Top 13 Office Manager Skills to be Best on the Job
This post presents skills and qualities an office manager needs to have to achieve optimal performance on the job.
They are also the qualities and skills that human resources managers ought to look out for before hiring people to fill vacant office manager roles.
To manage means to direct or to be in charge of. It equally means to handle or control a situation or job.
Therefore, a manager is a person whose job is to manage something such as a business. Being a manager is synonymous with being an administrator, a controller, a supporter, or an organizer.
The office manager is the officer in charge of performing managerial functions, such as planning, organization, directing, and controlling of operations and activities in an office.
The duties of an office manager vary depending on the nature, culture, and size of the organization.
However, irrespective of the organization, to succeed as an office manager and be the best you can possibly be on the job, you must possess most of the skills and qualities discussed below:
1. Leadership Skills: Of course, an office manager is a leader. As such, he/she is expected to possess leadership skills and abilities.
As an office manager, you should be able to allocate individuals and materials to specific tasks, as well as make sure that the assignments are accomplished in good time.
You should also take care of scheduling activities in the organization so as to ensure the smooth operation of the organization, office, or department.
2. Co-ordination: The coordination quality of an office manager can be discussed as part of the leadership quality discussed above. However, for the sake of clarification, it is being discussed separately here.
Whereas leadership bothers on the smooth allocation and control of people and materials within the organization, effective co-ordination of people entails that the interests of the workers align with that of the top management.
The office manager is the link between the workers under his/her supervision and the top management.
Therefore, an office manager must ensure that unity is established and maintained between the top management and the workers, and that both parties are pleased at all times.
3. Motivational: A good office manager must be a good motivator. He/she must be able to recognize and commend good employees under him and recommend them to the top management for reward and promotion; praises and a pat on the back is a good way to motivate performing employees.
Also, being able to correct under-performing employees in a friendly way is a good way to motivate them to do better. This process is referred to as constructive feedback mechanism in management.
4. Discipline: To succeed as an office manager, you must set out rules and principles to guide activities and operations in the office. You must ensure that such laid down rules are followed to the letter.
Employees may from time to time introduce new, easy, and efficient ways of accomplishing tasks. However, such innovations must be subject to approval by the office manager.
5. Fairness: The manager should also ensure that all employees are treated equally and fairly too. Favoritism breeds resentment and dampens team spirit in an office setting.
6. Decisive: Decisiveness is a quality common amongst successful office managers. This quality allows the manager to come up with quick decisions and solutions to problems when the need arises.
7. Flexible: Another important quality that backs up decisiveness is flexibility in decision making. In as much as an office manager is not supposed to be erratic in making decisions, he/she ought to be able to constantly review standing decisions and make changes to them if necessary.
8. Teaching Skills: A good office manager must have good teaching skills, otherwise, passing knowledge to his/her subordinates will be a problem.
He/she must be able to constantly train both old and new employees on better ways of accomplishing tasks assigned to them. And most importantly, he/she must have the patience to explain things properly for his/her subordinates to understand.
9. Education and Training: To be hired as an office manager, a certain level of education is usually necessary. Sometimes, certain skills and certifications obtained through training are also required.
A university degree may or may not be required to work in this role, it all depends on the nature and size of the organization. However, the ability to handle certain equipment, software applications, and having certain management skills may be a prerequisite.
10. Multitasking: The job of the office manager extent beyond delegation of duties to different workers. He/she monitors the employees to ensure compliance with schedules, stipulated procedures, and completion of duties.
He/she equally attends to customers’ needs and questions when there is need for it.
11. Communication Skills: Effective communication is the key to managerial success. To succeed as an office manager, you must possess excellent communication skills, including verbal, written, listening, and virtual communication abilities.
These skills will enable him/her channel the top management’s goals and expectations to the employees, vice versa, as well as to relate effectively with external stakeholders.
12. Tolerance: The ability to understand and tolerate employees under your supervision is paramount to your success as an office manager. These employees may come from different background and as such have different believes and behaviors.
Therefore, understanding and tolerance will help foster team spirit and efficiency in the office. A good office manager views life from different perspectives. This enables him/her to resolve office conflicts effectively without taking side.
13. Innovative: Everyday new and more efficient ways of solving human problems emerge. This also applies to office equipment and principles. While some managers are usually reluctant to embrace emerging trends, the good ones are always on the lookout for innovations that will reduce inefficiencies in the organization. So, if you want to join the league of good and successful office managers, then you must be innovative.
Office Manager Skills for Resume
When making a resume for the office manager position, the skills section is a vital part of the resume that should be well crafted.
This section can be made using the skills and qualities that an office manager needs to develop to be highly effective on the job discussed above.
You can learn how to prepare the skills section for your resume from our earlier post on what makes a good resume.
Carrying out the role of an office manager comes with huge responsibility. The office manager does not only control materials, but also control and direct workers under his supervision.
Managing humans is very difficult. The workers are individuals from different backgrounds, with different behaviors and temperament.
Obviously, anyone can claim to be fit for this challenging position in any organization. However, to be the best office manager in your organization and achieve tremendous success in this role, you need to work towards developing most of the skills and qualities discussed above.
Do you have other skills you believe are vital to an office manager’s success? Do share them in the comment box below if you do, we will be pleased to read your contribution. Thanks!