The title of senior manager is most frequently utilized and encountered and used in huge agencies with several layers of management. A senior manager has liabilities and authority that is broader in scope than a front-line manager and a door is generally open for senior manager to move into a director- or general manager-level role.
The flip side is that the position can include a good several challenges and it almost always brings with it a great deal of responsibility. Being a senior manager isn’t for the faint of heart and success can rely on your personality and skills.
Average Compensation of Senior Manager
For all the pros and cons inherent in this position, compensation tends to be good. Senior management roles across all industries averaged base pay of more than $150,000 a year as of the close of 2017, with incentives, bonuses, and perk of an additional $10,000 a year or more. The overall salary range runs from over $101,000 to as much as $248,000 yearly, relying on the industry and the size and scope of the employer.
Usual Responsibilities of Senior Manager
Like all managers, the senior manager is responsible for planning and instructing the work of a group of individuals. She monitors their work and takes corrective actions when essential.
Senior managers might guide workers straightly or they might instruct several supervisors, who in turn straightly manage the workers. The senior manager often supervises the largest or most important group or groups in a company.
Primary responsibilities of the senior manager involve:
- Giving guidance to direct reports, generally comprising first-line managers and supervisors
- Ensuring clarity around priorities and goals for the entire functional area
- Approving appeals for investment to a certain level of authority
- Managing overall financial budgeting for her function
- Approving hiring and firing requests within her group
- Guiding the talent identification and development procedures for a group or function
- Working across functions with peers in other groups to ensure collaboration for shared goals
- Interacting with senior management for reporting
- Working with senior management and other peers for strategy development and execution planning
- Communicating financial and goal results and key performance indicators to direct reports
- Facilitating goal-level creation for the broader function and working with managers to make sure the goals cascade to all workers
Other Usual Titles for Senior Managers
The title tends to follow the manager’s function. Some instances include senior accounting manager, senior marketing manager, senior engineering manager, and senior customer support manager.
Why Hire This Position?
It is common for greater firms to evaluate their positions by scope, responsibility, size, and budgetary authority, and then to allocate a level to these positions. The senior manager level or designation represents a step up from manager and offers the chance for individuals to take on new responsibilities and increase their contributions. Implementing this added and higher level also helps organizations recruit experienced professionals and slot them into roles that fit their capabilities and compensation.
Several Layers of Management
Complexity and inefficiency tend to maximize as agencies grow and become more stratified with extra layers of management. Consider a department that includes supervisors, managers who are responsible for supervisors, and senior managers who are responsible for the managers who watch over supervisors. The myriad of layers in the structure can slow decision-making, increase political and communication complexity, and ultimately breed dysfunction.
Many agencies cycle through a process of layering followed by flattening through restructuring, only to slowly add layers once again over time. In theory, a flatter organization with fewer layers simplifies decision-making and empowers a broader group of workers to assume responsibility for their actions.
The Case for the Senior Manager Role
Executing the role of a senior manager makes good business sense under a number of cases. The senior manager can serve as the “adult” in the group at times when the team is growing quickly and chaotically. He can interface with other functions for needed resources and provide mature guidance to managers and workers during a period of change.
This position can depict a tangible target or step up as part of a manager’s career development plan and responsibilities when there’s a clear distinction between the role of manager and senior manager. The senior manager can also support managers and take on responsibility for discrete work teams when the span of control for a group’s managers is too broad.
Establishing As a Senior Manager
This role is an expansion of the typical manager’s role in terms of breadth of responsibilities and overall accountability. A manager who is fascinated in advancing to this level should focus on personal professional development for leadership skills, involving talent development and coaching. She should prepare a strategy, including understanding how the firm makes money and developing insights into the external market forces, competitors, and customers.
She should have a firm comprehension of finance, involving budgeting, capital budgeting, and overall expense accounting, and should hone the negotiation skills she’ll require securing resources and gain assistance from other functions or executives.
Communication skills, both written and verbal, are vital, with an emphasis on presentation skills. A good senior manager should also become skilled in team development.
Issues of the Senior Manager
Regardless of the term “senior” in this position’s title, a senior manager is still in middle-level management. These significant middle-level roles are responsible for their people doing the work of the business, but they often lack the authority to add resources or to make the significant changes that are sometimes necessary to improve efficiency or the quality of the work environment. In spite of the challenges, the role is an excellent training ground for advancing to general manager at some point in the future.