Some leaders work hard and build their leadership skills over time in order to lead by example and have an effect. General Managers are seasoned experts in charge of overseeing numerous organisational departments and teams of individuals. They are critical in strategically designing organisational goals, assisting team members in accomplishing them, and assisting the firm in reaching excellence. This function is industry-agnostic and so exists in a variety of corporate situations.
Similar Job Titles
- Chief Operating Officer
- Branch Manager
- Operations Manager
Typical Job Responsibilities
What do General Managers do?
A General Manager would typically need to:
- Manage teams to oversee and improve a company’s general business operations and departments, as well as the operations of a location or unit, or the operations of a department or line of business; monitor and raise their productivity, maintain an appropriate work environment and make strategic decisions for the company’s growth.
- Set and communicate long-term strategic and realistic goals for teams in terms of sales, product or service quality, customer satisfaction, staff retention, and other business performance indicators.
- Identify business growth prospects; build and implement growth strategy based on detailed market research
- Create, direct, or coordinate realistic plans to achieve corporate objectives; manage day-to-day operations and administrative duties; and look for new and better ways to grow income, control costs, and improve customer service.
- Assess personnel needs and ensure that vacancies are filled as soon as possible; support the human resources (HR) department with their duties, which include hiring and firing, disciplinary action, performance reviews, promotions, and pay rises.
- Ensure that all personnel decisions are in line with business needs and that all labour and wage laws are followed.
- Ensure that department leaders and workers receive frequent training and development in order to improve professionalism and performance at all levels.
- Decide on incentives in consultation with the HR department based on a team’s or individual’s effectiveness in reaching the company’s strategic business plans.
- Recognise team efforts, identify areas for improvement, fill gaps, and maintain open lines of communication with team members, senior executives, clients, and vendors to work diligently towards achieving the company’s vision and goals.
- Lead and direct people, connecting with them and motivating them to raise their performance levels and collaborate as a team.
- Manage the financial function, including tracking ROI (return on investment) statistics and increasing cash flow through cost and inventory management.
- Create and manage annual budgets that detail revenue and labour, as well as fixed and variable expenditures; examine and approve departmental budgets that include resources for materials and equipment, human resources, and marketing.
- Allow monies sought for company expenses to be released.
- Create and implement rules and processes to ensure the organization’s smooth operation while meeting profit and loss (P&L) targets.
- Communicate and enforce company policies and procedures to all personnel in accordance with industry standards, legal obligations, and organisational policy.
- Oversee the purchasing and materials management function, which includes assessing departmental needs, planning material usage, ordering supplies, and inventory management.
- Assist the marketing and sales teams in planning and implementing marketing strategies, campaigns, and promotional materials to attract new customers.
- To retain present clients and customers, foster trusting relationships with them; resolve customer/client complaints and assist the company in minimising them.
- Oversee the facilities management role, which includes infrastructure and equipment maintenance, adherence to safety, hygiene, health, and security requirements, and the provision of transportation, supplies, and meals.
- Evaluate current company processes and internal systems to maintain what works and alter what does not in order to fulfil organisational goals in the long run.
- Examine and evaluate accounting and financial data, budgets, sales records, and other periodic reports to determine the efficiency and profitability of corporate operations, as well as the procedures necessary to improve them.
- Create quarterly and annual reports and provide presentations to senior executives to compare the company’s performance over time with previous months and years.
- Coordinate departmental activities and initiatives; delegate efficiently to junior and middle managers in charge of certain teams inside the organisation.
- Collaborate with high-level managers and executives while also providing assistance to individuals and teams that may require supervision.
- Keep up with the newest industry trends, technology, management approaches, and applications.
Standard Work Environment
General Managers may work from office buildings in large cities and small towns, such as banks, depending on the needs and nature of the business, as well as their proximity to the teams and departments they lead. If they are in charge of processing or manufacturing plants, they may be located in industrial zones. They could also work in hotels and resorts in tourist areas.
Depending on organisational demands, a transfer to another job within the organisation at short notice is possible. Travel may be necessary on a regular basis to visit the company’s headquarters, other divisions or operations, meet industry counterparts or attend conferences, meetings, or training programmes. If you work for a multinational corporation, you may be able to travel or relocate overseas.
General Managers may be required to work long hours, including evenings and weekends. They may be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, depending on the company’s needs for emergencies that may arise due to the nature of the business. For example, the General Manager of an oil refinery, which operates 24 hours a day, must be available at all times to address production, safety, or personnel issues.
According to research, the younger generation values flexible hours and favourable telework regulations more than money. Employers are more prepared to provide talented employees with the opportunity to change their schedules based on work demands.
Finding a new job may appear difficult. General Managers can improve their job search by soliciting referrals from their network, personally contacting manufacturing firms, utilities, and other companies, using job search platforms, attending job fairs, leveraging social media, and inquiring at staffing agencies. Aspiring General Managers should start by looking for firms that provide executive training programmes through their college placement office. Executive search recruiters, commonly known as “headhunters,” are used to fill high-level management positions.
General Managers are generally employed by:
- Service Providers
- Tech Companies
- Manufacturing Companies
- Engineering Firms
- Large Corporate Firms
- Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
- Financial Firms
- Building & Construction Companies
- Healthcare Facilities
- Government Agencies
- Educational Institutes
- Public Utilities
- Charities, Social Work & Non-Profit Organisations
- Entertainment, Creative & Media Companies
- Transport Companies
- Distributors, Wholesalers & Retailers
- Hotels & Resorts
- Security Services
Unions / Professional Organizations
Professional associations and organisations are essential for General Managers who want to further their professional growth or interact with other professionals in their industry or career.
Professional associations offer members chances for ongoing education, networking, and mentorship. Membership in one or more of these organisations adds value to your CV while strengthening your credentials and qualifications.
- Stressful work with tight deadlines and often unrealistic expectations
- The need to make quick decisions daily while handling considerable pressure
- Constantly motivating team members and employees to perform well
- Lack of work-life balance due to long hours in the office and being on call
Suggested Work Experience
Having at least five years of managerial experience, especially in the relevant area, is often required to become a General Manager, as this can demonstrate your leadership and management qualities. For example, if you want to work in a manufacturing company, you could start by gaining work experience in industrial engineering, production, and quality control.
While external recruitment is possible, it is more frequent for lower-level managers to advance to General Manager positions within the same business, due to their managerial expertise and familiarity with organisational objectives, rules, and procedures. Organisations typically operate executive training programmes to help its managers move to top-level management positions. Some companies may want individuals to work as deputy general managers before being considered for promotion to general manager.
Acquiring leadership and managerial abilities in the military can also lead to a career as a General Manager in the corporate sector.
Any academic programme in which a potential General Manager enrols usually includes a period of supervised experiences, such as an internship. You will profit from projects outside of the classroom that are properly aligned with the lectures within. Many anecdotes can be heard and significant hands-on experience can be gained from more experienced individuals who can turn seemingly ordinary occurrences into unique learning opportunities.
Summer internships, part-time entry-level work, or short-term paid/volunteer work provide a taste of the career, vital insight into how a firm or institution functions, assist create useful relationships, and boost one’s chances of landing a permanent job.
The experience may also aid in determining if the public, private, or voluntary sectors are most suited to achieving one’s goals. The career services department at your educational provider can provide information about suitable opportunities for work placements, internships, and volunteer work in a variety of areas.
To demonstrate your devotion to course providers and future employers, read about the profession and interview or job shadow managers in various industries, organisations, and functions.
A bachelor’s degree in business, management, accounting, finance, industrial relations, or a similar area is often required for aspirant General Managers. However, particular educational qualifications may vary depending on the nature of your employer’s industry. STEM degrees, for example, are well suited to general management positions in technological or research organisations. A master’s degree in finance management or a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) gives you an advantage in the employment market. A liberal arts degree at the undergraduate level followed by an MBA may be a desired combination.
Some organisations may take experience and demonstrated achievement in lower managerial posts in lieu of post-secondary credentials. Furthermore, if your company offers an executive training programme, you will have the option to work across multiple divisions for a period of time to prepare for your role as General Manager.
Aspiring General Managers can benefit from high school courses in mathematics, business studies, accounting, economics, and computer technology. English and speech lessons will help you improve your writing, research, and communication abilities, all of which will be useful in this career.
It is important to remember that completion of a certain academic programme does not ensure admittance into the profession. Regardless, your professional credentials and transferable talents may open more than one door.
Before enrolling in a specific programme, do your homework and investigate all available possibilities for education and career. Associations and employers in your field are reliable sources that can help you make an informed selection.
Certifications, Licenses and Registration
A General Manager’s expertise in a skill set is demonstrated through certification, which is often obtained through work experience, training, and passing an examination. Certification from a reputable and objective organisation can help you stand out in a competitive employment market, carry a large wage premium of up to 18%, boost your prospects of progression, and help you become an independent consultant. By including a Code of Ethics, successful certification programmes defend the public welfare.
Some employers may demand candidates to have industry-specific certifications in order to demonstrate their knowledge of a given sector. You can, however, obtain generalised qualifications, such as the Certified Manager (CM) certification offered by the Institute of Certified Professional Managers (ICPM). It takes six months to finish and is entirely online.
The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) is a qualification offered by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). This CPD-certified online course can educate young professionals with the information and leadership skills they need to work effectively as part of a project team and become competent General Managers of the future. You can also choose the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Project Management Professional (PMP) qualifications, which validate your ability to lead projects across industries and in any type of organisation.
Some prospective employers may want industry-specific certification, especially for general management positions in technical sectors, to demonstrate your knowledge of the industry and processes.
Managers may also be subjected to an employment background check, which may include but is not limited to, a person’s job history, education, credit history, motor vehicle records (MVRs), criminal record, medical history, usage of social media, and drug testing.
Expected Career Path
Career advancement is driven by performance, experience, and the acquisition of professional certifications. Employees who continuously demonstrate high levels of performance may be eligible for promotion every two to three years.
General Managers typically rise through the ranks of the organisation from lower-level managerial positions, gaining a promotion if they have been with the company long enough and have a solid track record. Higher-level business qualifications, such as an MBA (Master of Business Administration), finance, or a technical discipline, provide you a competitive advantage in advancing to senior management positions.
You may rise to higher positions with titles such as Area Supervisor, Operations Director, District Manager, Account Manager, or Centre Manager after gaining sufficient experience as a General Manager and demonstrating your competencies for senior managing jobs. You may also be eligible for advancement to top executive roles in your organisation, such as Director of a certain department, CEO (Chief Executive Officer), or Managing Director (MD).
After working in a small or medium-sized company, you may find that moving to a larger organisation is a satisfying recognition of your experience and a path to career advancement. Having a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) or other postgraduate degrees can help you move to high-management jobs. Excellent people skills, sound decision-making, and the development of a strong network all contribute to professional success.
A growing number of millennials are opting to job hop and build a scattershot resume that demonstrates ambition, enthusiasm, and a willingness to master a wide range of skills in order to expedite their career progress and personal development.
Studies show that job hopping, which was formerly considered a “flaky” activity, might lead to increased work satisfaction. Employees looking for a healthy culture and exciting work are eager to try out different roles and workplaces while learning valuable and transferrable skills.
General Managers with relevant managerial experience and educational credentials, particularly an MBA or other advanced degree, have the highest job prospects. Technical capabilities combined with demonstrated leadership, decision-making, problem-solving, communication abilities, and people skills can help you find suitable career prospects.
Beneficial Professional Development
CPD will assist an active General Manager in developing personal skills and proficiency through work-based learning, professional activity, and other means.
Whether conventional schooling or self-directed learning is preferred. It enables you to always improve your skills regardless of your age, career, or degree of expertise.
Some firms provide executive management programmes that prepare you to take on upper management positions. Regardless of whether you are an external or internal applicant, you will most likely undergo on-the-job training if you are hired as a General Manager. The training, which may involve job shadowing the current GM, will familiarise you with the company’s rules and procedures, computer systems, inventory management, and the operation of all departments under your supervision.
Enrolling in classes and attending workshops and seminars may assist you in expanding on your existing expertise. They also allow you to network with industry colleagues and establish long-term relationships in your sector.
Developing a variety of soft skills can assist you in becoming a more efficient and inspiring General Manager. Refresher courses in leadership, for example, prepare you to initiate initiatives and drive teams to collaborate and increase productivity. Improving your communication skills will allow you to interact with your team, clients, and other stakeholders more successfully. You must be able to explain fresh or difficult ideas and present information in a way that is appropriate for your audience while also accepting and providing feedback.
Sharpening your abilities in informed, timely, and effective decision-making based on information analysis is vital to your work as a General Manager, especially since your decisions may have an impact on overall business success. You must ensure that your decisions are of the highest quality in all areas under your supervision, including financial operations, marketing strategies, human resources, information technology, and others.
Given that you are called upon to resolve a wide range of issues at work, from employee disputes to safety concerns, problem-solving courses will help you increase your company’s performance and revenue. Time management, prioritising, and delegation of responsibility are some key skills that can be improved with online or in-person training.
Higher education, such as a master’s degree in finance or a technical subject, or an MBA (Master of Business Administration), may also be pursued to help you carry out your general management tasks more competently and advance in your profession.
Because of their involvement in strategizing for future prospects and ensuring everyone performs according to plan, general managers are critical to an organization’s successful functioning and success. They are visionaries and team players who help employees work to their full potential. General Managers have a multifaceted skill set and perform duties with thorough rigour and a focus on teamwork, especially in challenging times.
Advice from the Wise
Learn to assess other people’s skills and faults while being aware of your own. Always look for ways to enhance yourself and your team. To be a successful manager, you must learn on the job. Lead by example, and you will equip your team for success.