Operational Departments: How is This Commonly Defined?

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Operations departments and employees have the authority to make a substantial impact on the production of products and services. Employees working in the operations department must be proactive in identifying and troubleshooting problems quickly and effectively. If so, your organization has a greater chance of turning a profit, which can be reinvested back into the organization to hire more employees. 


Learn more about an overview of operational departments, best practices for managers, the importance of operations and frequently asked questions regarding them. 


Read more: How to Hire Employees: A Step-by-Step Guide


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An overview of operational departments 

An operations department ensures that the production process is completed from start to finish. These production processes need to line up with the goals and functions of other departments within a company. 


Managers assigned to the operations department provide constant oversight on the production process to make sure their employees can systematically perform their tasks. For example, the assembly line is an operational procedure where all employees must perform their roles to get products into stores swiftly. 


Read more: How to Grow Your Business


Best practices for managers 

An operations department plays a key role in the success of an organization. Here are some of the best practices that can improve the productivity of employees:


Purchase updated equipment

Coordinate with managers to see how much technology they use to improve the level of production. Schedule a time to have a joint evaluation, so you and the department’s manager can properly assess the productivity of employees and if they’re using technology properly to help them execute tasks. Employees working in manufacturing still need raw materials to produce products, so you must look at performance reports during your evaluation to see if you can streamline the shipping and receiving or production of raw materials. 


Streamline employee communication

Meet with all department managers to review how they communicate with each other. You should get a better idea of if their approaches and communication tools match the results they’ve produced. It may be best to purchase a project management software that can integrate the communication between all managers and employees within one system. You can ask for assistance from the company that owns the software to give a tutorial to all employees. 


Review revenue collection processes

Cash flow is a critical metric for measuring the financial performance of a company. Speak with your company’s financial and accounting managers to track the ways they bill and receive invoices from customers. You want to have more money coming into the business so you can have available funds allocated to important expenses such as product development, increases to salaries and benefits and investments in equipment. Accounting software puts all transactions in one place and allows the accounting and finance department to focus on documenting financial performance. 


Adequately train employees on-the-job

The operations and human resources departments train employees. Training is a continuous part of an employee’s development, but a manager’s feedback on an employees’ performance can help you create a development plan that fits their situation. Employee training should maintain the performance of current employees, and it can help them learn new skills to amplify their long-term performance. 


Key functions of operations departments

A few functions that an operations department performs to increase company profits include: 


Building a consensus among employees

A company can improve operations if there is an agreement from the leadership team. From there, they inform the rest of the company about the rationale behind these changes and how it affects the work they do. 


Providing ample resources for managers to mentor employees

The operations department must collaborate with the human resources department to see which resources fit the needs of an employee’s development. In some instances, an employee can be proactive in saying what they need to improve. You should generate a performance assessment and brainstorm questions to assist managers in getting feedback about an employee’s interactions with them. 


Assessing the value of business processes 

Business processes must constantly improve to sustain and increase the performance of employees. The value of the processes determines the level of completion and the actions taken to finish projects. For instance, you may need to audit internal reporting processes to find out if it accurately demonstrates the company’s performance. 


Enhancing the performance of all departments 

An operations department is the primary contact for tracking performance. Once you review and revise internal reporting processes, see how they impact each department and if it’s more convenient for managers to report employees’ performance prior to the changes. 

Ensuring compliance with government agencies on regulations

An operations department must communicate to all departments the guidelines and regulations for employees to follow. This can be essential for companies in highly-regulated fields like healthcare and energy. Keep a list of guidelines in an employee handbook that can be made available to all employees. 



Operations departments FAQs 

Check out the FAQs that you may ask about operations departments: 


Can you describe the influence that an operations department has on employees? 

An operations department can be a deciding factor on how an employee or team performs in the workplace. Operations managers must speak with department managers to grasp the ideal method in establishing efficient processes and give the right tools to help employees thrive. Some of the ways they can help employees are by improving the company’s communications infrastructure, buying new equipment and training employees in areas that benefit their career path. 


How can an operations department increase profits for a company? 

The investment in employees and the processes they execute increase the chances of earning a sustainable profit. However, track them carefully to see if the investments lead to a boost in performance from employees. It’s best to separate the timelines of your reporting to know what you’re measuring on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. 


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