Operations Team Leader Job Description

An operations team leader manages workforces in a way that encourages teamwork, cooperation, and productivity. Their main focus is fostering team unity and boosting a company’s day-to-day efficiency, but job duties can differ between different companies. Some operations team leaders work in public-facing positions, but most operate behind-the-scenes, providing support wherever it’s needed. Regardless of industry, the operations team leader is a high-energy multitasker who can communicate effectively with interdepartmental staff and help an organization meet its goals successfully.


Operations Team Leader Duties and Responsibilities

Because operations team leaders are employed across multiple industries, their primary duties vary from job to job. However, these are some common responsibilities:

Human Resources

Much of theoperations team leader’s role involves human resources, including managing staff, creating policies, and providing helpful services for employees. Since this role often serves as a direct connection between lower and senior staff, it’s one of the most influential roles in the entire company.

Staff Scheduling and Supervision

Scheduling and supervising staff members is a critical aspect of the operations team leader’s job, as are balancing the needs of the company with the desires of employees.

Coaching, Motivation, and Morale-Building

Coaching and motivating teammates to meet and exceed expectations goes a long way toward building the operation team leader’s reputation. As the focal point of a workforce, the operations team leader’s success ultimately depends on the productivity of the group.

Prioritization and Delegation

Operations team leaders must prioritize assignments and delegate tasks on a daily basis. Fulfilling these responsibilities effectively distinguishes veteran leaders from their novice counterparts.

Introduce Process Improvements

Most companies expect their operations team leaders to help improve internal processes and streamline business functionality. This involves researching current industry trends and using that insight to form relevant, actionable solutions.

Facility Management and Maintenance

Some operations team leaders also oversee facility management and maintenance. It helps to have a working knowledge of local building codes, sanitation standards, and health and safety regulations that pertain to the industry.


Operations Team Leader Skills and Qualifications

Operations team leader is a mission-critical position that demands professional diligence, a strong sense of commitment, and unwavering patience, in addition to these skills:

  • Team leadership – daily leadership is the position’s primary role. Some operations team leaders also participate in recruitment and onboarding initiatives as necessary
  • Business management – a strong managerial acumen and familiarity with the principles of business administration are necessary components of the job.Examples include overseeing daily operations, pursuing organizational goals, and driving long-term business development
  • Communication skills – not only are operations team leaders expected to deliver instructions clearly and concisely, they also address employee questions and issues and respond to staff feedback
  • Customer service – operations team leaders don’t typically interact with customers, but they’re often called upon to de-escalate and troubleshoot advanced customer issues in retail or manufacturing settings
  • Lean manufacturing – knowledge of lean methodology (boosting efficiency without sacrificing productivity) isn’t always required, but it’s useful in manufacturing and some other industries, and employers often prefer candidates who understand the principles of lean manufacturing


Tools of the Trade

Operations team leaders typically work within office environments with the following software applications:

  • Business tools (data analysis, CRM, and database software)
  • Microsoft Office (primarily Excel, PowerPoint, and Access, but knowledge of Word is helpful)


Operations Team Leader Education and Training

Since operations team leader is a senior-level role, most companies require a bachelor’s degree in operations management, business management, or business administration. Some organizations favor operations team leaders with master’s degrees, but this is rarely a strict requirement. There are multiple paths for career advancement, such as promotions to operations manager, director of operations, warehouse manager, or production supervisor.


Operations Team Leader Salary and Outlook

Lumped into the category of social and community service managers, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists the median annual pay for an operations team leader at approximately $65,000. On the lower end of the scale, entry-level professionals might earn as little as $38,000 per year. The most skilled and experienced operations team leaders can earn an annual salary exceeding $100,000.

According to the BLS, this profession is set to experience above-average growth from now until 2026. The field is expected to grow at least 18 percent in that time, meaning job prospects will remain high.


Helpful Resources

Toastmasters– founded in 1924, Toastmasters International is a nonprofit organization that helps members develop skills in communications and team leadership

Dale Carnegie– these courses are highly respected by managers in nearly every profession

Community Tool Box – these toolkits from the University of Kansas are invaluable resources for team leadership, relationship-building, and staff coaching

Lynda – Lynda.com is an online education portal offering multiple courses for leadership and team-buildin

ASCE Library – the American Society of Civil Engineers provides leadership guidance and support across many different industries

How to Find Out Your Style of Leadership – the University of Kent’s comprehensive questionnaire highlights the different styles of leadership

Manager Tools – aimed at new, future, and current managers, this treasure trove offers informational podcasts as well as various products and tools to help build leadership skills


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