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Operations Manager

Take charge of the hands-on work of keeping a business up and running.

What does an Operations Manager do?

In the case of an operations manager, the term “operations” doesn’t mean the kind you undergo in the hospital. Instead, operations are the activities that make a company or business run. The business can be anything from a retail store or restaurant to a production facility or sales organization.

Operations managers oversee those activities. More specifically, you supervise staff, monitor the work flow, deal with unhappy customers (and happy customers, for that matter), and keep projects on task.

You’re a manager, which means you hire, train, evaluate, promote, and fire employees. You also evaluate vacation requests and create work schedules.

Whether you work in a restaurant or a clothing store, you’re in charge of the daily operations. In a larger company, you might be in charge of a few departments, while in a smaller store, you may run the whole show. You order supplies, schedule deliveries, and monitor staff activities.

You might perform various other tasks depending on where you work. For example, you evaluate budgets and timelines for renovations and repairs. This calls for hiring and scheduling contractors, while finding ways to minimize the impact on business.

A new product rollout is another common project for operations managers. In this project, you’re in charge of coordinating the activities of dozens of people. Or you could act as a liaison when the company goes through a management change.

Wherever you hang your management hat, you need to master a few things to be a success: motivation, problem-solving, communication, and multi-tasking skills.