It is already seen that the office work is a function of service. The job of the office manager is to control the activities in the office so as to get the maximum benefit out of them.
The manager plans, organizes, directs and controls the activities of his sub-ordinates in the organization. He brings the human resource or human talent of a firm into combination with non-human resources viz. money, materials and machine.
Qualities of a Manager
1. In addition to general education, he must have undergone management training. There is no hard and fast rule as to the minimum qualifications to be possessed. The qualifications are based on the job he does.
2. He must have a good command of language.
3. He must be a good organizer.
4. He must have an ability to teach others.
5. He must be tactful and skilful in his dealings.
6. He must be sincere to do his duties.
7. He must be a good leader. He must be able to create team spirit.
8. He must have ability to delegate the job and work to his staff according to the abilities of the workers.
9. He must be calm and confident in all situations. He should have self-control. He should not be irritable.
10. He must be constantly in touch with the new facts and methods to increase the efficiency.
Functions of an Office Manager
He has to control his office. The office manager is important for the smooth running of the organization. He is in-charge of the public relations. He helps other departments to achieve their goals. He has complete control over the work done in the office.
He has to select the persons-right persons for the right jobs.
(a) He will have to work and carefully see that the policies laid down by the management are implemented.
(b) He is the connecting link between the top management and the workers. Workers approach him for their grievances and difficulties and manager has to redress them. If he is not able to do the needful, he must place it before the management.
(c) He has to work and safeguard the firm, where he is an office manager.
(d) His primary duty is to the management and secondary duty to the workers. He must please both the parties. If either one of the parties is annoyed or neglected, he will be regarded as a bad manager.
3. Recruitment of Staff:
He has to select the right person for the right job. For that he invites applications, conducts interviews and selects personnel.
4. Training of Staff:
He provides training to the new employees as well as old employees to improve their skill in the latest techniques of management.
He measures the employees' work and output and offers rewards which increase their efficiency and ensure their better co-operation and lead to the promotion of the staff.
Discipline in the office depends upon him. The rules and principles of the management should be followed by the sub-ordinates. He must have ability to speak. New methods cannot be accepted, unless full explanation is followed. He has to convince others about the fact findings.
He has to keep a close touch with the accounting and costing section.
8. Controls Stationery:
He has to safeguard the furniture, fittings, machines, equipments and various types of records.
9. Secretarial Services:
He maintains statutory and accounts books, holds meetings, drafts reports and minutes etc. Thus he does the secretary's functions.
10. Organizer and Supervisor:
He organizes and supervises the office correspondence, messenger services, communication system, filing and indexing, protection of records etc. There is no hard and fast rule as to the functions of an office manager. His functions depend upon the type and size of the organization.
He has to face difficult situations very tactfully, and must have pleasing manners always in dealing with critical positions and in suggesting suitable ideas. He must be tactful.
Some drawbacks of Office Managers:
1. Some managers do not delegate proper authority to others for fear of losing power. If they do not delegate authority they may be unnecessarily approached even for unimportant matters. Only if authority is delegated, the sub-ordinates will feel the responsibility and work sincerely. Sometimes sub-ordinates assume authority which creates unpleasantness.
2. If the office manager delegates all the power to his sub-ordinates they may think that they are overburdened with the work, while the manager is resting in his chair. This should not happen. He must also work along with others, as he is the leader.
3. When the office work is delegated, the office manager looks for the result. The result will not be good unless the work is simplified and made easy to execute. Therefore, it is the prime duty of the office manager to make his sub-ordinates to understand the work and suggest good and easy methods through which the work can be performed.
4. If he is not punctual towards his duties, then naturally his sub-ordinates will also follow his bad example. If he is punctual, he can maintain punctuality in his office.
5. If any employee-sub-ordinate-comes to him with grievances, he has to hear them politely and suggest suitable remedies. A patient is often much more relieved not by the medicine, the doctor prescribes, but by his pleasing attention.
Leffingwell lists down twelve control measures for the Office Manager:
1. Plan and schedule the day's work in writing.
2. See that the work is started on time.
3. Determine the amount of unfinished work.
4. Determine the amount of current work to be done.
5. Measure the working force by the work.
6. Check up on the daily output.
7. Insist on a full day's work.
8. Check up on your standard practice instructions.
9. Plan your daily Supervision for the week.
10. Establish overall daily inspection of maintenance.
11. Establish overall inspection of filing and record keeping.
12. Get acquainted with your personnel.
Status of Office Manager
The executive, who is put in charge of the management of the office, is known as Office Manager. He performs the managerial functions of planning organizing, directing and control in relation to the office operations. The scope of functions of an office manager varies from organization to organization.
This is because of nature and size of organization, volume of work etc. Business conditions, both internal and external, do not remain constant for long. Therefore he should constantly occupy himself in the task of innovating, i.e. introducing new changes. According to Neuner and Keeling, "Today's office executives direct the nerve centre of their companies.
With knowledge of technological developments, office systems and procedures, and human relations, they greatly influence the growth or progress of their firms, to reflect their new status of office responsibility; new titles have come upon the scene: no longer is it possible to categories all office executives by the title of office manager.
Today among other titles, the office executives may be known as the controller, director of finance and services, manager of office services, treasurer, systems and procedures manager - director, operations manager and administrative manager".
Training of office manager
Every office manager must possess leadership quality. Leadership is the process by which a manager guides and influences the work of others in choosing and attaining specified goals by mediating between the individual and the organization in such a manner that both will obtain maximum satisfaction.
So the office manager must have the quality to mould the people working under him into a unified team dedicated to the realization of objectives of the office. Another essential quality of an office manager is his ability to delegate authority to do work. If he is able to delegate his ability efficiently, he will become the most successful office manager.
Training is an organized process for increasing the knowledge and skills of people for definite purpose. The purpose of training is to improve the employee's current job performance. Training is a continuous process because a person never stops learning. Training should be differentiated from education and development.