Being an office manager can be difficult and rewarding at the same time. As an office manager, you have the opportunity to lead a team, impact the business you work for, as well as grow yourself professionally. However, the position is not without its challenges.
This position often requires a blend of administrative, organizational, and interpersonal skills. An office manager typically oversees the daily administrative activities, which include managing office supplies, ensuring equipment maintenance, and organizing office operations and procedures. Their role often extends to coordinating with IT, HR, and finance departments to make sure that the department they are working in can be supported the right way.
An office manager’s role can also include supervising administrative staff, providing training, and implementing office policies and procedures. This requires strong leadership and decision-making skills. Their ability to adapt to varying situations and manage diverse tasks simultaneously is crucial in ensuring the productivity and efficiency of an office. Ultimately, an office manager’s role is central to creating and maintaining a pleasant and functional office environment.
To be an effective office manager requires a strong set of business goals that will help guide their decisions and help them evaluate how good of a job they are doing. Let’s take a look at ten goals office managers can set for themselves and even their team.
Maintain an Office Budget
The primary goal of an office manager in maintaining an office budget is to ensure the efficient allocation of financial resources. This involves tracking expenses, forecasting future costs, and identifying areas for cost reduction. The office manager must balance cost-saving measures with the need to maintain a productive and well-equipped work environment.
Regularly reviewing and adjusting the budget based on actual expenses and company financial goals is a critical aspect of this role. This financial stewardship is vital for the long-term sustainability of the office’s operations.
Increase Overall Productivity in the Office
Increasing productivity in the office is another key objective for an office manager. This goal is achieved by streamlining processes, implementing efficient workflow systems, and ensuring that staff have the necessary tools and resources to perform their tasks effectively. The office manager must also identify and address any bottlenecks or inefficiencies in-office procedures.
Increasing productivity is not a single task but involves multiple aspects that are within the control of the office manager. However, other aspects influence the productivity of the department that are outside the control of the manager. While this should certainly be a goal of the office manager, the expectations of what they can accomplish should be within reason.
Support and Manage Change
Leaders of all kinds understand that being in business means that the possibility of change is always present. However, one of the toughest things to do is to initiate that change throughout an organization or department. This is especially true when employees resist change. While office managers do not have the responsibility of managing change throughout an entire organization, they are responsible for supporting and managing change within the office.
As an office manager, one of your goals should be to effectively support and manage change when it is required. This means implementing the process of change management. Change management is not a simple process but there are things that can be done to make it easier on everyone involved.
Here are some things that will help the change management process:
- 1. Create that sense of urgency-Help employees understand why a change is necessary and identify any roadblocks with communication and pushback that you may encounter.
- 2. Develop a mindset of innovation and creativity- Allowing your employees to be innovative, increasing leadership transparency, and emphasizing organizational goals will allow your employees to focus and understand the urgency.
- 3. Ensure that all employees are on board and motivated towards the same goals and mission-If change is about to occur, leadership needs to be committed to it and help employees understand why it is needed.
- 4. Remove barriers to change- Organizations can focus on simplification and empowerment, common inefficiencies, communication delays, inefficient backlog management, redundancy, and excessive errors.
- 5. Allow employees to have a voice and for leaders to empower their ideas- Simply ask your employees to identify if they are noticing barriers or inefficiencies.
Improving communication within the office is a fundamental goal for office managers. Effective communication is key to maintaining a cohesive and efficient work environment. This includes ensuring clear and open channels of communication between different departments, as well as between management and staff.
The office manager should foster an atmosphere where feedback is encouraged and valued, and information is disseminated effectively. This can involve regular meetings, updated communication protocols, and the use of collaborative tools to facilitate better communication practices.
Another challenging but necessary goal office managers should set is the goal of keeping employees motivated. This is easier said than done. Especially if there is a barrier to motivation like a negative company culture or excessive stress within the office. Although those things often suppress motivation, it does not mean that motivation cannot be reclaimed and utilized.
Keeping a team motivated starts with understanding what motivates a team. Managers need to ask and observe what works as a motivational tool for their employees. Some employees are motivated by bonuses and other monetary rewards. While others are inspired by time off and work flexibility. Still, others may be motivated by being recognized by their peers and managers.
Good office managers need to use a combination of different motivation tactics to keep their employees focused and driven. This takes trial and error but over time an effective office manager will be able to sustain the level of motivation needed to help the employee reach their goals as well as the goals of the organization.
A significant goal for an office manager is to minimize multitasking among team members. But not only for the team members but also for themselves. Multitasking is often seen as a valuable skill. The assumption that doing more things all at the same time can lead to getting more done is losing popularity.
Many people mistakenly think that they are more productive if they multitask. However, studies have found that only 2.5% of people can multitask effectively. Multitaskers lose 5%-15% of their cognitive efficiency while switching between tasks can lead to decreased productivity and increased errors.
The office manager should aim to create an environment where employees can focus on one task at a time, ensuring higher quality work and efficiency. This may mean organizing workloads, setting clear priorities, and providing tools that help staff manage their tasks effectively. By reducing the need for multitasking, the office manager helps to maintain a calm, focused, and more productive workplace.
Mentor a Team Member
For many organizations, mentorship is something that is somewhat of an afterthought. Leaders tend to focus on higher-level goals such as profits and productivity. While they may acknowledge the importance of a mentorship program, it is often not considered a priority.
However, this may be a major mistake and could cause long-term negative effects for an organization. For example, employee retention is often an important goal for a business. This is because the cost of hiring a new employee is much higher than retaining current employees. One study looked into organizations that offered mentoring programs. They found that retention rates were much higher for mentees (72%) and mentors (69%) than for employees who did not participate in the mentoring program (49%).
Office managers should try to find individuals who would make good mentors and mentees for those mentors. Office managers can also mentor team members. This investment into the growth of team members will help build an overall stronger department for the company and improve company culture.
Help Improve Employee Retention
While mentoring can help with employee retention, there are many other things that the office manager needs to look into to help with this critical issue. Improving employee retention is an important goal for an office manager because high turnover rates can be costly and disruptive to the organization.
The office manager plays a key role in retaining staff by creating a positive work environment. It is also a part of the office manager’s job to recognize and address employee concerns.
Building a strong company culture where employees feel valued, engaged, and part of a team is essential. The office manager can also implement strategies such as career development opportunities and employee recognition programs to increase job satisfaction and loyalty, leading to higher retention rates.
Plan Better Meetings
Let’s just all admit that staff meetings are usually not enjoyable. While we’re at it, let’s go ahead and face the reality that they are not going anywhere. Meetings are necessary at all levels of business. The average time spent in meetings per week is 3 hours, with 30% of workers reporting that they spend over 5 hours per week in meetings. On top of that, organizations spend roughly 15% of their time on meetings.
That would not be a problem if these meetings made an impact. However, 71% of those previously mentioned meetings are considered unproductive by those in attendance. While office managers cannot fix this seeming unending meeting epidemic, they should make a goal to make them better and more productive. There are several ways they can do this.
The office manager should also encourage active participation so that every meeting results in actionable items. This starts with better planning and understanding of what will help keep their employees engaged during meetings. Office managers may want to ask for feedback about meetings. However, the feedback should request specific ideas that will help those meetings become more productive.
While reaching these goals will help validate the office manager’s effectiveness, good office managers continue to grow. They look for opportunities to learn, train, and engage with their employees and leaders. If you are an office manager, take these goals as a base and add to them to help you become the best you can be.