Assistant Manager Job Description

An Assistant Manager generally helps a manager keep a company or store running smoothly by taking on some managerial tasks, such as overseeing employees or providing customer service. Assistant Managers can work in corporate or retail settings. A main responsibility of an Assistant Manager is to act in the role of a manager in the manager’s absence. They will often use the role to learn the duties of a manager and essentially be in training to advance to this position.

Scheduling employee work times, resolving customer issues and ensuring payroll accuracy might be some of the duties that fall to an Assistant Manager. They might also assist in hiring new employees by choosing a few applicants with the most potential and then work with the manager through the selection process. Assistant Managers can also settle issues between two or more employees or between employees and management and oversee training programs.

 

Assistant Manager Duties and Responsibilities 

An Assistant Manager will perform various tasks to help upper management ensure that business or store operations are successful. We have reviewed several job listings and found the following among the core Assistant Manager duties and responsibilities.

Supervise and Train Employees

In most cases, an Assistant Manager is heavily involved in the day-to-day supervision of employees. This would include scheduling, conflict resolution, payroll management and disciplining. They also work closely with managers in making hiring and firing decisions. Assistant Managers are also typically responsible for ensuring that employees complete training and professional development programs.

Deliver Customer Service

Particularly in a retail environment, an Assistant Manager will often be the first managerial individual to interact with a customer. Assistant Managers will work to resolve customer complaints, address customer concerns and explain company or store policies.

Stand in for Manager

An Assistant Manager must be familiar with all aspects of a manager’s job and be ready to assume that role in a manager’s absence. This would include completing reports that would be submitted to the manager upon his/her return.

 

Assistant Manager Skills

Successful Assistant Managers display strong communication, interpersonal and decision-making skills. They should be capable leaders and team players with excellent customer service skills. Being well-organized and having the ability to converse with people of diverse backgrounds and cultures are important attributes for Assistant Managers. Besides these general skills, many employers might look for potential HR Coordinator candidates to possess the following skills.

Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Assistant Managers with these core skills. If you want to work as an Assistant Manager, focus on the following.

  • Selecting personnel for specific positions and providing training and professional development
  • Evaluating employee performance
  • Collaborating with management on employee and customer service issues
  • Promoting store merchandise or company product
  • Understanding scheduling and staff level needs

Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Assistant Manager toolbox and broaden your career options.

  • Knowledge of inventory management
  • Possess ability to multi-task
  • Understand team-building concepts and techniques

 

Assistant Manager Q & A

Are you ready to move into a leadership role as an assistant manager? Depending on the type of business and industry for which they work, the specific duties of an Assistant Manager can vary greatly. However, no matter the industry, being an assistant comes with a whole new set of challenges and rewards. And if you’re moving up from the rank-and-file, it can be a drastic transition. We spoke to Lauren Zerweck, an assistant manager with PR firm Mixte Communications to find out more about the position. Here’s what she had to say.

What’s the most rewarding part about being an Assistant Manager?

I worked my way up, so I was once in the same shoes as the people I on my team. It’s rewarding to be able to use that experience to connect while teaching, so they feel that I understand their challenges.

What is the biggest challenge faced by Assistant Managers?

I work in PR and it’s a very fast-paced business and priorities are always shifting. It’s a challenge to stay hyper-organized so that I maintain the overall vision for each client and help the people under me to prioritize their days, weeks, months and year.  

What skills do you use every day?

Organization skills, critical thinking skills and an array of communication skills.

Who succeeds in this job?

Level-headed critical thinkers that can work closely on projects while keeping an eye on the bigger picture.

How should someone prepare for a career as an Assistant Manager?

Debrief all projects, situations and errors as you go. I have taken many management classes and learned the most from group projects where I could apply the theories and actually evaluate how I and others react in certain situations. Once you get into a real-world job, the learning is never ending, so it’s important to keep that in mind as you go so you can properly assess, move forward and do it better.

Are there any misconceptions people have about being an Assistant Manager?

Some might think it’s easier, but the fact is that when you are a manager everything under your umbrella falls back on you. But, while it can be a lot to juggle, it’s very rewarding to help others excel and look back to see how far your team has come.

 

Assistant Manager Resources

In order to help you further research a career as an Assistant Manager, we have provided some of the best industry resources below. You will find links to both online and print resources that will give you insight into the daily responsibilities, challenges and rewards of life as an Assistant Manager.

On the Web 

AMA Blog  –  Hosted by the American Management Association, this blog offers information on management styles, coaching practices and change management methods in addition to tips and advice for motivating employees, being a successful manager and more.

Management Skills Blog  –  An insightful blog focusing on such topics as performance evaluation methods and work delegation.

Industry Groups 

American Management Association (AMA)  –  A professional organization providing online training, seminars, podcasts and other professional growth opportunities.

Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM) –  Assistant Managers and other retail professionals can find networking opportunities and valuable resources identifying management practices and tools to help them be successful in the retail industry.

Books 

Awesome Supervisory Skills: Seven Lessons for Young, First-Time Managers  –  A seasoned retail manager gives real-world advice and practical tips for being a successful manager in any business.

Oops! I’m the Manager!: Getting Past “What Do I Do Now?!” in 5 Easy Steps –  A short book covering ways to improve communications with employees.

Essential Supervisor’s Handbook  –  A guide for managers of all levels, addressing team-building, disciplining employees, leadership styles and improving production.

 

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