Senior Managers are responsible for the overall operations and profitability of a company or institution. Their goal is to maximize this organization’s efficiency, productivity, and performance, by making sure all operations are running smoothly.
These professionals coordinate all business activities, meaning they are in charge of overseeing employee performance and budget control, establishing guidelines and objectives, and ensuring things are getting done in an efficient, organized, cost-efficient, and safe manner.
Senior Managers may be employed in a broad variety of industries throughout the public and private sectors. They usually specialize in a particular area or field, such as Finance, Marketing, Human Resources, or Sales. Understandably, their responsibilities will vary accordingly, but will also depend on the organization’s type, size, and location. They may oversee the activities of a single division or department or they may manage an entire organization by themselves, sometimes working in conjunction with a board of directors.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Senior Managers are required to complete.
- Planning the organizational activities by establishing tasks, objectives, and priorities:
- Creating a detailed action plan by mapping out the necessary steps and organizing them into a logical pattern;
- determining measurable organizational goals and defining ways to achieve them;
- setting explicit guidelines for decision-making and crisis management; and
- communicating the organization’s direction and vision to employees.
- Developing, implementing, coordinating, reviewing, evaluating, and improving business procedures and policies, as well as organizational activities and initiatives:
- Formulating, approving, and implementing organizational policies, programs, and other internal campaigns;
- determining how resources should be distributed, ensuring the right amount of work is assigned to the right number of people within the right department(s); and
- providing directions and explanations, delegating authority as required.
- Monitoring and controlling project progress, objectives, and costs against the established schedule and budget:
- Identifying problems and deficiencies, ensuring necessary corrective measures are implemented.
- Controlling budgets, liaising with partners and investors, as well as collaborating with the Sales, Marketing, and Accounting departments to discuss strategies and ensure the financial and overall success of the organization’s projects:
- Reviewing and interpreting budgetary information and financial data;
- monitoring expenses and performing cost-benefit analysis;
- assessing and managing financial risks; and
- ensuring financial accounting and auditing comply with applicable law.
- Overseeing the human activity of all departments, authorizing and organizing the establishment of major departments and associated positions:
- Selecting managers, directors, and other executive staff;
- training, supervising, and managing staff, or instructing the Human Resources department to do so;
- setting guidelines and standards for personnel evaluations, recruitment, and advancement;
- monitoring employee performance, writing reports and updating records, as required; and
- planning work schedules, if necessary.
- Building relationships with both internal and external parties:
- Communicating, motivating, and inspiring employees;
- gaining influence, trust, and credibility within the organization to build and help foster collaborative work relationships;
- liaising with external companies and other third parties; and
- representing the organization, or delegating representatives to act on their behalf, in negotiations, networking events, Public Relations activities, or other official functions.
- Overseeing the internal and external event organization and coordination, including promotional events.
- Overseeing the maintenance of equipment:
- Scheduling periodic inspections, maintenance, repairs, and renovation work.
- Dealing with problems as and when they arise so as to ensure the organization is running smoothly and effectively:
- Advising the Human Resources department on how to handle complaints and inquiries, assisting with conflict resolution, when necessary.
- Planning, organizing, directing, and evaluating all business activities, ensuring they meet the organization’s goals, objectives, and regulations.
- Monitoring budgets and progress for all projects and activities.
- Developing, implementing, and updating procedures and policies.
- Overseeing the organization’s human activity, including the training, management, and evaluation of employees.
- Liaising with employees, external companies, partners, and other third parties, representing the organization or delegating representatives to act on their behalf.
The average Senior Manager salary is $108,239 per year or $56 per hour. This is around 3.3 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $76,000 while most experienced workers make up to $152,000. These results are based on 537 salaries extracted from job descriptions.
- Exceptional interpersonal, communication, and negotiation skills:
- Communicating clearly, both in writing and verbally, in order to give clear instructions and to create a transparent and communicative environment with employees;
- being able to develop and sustain long-term relationships, both internally and externally, in order to facilitate work efforts, alignment, and collaboration;
- having great listening skills, treating others with respect, and remaining calm, in order to prevent or facilitate conflict resolution;
- handling requests and inquiries in a professional, diplomatic and tactful manner; and
- being able to give and respond to constructive feedback, as well as to recognize their team efforts and congratulate their employees accordingly.
- Outstanding leadership and managerial skills:
- Being able to take the lead, pushing themselves and others to achieve results and exceed goals;
- being able to delegate tasks and authority to ensure operations are being handled more efficiently;
- striving to improve individual and organizational contributions; and
- being resourceful, energetic, and optimistic.
- Strong organizational and time management skills:
- Prioritizing and planning organizational activities, ensuring time is managed efficiently;
- multitasking; being able to manage a team, produce results, and meet deadlines while dealing with a dynamic, fast-paced environment; and
- being able to work well under pressure, individually or as part of a team.
- Analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making skills:
- Identifying issues and resolving problems in a timely manner;
- being able to think outside the box, using creativity and imagination to develop new insights and to apply new solutions to problems; and
- being able to exercise sound judgment and critical thinking.
- High levels of self-management, flexibility, responsiveness, and adaptability.
- Great sense of loyalty and trustworthiness.
- Strong technical computer skills:
- Being highly proficient in computer word processing, spreadsheet, database management, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.
A master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) is the most popular choice for Senior Managers, but having a degree in at least one of the fields listed below is a good way to gain an in-depth knowledge of a specific industry – plus it’s guaranteed to give the applicant an edge over other candidates. These fields include, but are not limited to, the following: Finance, Accounting, Economics, Marketing, Operations Management, Events Management, Facilities Management, Tourism Management, Hotel Management, Catering Management, Hospitality Services, Secretarial Studies, Law, Healthcare, Education, Engineering, Telecommunications, and/or Modern Languages.
Additional credentials are sometimes required and will vary according to the Senior Manager’s location and specialization. In Canada, these credentials include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation;
- Chartered Accountant (CA) designation;
- Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation;
- Certified General Accountant (CGA) designation;
- Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation; and
- Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) certification.
Alternatively, aspiring Senior Managers may choose to work their way up the career ladder from an entry-level administrative role. This will understandably take considerably longer and has become an outdated practice due to the fact that an increasing number of employers now prefer candidates with graduate degrees.
Depending on the field and organization, a Senior Manager may be required to have from 5 to 7 years of managerial experience or up to 8 to 15 years of experience planning, developing, and managing projects. In most cases, candidates with post-graduate degrees will require fewer years of work experience (usually between 6 and 10, instead of 9 to 12). Experience working in financial services, including financial analysis and risk management, is a definite asset. Prior experience in customer service or Marketing is also preferred.
Career progression for Senior Managers is determined by their performance, experience levels, specialist expertise, and professional qualifications. Once they have acquired significant experience in a specific field, Senior Managers may choose to transition into a Management Consultant career, providing advisory and consulting services to organizations on a freelance basis.