Poll: What's the Most Important Operations Manager Quality?
Ops Managers Need Leadership Trifecta
Last month, we discussed important questions for candidates and employers to prepare before an interview for an operations manager. This is part of our ongoing Interviewing Prep series to help you get the most out of your next interview (whether in front of the desk or behind it). So we were curious to hear what you thought was the most important operations manager quality. We had a solid turnout of 7,851 votes this month!
Perhaps unsurprisingly, readers placed high value on three key leadership skills as their top operations manager quality:
- Effective delegation (26%) means each task has the best person for the job. This also means the manager is not micromanaging nor are they hoarding control, skills, or professional development opportunities for themselves. It has an added bonus of reducing management burnout. But it is a fine line – delegation does not mean dodging the work or responsibility required of a manager.
- The value of decisive leadership (24%) has been especially important during the pandemic. Companies and departments that lack this key leadership ability have certainly felt its absence. High stress, burnout, missed opportunities, infighting and, ultimately, high turnover are the results.
- Organization (21%) is a vital operations manager quality for obvious reasons. The person creating and managing important systems, programs, policies and best practices must have everything in its place. A company, office or department run by poorly organized ops management could be prone to critical errors, supply issues, staffing shortages, budget shortfalls, unhappy customers, and miserable employees.
The remaining key traits were strong communication (11%), reliability/consistency (9%), integrity (7%), and people-focus (2%). While these are all wonderful to have in any role, an ops manager lacking in the the top three traits is likely doomed to failure.
Here are the full results:
- Delegation skills (26%, 2,079 Votes)
- Decisive leadership (24%, 1,911 Votes)
- Organization skills (21%, 1,680 Votes)
- Strong communication (11%, 878 Votes)
- Reliability/consistency (9%, 670 Votes)
- Integrity (7%, 545 Votes)
- People-focus (1%, 88 Votes)
Total Voters: 7,851 (December 2, 2021 @ 9:01 pm - December 30, 2021 @ 3:39 pm)
Some comments from y'all:
- “The Operations manager must know what can & cannot be delegated and delegate all they s/he can. So many things are happening in the copier business, that the operation manager must be free to focus on what is needed to lead the organization.”
- “Delegation skills? That is what most managers do… Pawn it off or delegate to reps instead of simply getting it done as the manager, themselves. I can’t stand managers constantly delegating to sales reps.”
- “You’re barely aware of the best ops managers. If everything consistently works in the day-to-day, then they (and their team) are doing their jobs. It’s when things are chaotic or arbitrary or lazy/self-serving that you really notice them. My last job was a nightmare!”
- “Why take polls? Integrity is the answer to any and all. Anybody out there sick of not being taken care of and even acknowledged yet?”
- “Everyone likes an honest boss but an honest and competent boss can’t be beat! I’ve have plenty of managers who seem like nice enough guys but if they can’t do their job, it just makes my work harder.”