Over the last one month, we have been discussing tips for company heads of department. Today, we will wind up this theme by sharing a summary of the key take away lessons.
We started by looking at the importance of managing people affairs. As a head of department, you need to inspire your staff and motivate them so that they can maximise their delivery in their respective job. You also need to build good relationships with many stakeholders that you deal with including your chief executive officer, your peers, suppliers and customers and so on.
If your people relations have big issues, you will meet many challenges in your job as a head of department.
Secondly, you need to manage processes pertaining to your department. Take a deep dive to analyse and check if you have all the processes you need to run your department. Where you find gaps, you need to quickly develop and document the required processes. Of particular importance are all processes that may be subjected to audit.
You need to have ensured that all the key processes are defined, documented and used as well as singed off. You need to govern your department in some organised fashion and the use of processes is key to achieving this ideal.
You may be a good head of department, good with all people and stakeholders but if you deliver little or no result at all then you cannot be sustained in that role. As a senior executive, you need to be result oriented. Companies thrive on results and delivery. This delivery comes from all departments. If you do not closely manage delivery of results for your department, your department may be viewed as a ‘total failure.’ Your track record of delivery of results may even save you in difficult times.
Fourth, you need to manage yourself. This will only be possible if you know your strengths and weaknesses. Make sure that you enforce your strengths to maximise the value you gain from the strengths. You also need to know your weaknesses as far as work is concerned. This will enable you to take actions that will help you to be good at most if not all competences you require for your job. For this to be possible you need to be open to feedback and you need to regularly reflect on your life and on how you work.
Communication is another major component of the work of a head of department. You need to master communicating using multiple methodologies and channels. You need to refine your oral as well as written communication. You need to set up frameworks and structures through which you will communicate with all your key stakeholders. You need deliberate ways of communicating proactively in addition to the reactive communication.
Sixth, you need to help managing the company. As a senior executive, you have to protect the company brand, company assets and its reputation. At all times, you need to be conscious about the company and brand. You need to constantly remember that you represent the company wherever you go – almost. You need to carry yourself as a company executive that has serious interest to see the company excel.
Finally, we discussed company politics. In every company, you will find people playing politics. People fighting for power, positions and recognition. You need to play your cards correctly. It would be wrong to assume that you have no politics at your company. You will meet people that want to excel in their career at the expense of your peace. But, when you deliver results and keep your promises and deadlines, even enemies will find it difficult to wage war against you. Even when they do wage the war, they will not go far. Delivering results is the best weapon you can use against all your adversaries at the work place.
This is the summary of tips for effectively working as a head of department. Good luck as you apply these tips in your work and as you excel as a manager or head of department. You will surely rise and shine! n