Social service agencies are organizations that provide services such as mental health care, drug rehabilitation and housing to individuals and families. Although the roles of the operations managers working in these facilities often vary with size of organization, they generally plan and coordinate day-to-day activities, formulate policies, control use of resources and make recommendations to improve efficiency. To qualify for this position, you need to have an academic background in social work with a focus on management.
An operations manager plans a wide range of organizational activities. An operations manager working in a nonprofit social agency, for example, can plan a fund-raiser to raise money. To ensure a successful event, you can send invitations to potential donors and sponsors, identify an appropriate venue and ensure a public address system is in place. If there’s an outbreak of a communicable disease, an operations manager working in a health care social service agency may plan an awareness campaign to educate the community on preventive measures.
For a social service agency to achieve its goals in offering high-quality services, there must be efficient allocation of material and human resources. The operations manager uses her supervisory skills to ensure all workers in the facility perform their job duties and may reallocate tasks depending on facility needs. She ensures adequate staffing of the agency’s departments to achieve optimal performance. If there is an increase in number of clients, you can collaborate with the human resources manager to hire more workers.
Because an operations manager oversees the everyday activities in a social services agency, he can detect ineffective organizational polices. For example, if a housing association implements a policy requiring employees to work more hours with no extra pay, they may suffer low morale, which may affect delivery of quality social services. As an operations manager, it’s your job to ensure the facility’s policies are fair and equitable. If a specific regulation affects the agency’s performance, you can collaborate with the senior management to restructure guidelines as appropriate.
An operations manager makes timely payments to the agency’s external service providers. He can collaborate with the bank to facilitate convenient and efficient payment of funds to suppliers. This helps enhance smooth operational efficiency. The manager may assess the facility’s supplier needs and evaluate the performance of existing providers. An operations manager working in a mental health facility, for example, can enter into a contract with a nursing agency to ensure a steady supply of mental health practitioners.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2012: 11-1021 General and Operations Managers
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- Institute for Smart Business Management: How to Establish Fair and Equitable Employee Discipline Policies
- Harvard Business Review: Manage Your Suppliers as a Resource
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