In today’s high-paced, competitive workforce an effective office manager is key to successful business operation. As an effective office manager you need to understand your role, and your key objectives.
The key responsibility of any office manager is to ensure the smooth operation of day-to-day business. There are three levels required to accomplish any large task (like running an office)
1. Strategic Planning and Monitoring
2. Tactical Planning and Monitoring
3. Execution of the Plan
An Office Manager is a tactical manager. As a tactical manager you normally have the following key responsibilities.
1. Understand the strategic plan. This is harder than it sounds. It is not always easy to get a clear vision of your objectives from your leadership team. Keep asking for it until you get it, and accept and understand that you may never get a clear answer on this. Ask how your performance will be measured. If you can’t get a straight answer on the objectives, you can often figure them out by what you are being measured on. Strategic planners measure their staff on things that reflect what they want done. Your real objective is to meet not just the measurements, but also to meet the intent of the measurements.
2. Communicate your objectives. Start by writing down your best interpretation of what you think you are supposed to accomplish. Always pick 2 or 3 key objectives for the year. Communicate them to your boss (this is what I’m planning to do, tell me if you want any changes) Communicate them to your team. Don’t wait for your boss’s approval (unless additional spending is required).Start. If your boss disagrees, then make the necessary course corrections. Show some initiative. This is your team. If you’re struggling with where to start suggest looking at ways to reduce office costs and ways to improve making accurate time estimates and meeting them. The main thing is that you put together a plan and show that you have an organized direction. Tactical managers must be able to organize details and turn objectives into plans.
3. Motivate your team. Tell them what the objectives are. Tell them what they will be evaluated on. Ask them for ideas on how to accomplish the objectives. Listen to them. Whenever possible give people credit for their ideas. Whatever you do, don’t try to keep all the planning to yourself. The more you modify your plans with the ideas of your team, the more cooperation you will get in achieving them.
4. Monitor progress, communicate progress and deviations, and make course corrections. Your leaders want measurements. It’s the only way they know something is happening.
Understand the strategic plan, communicate your objectives, motivate your team and measure your progress.