Welsh cy
Operations Team Leader

What’s it all about then?

Your job as Operations Team Leader in a food manufacturing company is to make sure that your team of production operatives work together to achieve production targets.

You’ll be responsible for everything that affects your production area during your shift - which means you need to be constantly on the ball making sure everyone is doing what they’re supposed to with no problems that might cause shortages or bottlenecks which could lead to customers not receiving orders on time.

The role is extremely important to the success of your company. You’ll be accountable to the Production Manager for all of your team’s output.

What might I be doing?

The exact duties of the job will vary from sector to sector and depend on company structure and the breadth of responsibility entrusted to you. However you can expect to be doing most of the following:

  • Planning and coordinating all production activities during your shift and making sure production targets are met
  • Making sure that the production line moves smoothly and efficiently
  • Leading and developing your team to ensure optimal production effectiveness
  • Ensuring that the company’s quality, hygiene and health & safety standards are met at all times
  • Liaising with colleagues in planning, technical and supply chain departments
  • Looking after machinery and coordinating breakdown responses so that minimal time is lost
  • Attending production team meetings
  • Maintaining up-to-date production, personnel and quality records
  • Ensuring handovers between shifts are smooth and no time is lost
  • Assisting your team when necessary

What will be expected of me?

You’ll be expected to be a hands-on, confident sort of person who enjoys the day-to-day management of people. You’ll be fair but firm and comfortable taking difficult disciplinary decisions if necessary.

The job is all about moving products through the line or area for which you’re responsible so you’ll be expected to plan ahead to make sure that you have adequate materials and people to get the job done.  Of course things don’t always go well all the time so you should be capable of being calm under pressure and able to solve problems and resolve issues quickly and effectively.

As Operations Team Leader you need to set the example so you will be a diligent sort of person who gets the job done but doesn’t cut corners or take chances.

You will be expected to know your equipment inside-out so that everything runs smooth.

Your company will expect you to have a strong work ethic and you will likely have some experience working in a similar sort of environment.

What can I expect?

Many food companies operate on more than one shift so you may be working during the evening or at night and your shift might rotate on a regular basis or be a permanent one. 

You’ll be employed over a 40-hour week, although there might be opportunities for overtime as well if you want. 

You’ll have to wear protective clothing for your work and you’ll spend almost all of your time in the production area.

You should also expect that some of the work will be repetitive and this is where your skills as a people motivator will come in to play.

What about the pay?

The pay can vary but you should be looking at £15,000 to £18,000 in the first instance, depending on your level of skills and experience. 

Also, if you work shifts you can expect to earn a premium on top of the figures above.

With time this will rise further and if you get promoted, you can expect to earn quite a bit more.

Bear in mind that some people will earn more than this and some less.

What qualifications do I need to get in?

You might have enjoyed an internal promotion to get to this stage of your career in which case you’ll have lots of experience and skills and you will have probably been building your qualifications up on a part-time basis.

Alternatively, you may have come in with higher level qualifications, say as a graduate trainee, in which case you’re well-qualified and will be building up skills and experience. Of course this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep studying and short courses can help you acquire new knowledge and skills.

Finally, you may have come in after an external recruitment process, in which case you’ll be likely have all of the above on your CV.

In all instances, food and management qualifications will certainly be of great benefit to you.

What about further training?

You should always look to keep building up your bank of skills and qualifications as you develop your career.  Show willing and your company will very likely be keen to help you.

Anything else I might need to know?

This may be a supervisory role or you may have a wider remit with a team that includes supervisors and operatives - you’ll find this out when you apply for the job!