Operations management is a vital area for every business, and it's important for managers to approach it in the right way. What habits make for effective operations management? And what is the best way to add them into your management structure.
The habits of an effective operations Manager
As operations management is multi-disciplined in nature, it comes as no surprise that many of its functions can often be misunderstood. However, as a management professional, you will understand how much of a lynchpin operations management can be in determining the success, and ultimately the profitability, of a business. So, we ask ourselves, what is the best way of creating life-long habits that result in effective operations management?
Manage risk, don’t be risk-averse
If you want a happy team and customer satisfaction, then you need to develop a habit of good risk management. What this will mean is getting into the habit of analyzing your business for its weaknesses in order to improve not only the systems but the culture too; adopt this idea of self-analysis and you will see better results long-term.
Fostering a good company culture will see the reduction of risk within the day-to-day operations of the business. Rather than a reactive system where the team merely complies with safety rules, if they are suitably trained, they then become self-aware, realizing the importance and benefits of safe behavior in the workplace and acting accordingly.
What are the technological priorities within your organization? If you get into the habit of creating a strategy that you use on a regular basis, you will identify the type of technologies that will enhance your business and see ways to apply them so that they are most effective.
At the same time, it’s important that your staff are trained to use any new technologies you wish to apply, as barriers towards use will only hinder successful adoption within the organization. People are always the most important asset in a business, and it is they alone who apply and use the technology day to day.
Keeping ahead of industry trends
Your operations management should include paying close attention to the changing needs of your customers. If you wish to deliver a service which is consistent and sustainable in the long-term, then one of the key habits you need to adopt is to foresee and keep ahead of industry trends.
Whether you’re in the restaurant business, you run a travel company or a packaging firm, you’ll need to develop the strong habit of keeping abreast of what’s new and how the demands of your clients are changing. By doing this, you’re not allowing your operations to fall behind while others get ahead; your customers will appreciate it, and your brand will be recognized as a business that’s never standing still and always ahead of the curve.
Allow for mistakes within your operations management
Yes, your organization will sometimes make mistakes, as will you as an individual, and those within your team. You won’t always get it right, and sometimes mistakes are good because you can learn from them. Don’t dwell on mistakes, learn and then move on. As Nicole Fallon Taylor explains in her article on effective leadership traits, leaders know how to embrace mistakes and use them as an important learning experience.
Organizational goals should be part of your strategy
Rather than getting through each day on a wing and a prayer, it helps if you have set goals for your organization’s development. Goals are important if you want to get things done and they should encompass your risk management strategy, planning the introduction of new technologies and analyzing industry trends, amongst other things.
If you have a certain place you need to be in 18 months’ time, whether it’s grasping the vagaries of a new database that will enhance customer service, or rolling out a manual handling training course for each team member, goal setting helps you to achieve what you want.
People are different, so treat them differently
You will have noticed that people are different and your team members react to stress, new goals and training in different ways. To get the best out of your staff, find out what makes each one of them tick and what type of personality they are. Are they an introvert, extrovert or an ambivert? Each personality type requires a different touch to get the best from them. Understand what works best for whom, and utilize this to your advantage.
Want a successful business? Then develop some good habits
Finally, if you want an organization that keeps itself safe, works towards achievable goals, learns from mistakes and is happy to take on new technologies, you need to have a productive, engaged and enthusiastic team behind you. Adopting these lifelong operational management techniques should stand you in good stead for growing a stable business; one that continues to be productive, successful and with a positive outlook for many years to come.