Any position in management requires a diverse range of technical skills for managers, no matter the industry; however, your particular field will help determine knowledge-specific skills needed as a manager.
Technical skills for managers can be developed through learning and practical experience as a manager. The skills help the manager to relate with their fellow co-workers and know how to deal well with their subordinates, which allows for the easy flow of activities in the organization.
In this article, I explore some of the best technical skills for managers, but first let’s understand what we mean by technical skills for managers
What Are Technical Skills For Managers?
Technical skills refer to abilities and knowledge that enable managers to use a variety of strategies to achieve their goals. These abilities include not only the ability to operate machines and software, manufacturing tools, and equipment, but also the ability to increase sales, design various sorts of products and services, and advertise the services and products.
Technical skills for managers also involve the use of company or industry-specific methods and processes, formal problem-solving techniques, technology systems and machinery and other tools. Technical skills may involve performing a predetermined sequence of steps or carrying out a specific physical action. Thus, these skills can change depending on the particular processes, procedures and regulations that are standard in your industry.
Types of Management Skills
According to American social and organizational psychologist Robert Katz, the three basic types of management skills include:
- Technical Skills – Technical skills involve skills that give the managers the ability and the knowledge to use a variety of techniques to achieve their objectives.
- Conceptual Skills – These involve the skills managers present in terms of the knowledge and ability for abstract thinking and formulating ideas.
- Human or Interpersonal Skills – The human or the interpersonal skills are the skills that present the managers’ ability to interact, work or relate effectively with people.
Importance of Technical Skills For Managers
All three above mentioned skill types – technical, human, and conceptual – overlap and combine to create effective management. However, the position type and level of management you’re in may dictate the degree to which you use technical skills in your day to day responsibilities.
A line manager in a plant, for example, or an on-site construction manager, for example, may use technical abilities on a regular basis and be more mechanical and hands-on. A project manager, on the other hand, might use technical skills to stay up to date on the job his or her colleagues are doing, but not on a daily basis.
7 Best Technical Skills for Managers
Technical skills differ by industry and position since they are unique to the task(s) that managers must execute or oversee on a regular basis. However, some common technical abilities, particularly in administrative and middle management jobs, may be required across a variety of industries.
1. Office Applications Skills
Basic proficiency with Microsoft office software like Microsoft Office, Adobe, Google Docs and any relevant industry-specific programs is essential for managers. Furthermore, depending on the industry, a proficiency with financial and accounting software, data entry, popular web publishing platforms and HR and scheduling programs may be needed.
2. Computer and Digital Literacy
While not all roles require managers to have a working grasp of programming or website maintenance, knowing the fundamentals is advantageous. This could involve a basic understanding of web design and SEO, as well as HTML and CSS training. Employers may require knowledge with industry-specific applications, such as Epic medical software for healthcare managers, for certain positions.
While not necessarily a technical skill, communication may require a proficiency in specific company systems or programs, such as those used to relay instructions or updates to and from front-line managers up the chain of command. It is vital to understand how to effectively use various email software to communicate.
4. Data Management and Analytics
A professional manager should acquire information pertinent to the business’s continuous operations in a timely and accurate manner, assess the data for major patterns or potential difficulties, and report findings to senior management. Managers may be expected to be conversant with specific data collecting and analytics tools and software, depending on their role and sector.
5. Technical Writing
Managers can communicate goals and instructions to staff, develop training materials, document critical processes, establish product and service descriptions, and report on department and project statuses to upper management. All of these necessitate professional writing skills, as well as the ability to communicate complex processes and procedures in writing.
6. Project Management
Management may entail supervising people at various phases of one or more projects, which necessitates the capacity to coordinate activities and track progress toward certain objectives. Even individuals who are not directly involved in project management should be aware of the fundamental processes and resources needed to design and execute a long-term project.
7. Information Technology
Lastly, IT plays a significant role in many companies’ operations today; therefore, having a working knowledge of IT basics may be helpful (even if your business has a dedicated IT department)