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What Does an Assistant Manager Do?

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Assistant managers are essential for smooth operating retail and other professional environments. Assistant managers are critical in bridging the gap between upper-level leadership and rank-and-file personnel. These managers take on everyday operational tasks, such as interviewing, scheduling, disciplinary issues or running a specific department. Assistant managers often engage in the same activities as their reports, leading by example and providing on-the-job training.

Hiring and Interviewing

Although the ultimate hiring decisions are usually made by the manager, owner or in some cases human resources, assistant managers are often tasked with the face-to-face interviewing process. If an applicant is interviewing for a specific department directly reporting to an assistant manager, that person will have significant input or might have autonomy in the hiring decision. Assistant managers are often entrusted with screening applicants while the manager is performing other administrative duties or executing a new store layout.


In many environments, multiple assistant managers oversee specific departments. Within each department is a group of employees, reporting directly to the assistant manager leading that section. These managers insert employees into the daily schedule, typically based on the employees' availability. Certain employees are often plugged into specific time frames based on employee competency, such as during inventory, private sales or other events. Assistant managers schedule team leads and regular hourly personnel.

Discipline and Performance

Assistant managers are often tasked with disciplinary and performance meetings. These meetings and reviews are made positive by the best managers, discussing paths for improvement as opposed to solely focusing on negative elements. Assistant managers often involve themselves in termination proceedings, often serving as witnesses in lieu of or with human resources personnel. This is especially true if the employee is a direct report of the assistant.

Delegation and Team Building

Assistant managers are often found among their subordinates, performing assigned duties alongside them. In addition to offering direct guidance and methods for improvement, good assistant managers foster improved team member interaction. Assistant managers are quite frequently assigned duties that they cannot complete alone. Delegation to team leaders, specialists or other trustworthy personnel is a common role in completing these assignments. Quality assistant managers get to know their reports' strengths and core skills, enabling this delegation to result in consistent successful project completion.


David Lipscomb is a professional writer and public relations practitioner. Lipscomb brings more than a decade of experience in the consumer electronics and advertising industries. Lipscomb holds a degree in public relations from Webster University.

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