A department head is in charge of his or her organization’s sector. Department heads can work for a corporation, an institution, or a nonprofit organization. A senior manager, vice president, or other top executive may report to each department’s head. Department heads are in charge of ensuring that their department and the organization as a whole are well-run and efficient.
While a department head’s exact duties and responsibilities vary depending on the industry and company, there are many common tasks that these professionals perform. Years of supervisory and managerial experience are typically required to head or lead an entire department of a business or other organization. Decision-making and problem-solving are expected of department heads. They must draw on their previous experience to predict the needs of the department they supervise.
A common department head duty is to plan the best use of an allotted budget and to keep track of expenditures. The head of a department in a large institution or other organization is frequently the one who approves spending and signs checks for necessary supplies. He or she must usually keep records of all purchases and expenditures, as well as receipts, to give to their company’s accounting department. It is the responsibility of this leadership position to ensure that the budget is spent wisely on the items that the department requires to function effectively.
Many department heads are also tasked with forming committees to focus on specific departmental issues. A department head is also responsible for preparing project outlines and assigning team leaders to them. The team leaders then supervise the rest of the department’s employees while reporting to the head of the department on project progress. As a result, managing other employees is a common task for a department head.
Any organization’s department head must not only hold meetings with his or her employees, but also attend meetings led upper management, such as a senior manager or vice president. Typically, all department heads are invited to attend these meetings and report on events in their respective areas of the organization to the rest of the group. Top management may also assign special projects to department heads and communicate any changes or new policies to them. In order to make the best use of an organization’s resources, department heads are frequently expected to incorporate new ideas into their sections. For example, the department head of a public school’s special needs section might suggest to the principal that his or her students benefit from a new computer software program that has been shown to be effective for similar children in other schools.