Sure, on paper, the CEO runs the show. Deep down though, we all know that office managers are actually the person in charge of everything. Like the oil in your car, an office manager makes sure that all the constantly moving parts keep gliding along smoothly. Without them, the well-oiled machine of the modern workplace becomes clunky and awkward.
It takes a wide array of skill sets to be an amazing office manager. If you are looking to hire an office manager, or are in the profession looking to improve, here are some of the things the very best do to up their game.
They wear many hats
Office managers have the utmost ability to shift from menial tasks like visitor registration and email, to complex tasks, like planning the next great office party. This takes an incredible amount of versatility. They can be telling the delivery person where to put the carton of office supplies one minute, and the next minute trying to determine the best location for the CEO to meet the mayor downtown -- in 2 hours!
Some of the roles they might be asked to play include:
- Event planner
- Meeting scheduler
- Mail distributor
- Memo writer
- Office decorator
- Tour guide/wayfinder
- Supply buyer
A sign of a great office manager is when you see them effortlessly shift from one to the next while barely blinking an eye.
They stay organized
While juggling all those different roles, office managers have to learn to truly manage their time. This requires a level of planning, prioritizing, and organizational skill that must be honed. Organization is absolutely crucial to running a tight ship. There are so many tips to keep an office organized, and a truly good office manager will take advantage of as many as possible.
This doesn’t always mean the desk is tidy. Even if it appears a disaster, chances are a good office manager will be able to put their fingers on a file in less than five minutes. Being organized means having systems in place to keep track of all the information that flows through their office.
Some things to expect:
- Labeled files, maybe color coded
- Organized storage and supply areas
- Important reference documents within easy reach
- Paper or digital calendars and planners
- Ability to find things through simple searches
They keep improving
The cream of the crop in office management have one thing in common: they look for new and effective ways to get work done around the office. They aren’t content to let the status quo stay that way, especially if there are way to make things smoother. Examples of actions that improve how business gets done include:
- Learning a new computer program for creating presentations
- Rearranging office furniture to improve mobility flow
- Creating a handy file of frequently used menus
- Exploring the use of a receptionist sign in app to quickly check-in guests
- Outsourcing tasks or work to people who are more skilled
They are personable and trustworthy
Let’s face it; everyone in the office encounters the visitor manager. Every day. No one wants to work with a grouchy or disinterested person.
Visitors too will likely interact with the office manager so they hold great power over how the organization’s image is presented to the public. While office managers may not realize it, they need to have the same great leadership qualities as the president or CEO.
- Greeting people warmly
- Treating visitors and employees alike with respect and integrity
- Staying calm under pressure.
It also means doing what they say they’ll do. It is important to complete the follow-through required for any action, and to communicate clearly when everything is done, or if there are complications.
Conclusion - What would we do without Office Managers?
It is hard to imagine an efficient office without an office manager. They are the glue that holds everything together. An office manager who has the flexibility to take on many roles, the ability to organize, the willingness to try to improve things, and the personality of a leader is a real prize for any organization.