Peter Drucker quotes “A manager is responsible for the application and performance of knowledge.” The main duty of a general manager is to manage the activities of his team and to get work done by them. A general manager’s position is considered to be one of the top managerial job of a company. He works under the supervision of the Head of the company, who may be the Vice President (VP) or the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
General managers are primarily responsible for guiding employees in achieving the goals and ambitions of the organization. They ensure that all processes and practices are working in a proper manner. They have discussions with other members of the top management and devise any specific goals, which are to be accomplished within a certain time period.
✔ Planning: General managers are responsible for developing strategic plans for the growth of the company. They need to consider the financial and the technical standing of the company, and then devise plans to bring about improvement.
✔ Resource Management: The GM heading a huge team should manage the resources under him, by proper work allocation. Reviewing of the allocated work also falls under the purview of his duty. Timely review and result measurement will highlight the key areas that need attention. By doing this, the efficiency of the team and the company will increase. Preparation of work schedule can prove to be helpful to maintain a track of the ongoing project progress.
✔ Communication: In many industries, the GM deals with the external parties directly. In such cases, he should create a good impression of the company and maintain its image. The market value of any organization depends on the way it treat the clients, customers and also employees, so the manager is expected to have good business communication skills.
✔ Staffing: Recruitment of the staff is one of the important duties of a GM. He should be involved in the hiring process. He needs to hire well-experienced and efficient managers for handling the operations of individual practices in a company. Also, he needs to train, guide and assist the newly hired process managers, regarding handling daily processes and employee performance. The GM should try to retain the efficient employees as training the new recruits for the same profile is an additional expense for the company.
✔ Funds Management: General manager is solely responsible for projects undertaken by him. He has the authority of allocating funds to the projects. He should be a part of financial budget allocation meetings. The current financial status review is also GM’s responsibility.
✔ Cost Reduction: GM should recognize the areas where cost reduction can be done. These areas need to be identified and necessary action must be taken. Also, process and program improvement projects should be initiated.
✔ Knowledge Upgrade: Keeping oneself updated with the latest market trends is of utmost importance to a GM. He should be aware of the current market conditions. For achieving this, he should attend workshops and seminars to increase his knowledge. Many organizations conduct regularly update their programs.
✔ Purchase Deals: He should represent the management in purchase negotiations; third party or in-house. All the decisions that are taken in the negotiations should be reported to the top management.
✔ Business Strategies: General managers are required to conduct presentations to the higher management pertaining to business, marketing, and advertising strategies, and all other necessary aspects of the company processes. They also conduct quarterly, semiannual and yearly general meetings for presenting the profits, gains and achievements of the company.
✔ Policy Formulation: Being the head of the team, he is responsible for the policies and procedures followed by the team. In case the existing policies lack certain key aspects or are outdated, it is the duty of the GM to establish new policies and adhere to them.
✔ Functional Analysis: As they oversee all processes, they have to pay minute attention to monthly or quarterly functioning of each individual practices. They are responsible for proper functioning of their department.
Because of the responsibility of managing all the processes altogether, and the stress and tension general managers have to go through, they need to have the best qualities and capabilities that are essentially required for running a company in a smooth manner. To handle any corporate profile efficiently, there are a few prerequisite skills. However, the broad skill set for a GM includes:
☑ Performance management
☑ Management proficiency
☑ Managerial experience in a variety of corporate sectors (optional)
☑ Good leadership and management skills
☑ Effective business communication
☑ Decision-making and problem-solving skills
These are some of the most common general manager duties and responsibilities that are to be carried out. However, the obligations and pay of a GM largely depends on the area of operation.