The foundation for the general manager job description is poured with management, leadership and the role of rendering decisions. In some instances, general managers and chief executive officers may share functions and responsibilities. However, the chief executive usually takes a more global view of the organization, while the general manager job description focuses on the day-to-day details.
Job Overview: What Does a General Manager Professional Do?
A general manager oversees an organization’s daily operations. Managing personnel, budgets and also resources is an element of the general manager job description. Other general tasks include quality assurance and preventing unnecessary delays in the performance of employees or equipment. General managers may rely on assistant or division managers for some of these functions.
General Manager Job Duties
- Formulates and administers policies on subjects such as employee conduct and discipline, use of company property, accounting and handling of money.
- Evaluates department or division performance through the examination of revenues, costs, sales or service volume and other statistical data.
- Hires, terminates and reassigns department, division or site heads, as well as supervisors and other employees.
- Sets employees’ work hours and shifts.
- Plans and allocates the use of equipment, materials, other assets and human resources.
- Resolves conflicts among employees.
- Reports to top-level executives, such as chief executive officers.
General Manager Essential Skills
Management Skills. General managers must convert their focus from doing tasks to delegating them. Management skills include instruction and development of employees and enforcing policies. They also ensure the adequacy of supplies, inventory, equipment and other necessary items to conduct business tasks. Responsibility for ensuring departments and the organization stay within budgets falls ultimately to the general manager.
Decision-making Skills. Personnel decisions are a prominent part of the general manager job description. Based on performance and budget factors, general managers determine whether to hire, terminate or reassign staff members or eliminate or create new positions.
Time-management Skills. General managers often face multiple issues and deadlines at or near the same time. To have sufficient time to meet them, general managers delegate tasks and review calendars and schedules kept by them or their assistants. Setting priorities for tasks is also part of time management.
Becoming a General Manager Professional
General managers normally need at least a college education and extensive experience in management. Depending on the company, a general manager either must have worked in the company or industry. Lateral moves are available for those with a general manager work history.
Qualifications & Training
At a minimum, general managers have a bachelor’s degree typically in business administration. However, for many companies, a master’s degree in business administration is preferred. General managers may also have educational backgrounds that fit the particular industry.
For instance, pharmaceutical firms may have chemistry, medical science and biology degree holders as general managers. General managers of restaurants or hotels might hold degrees in restaurant management or hospitality management. Skills required for a general manager may include all of the above, depending on the company.
Experience plays a prominent role in becoming a general manager. In some companies, a general manager can be hired based solely on experience and move up the ranks. For example, general managers in transportation and retail trade companies often fall into this category.
General managers for sports teams may have been players and, afterward, serve in front-office positions or as talent scouts. Where an undergraduate or graduate degree is required, many years of management experience or even prior work as a general manager is preferred or required.
General managers often work more than 40 hours a week. Depending on the company, work shifts may include nights and weekends. Furthermore, in high-profile companies or industries, general managers make themselves available for media interviews which may occur after normal business hours. General managers in retail or service industries work much of the time the establishments are open.
For instance, restaurant general managers often work nights and weekends, when diner traffic is typically the highest. Where retail stores and establishments operate 24 hours, the general manager may rely on assistant managers to handle or be on call for irregular hours.
Job Outlook & Advancement Opportunities
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, general managers earned a salary of $123,460 per year, as of May 2017. Those in the 75th percentile had salaries of at least $156,580. Additionally, the highest salaries came in the “Monetary Authorities-Central Bank” sector, at $210,640.
There is an eight percent rise, or 807,300 new positions, in management occupations from 2016 to 2026. Creation of new firms serves as the primary catalyst for new openings. With a decline in the rate of business starts, available employment tends to be concentrated in fewer organizations. The best prospects for advancements are available for those with prior experience as department or division heads. We suggest reading about a similar position, operations manager, to get an overview of the field of management.
To conclude, becoming a general manager is a highly-competitive affair. Job openings, compared with other positions, tend to be scarce because of the slow growth of new ventures. Most general managers have logged sizable experience in their organizations or in management roles. Similarly, applicants with these characteristics possess the best prospects for landing these positions.