What are the skills and personality traits you want to look for when choosing the best candidate to manage your main or branch offices? The constellation of characteristics that defines a great office manager for your business is essential to sketch out before begin the search. Expect this employee to possess competencies that could differ significantly from your sales force or creative team. Some may call a good office manager ruthless. Others realize they are the hub of all communication and activity and must be crystal clear in their motivations and work product.
Outstanding Organizational Skills
This characteristic may seem to be one you would prefer all your staff to possess, but the office manager has to manage organization across as many disciplines as your company uses to get business done. Not only does your manager need to be personally organized, it is critical to possess the ability to grasp and assess others’ systems. Perhaps most importantly, a gifted office manager will identify the processes that are working and which are sapping your business’s energy and strength and will deal swiftly and effectively to bring them into line with your goals.
Clear and Consistent Communication
An office manager constantly communicates. Your best candidate will be at ease talking with your biggest clients as well as your most junior staff member. Possessing the ability to get the message across with exactly the spin needed for each situation is key. Immediately commencing the needed conversations is also a must, nipping drama in the bud. The superior manager does not hide behind emails and refrains from irony or sarcasm. Quick, to the point information and instructions naturally leap from this person, including incisive comment and warnings directed to you about the workings of the office. Do not misinterpret the directness as insubordination or gossip. Professional office managers must be able to speak freely with you.
This position requires one of the quickest minds and most thorough understanding of your business within your company. The manager needs to grasp what you do and how you and the rest of your staff complete your missions. Some may consider it as nosiness, but the efficacious office manager really knows “everything,” and needs this knowledge to keep things rolling. Phone systems, websites, office machinery, accounting are just a few of the things this person needs to understand, while also being a keen judge of others’ character both within and outside of the office. This final knowledge set is used for the good of the group, never for petty goals, and is kept confidential.
Calm, Cool And Collected
Unflappable is the term that comes to mind when the truly exemplary office manager is described. A crisis management team in one person, your office manager will react with speed and accuracy to difficult situations, always finding the best solution for the business. Fearless under fire, the eyes of the best office managers are always on the prize. Expect this person to be decisive and willing to undertake unpleasant tasks without a murmur, including expediting removals of excess employees, destroying office gossip and innuendo, and planning the Holiday Party everyone actually attends and enjoys. Tasks are completed and unwanted vendors are shown the door seemingly effortlessly, leaving you the freedom to grow your business know this steady hand is vigilantly guiding the day to day workings of the business team.
Committed and Charismatic
The ultimate office manager accomplishes it all without much push-back from the rest of your staff or complaints from your clients because of a deep understanding of how the human mind works and a genuine commitment to the goals of your business. People oriented and fair minded, the most successful office managers spend little time convincing staff and clients to do things the right way because they are natural leaders and show proper protocol by example. Your workforce will want the approval of your office manager, looking to the manager for tips and coaching. Your customers and vendors will enjoy working with your manager, building trust and loyalty. You will wonder how you every managed without this person.