Present on the Floor

In line with this, being involved actively in the operations and manufacturing process is key to understanding what you are managing. Trying to lead from behind a desk or away from the operation itself is not going to allow you to lead effectively.

Get to grips with the whole operation, including the layout, the working team, and how things are run so that you can understand how best to manage it. This also includes looking for areas to improve or identifying any issues.

  1. Learn from Other Business Leaders

There are plenty of success stories out there from the world leaders in industry and business. There is much to be learned from their management stories and how they achieved success. Using resources from business managers or leaders who have achieved business greatness can set you on the right path for the areas you should be focusing on.

If there is a business individual you take inspiration from, whether that is a well-known name in the world or someone close to you on a personal level, then learning from their success (and even from their mistakes) can be a help.

To be the best operations manager you can be, understanding the best operation management resources and stories of success can be crucial for your development. Follow this link.

  1. Constructive and Honest Feedback is a Must

In wanting to be a good manager, it is also natural to want to be liked. However, this should not come at the cost of providing truthful feedback or trying to people-please when it comes to your business associates.

A good manager acknowledges any need for improvement and offers what they can regarding a plan for change or how to rectify a situation. An operations team will respect you a lot more for being honest and constructive rather than delaying the truth for their benefit.

  1. Always Plan and Create Relevant Goals

As a manager, you need to know what you are aiming for within the business. Short-term and long-term goals are essential for planning work overviews and for helping operations to run smoothly. Without planning, goal-making, and organization, effective management can be very tricky. You should always be thinking forward and planning for future efficiency. Knowing what you are trying to achieve means better understanding how to implement the right steps in the here and now to avoid wasting time and resources.

  1. Create Exceptional Standards

In any business or company process, there should always be an expected standard. As an effective manager, it would be your responsibility to ensure that standards are not only implemented but followed correctly. This is even more important in operations management, as you will need to ensure certain standards for the operations process and any factory floor.

Good standards help keep performance at a high and provide a safer and more positive working environment. However, standards should be constantly monitored and improved by management as the business moves along.

Effective communication is essential for implementing the right standards. Workers need to understand what these standards are. This could apply to working conditions, organization, established processes, how to complete tasks, and expected company behavior, to name a few. Good standards should highlight the importance of a safe, respectful, and productive working journey.

Standards may want to be discussed through team meetings, through employee handbooks, or displayed in a certain way, such as summary posters on the factory floor — however you wish to discuss and implement based on your management style, as long as these standards are clearly communicated and adhered to.

  1. React Logically to Problems

In business, it is very easy to play the blame game when things go wrong. Or you may find yourself wanting to complain about the working behavior of your peers. Reacting emotionally or impulsively as a manager to problems in business can easily see you running into further trouble — as well as losing the respect of those around you.

When operations problems occur, an effective manager will focus on the problem itself, why the problem occurred, and how to prevent it from happening again. Even if an employee is directly involved in an error or issue, it is much better to seek out why this happened and their role in it rather than immediately looking to blame them for the issue.

There are many areas to consider in operations, such as supply, materials, and machinery, so problems may not always be as they appear on the surface. Logical thinking, a cool head, and relevant investigation are all key for effective management.

  1. Put in the Work

Some situations may call for overtime or stay late if something has gone wrong during the operations process. If you expect your workforce to put in the time when needed, it is also important to put in the time yourself. This is also important for team morale. If an issue requires additional working hours to be fixed, you may want to be on hand or in the thick of it to provide support and guidance.

Naturally, it might not always be possible or even productive for you to work extra hours or remain on-site, but it is important to have the right attitude towards working hours. Being a manager who tells their workforce that they need to stay longer than their set finishing time and then disappearing yourself can be taken negatively.


Great managers will have their own personalities and way of implementing good practices. You want to be seen as a person with empathy as well as a professional business leader, so effective management works to combine the two. Practice boundaries and barriers when it comes to effective leadership — as you are a manager and not a friend, after all — but always remember how to inspire the best out of your team and how to ensure that operations run productively.

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