It’s fair to say that being an office manager is not an easy task! The role has a lot of responsibility, but it’s made a whole lot easier when you have the necessary soft skills, and hard skills needed to become a successful office manager.
So, what is the role of an office manager in the workplace?
They oversee the ability of the workplace to function efficiently. They maintain a good workplace environment, supervise the administration department and act as the liaison between each department within the business.
Good office managers should have both soft and hard skills to help them with running of the workplace and maintaining a good workplace environment for employees. They serve as the backbone of the office, they are accountable for good communication, planning, process creation, documentation, day to day running of the office, supervision and training of team members.
What are the essential soft skills of an office manager?
In order to be successful in your role it’s important that you master the skills that will inevitably make your job a lot easier. Here are 9 soft skills of an efficient and effective office manager:
1. Organisational skills
The role of an office manager includes organising of processes, documents and administrative tasks so it’s vital that they have thorough organisational skills. A very large chunk of the role is based around administrative tasks. These tasks may include evaluating top-performing members, scheduling meetings, hiring new employees, managing and storing confidential documents, and internal comms between multiple departments. All of these should be done simultaneously in your job role and this can only be done with fantastic organisational skills.
2. Dealing with conflicts and confrontation
Let’s be honest, conflicts are inevitable in any workplace. It’s an aspect within a business that can arise at any time. It’s important for an office manager to be able to deal and resolve conflicts in a logical and mature manner. In this type of role you can be faced with many different issues – it could be interpersonal conflicts, it could be due to a lack of supplies or it could be down to budget restrictions. As the manager, you will be the first accountable person and you will need innovative resolutions to any issues that affect general operations and productivity.
3. Good leadership skills
As the office manager, it’s your role to ensure that you are aware of everything that is going on within the team. Some of your responsibilities will be monitoring team members performance,
As the manager, you hold the leadership in your department. This means you are the head that ensures everything is going within the team and other concerning departments. Some responsibilities as the leader include providing motivational support to subordinates, ensuring everyone’s efficiency, training members, and monitoring their performance. All these tasks aim to help produce the best performance of team members.
4. Communication skills
Outstanding communication skills are always a must for every manager. After all, they are dealing with a large number of people in their scope of work. As a manager, you will often communicate with team members, department heads, clients, customers, and suppliers. This responsibility requires you to have the capacity to handle conversations with others.
To be an effective manager, you need to excel in both written and oral communication. This is because apart from verbal interaction, you’ll also put these into writing as part of the documentation.
5. Decision-making skills
One of the necessary soft skills of an office manager is the ability to make solid decisions on short notice. Managers deal with lots of responsibilities under their control. And as the head, you have the final say in making these necessary decisions. Thus, you have to be analytical in coming up with prompt decisions.
Excellent decision-making skills include the ability to form valuable decisions that will work best for the organization and the ability to stay calm and composed in a pressure environment as you make critical decisions.
6. Keen attention to detail
All leaders are inclined to have sharp attention to detail. This is most especially applicable for office managers who run the supply management and recordkeeping. Some of the critical tasks under your watch are monitoring office supply inventory and maintaining office records, which need accuracy.
Imagine what the organization would be like if the office manager isn’t detail-oriented. Mistakes are bound to happen since you failed to aim for consistent accuracy.
7. Time management skills
Office managers often have the busiest schedule in the workplace. This is because they handle lots of responsibilities simultaneously. While they may have routine tasks, some duties may arise that need urgent attention. These instances require you to be able to divide your tasks effectively to accommodate other critical tasks.
Good time management skills are one of the soft skills that make every office manager successful in meeting deadlines. And a secret ingredient to proper time management is mastering task prioritization. Prioritization refers to the ability to identify which tasks need your urgent attention and which ones can be done later without compromising the organization’s operations.
8. Flexibility and multi-tasking
Due to your hectic workload, you will need to learn how to do everything simultaneously and adapt to changes in a snap. As the manager, you have multiple accountabilities that will force you multi-task in order to accomplish tasks on time. Neglecting to multi-task will just result in failure to meet success.
In the subject of flexibility, you need to adapt to any changes that may arise in your department. You should always remember that you need to remain flexible and adaptable to both changes and pressure, no matter how overwhelming things might get.
The most successful office managers are collaborative in nature as they know it’s a part of the job to establish collaborative projects for employees. After all, collaborations open up opportunities to find ways on how the organization can improve its processes and management.
In being the successful office manager you aspire to be, just keep this handful of soft skills proven to bring success in your career. Need more resources to master these skills? Here are some top Skill Success courses every manager should check out: