Supervisors are the people who oversee the work of other employees. They set expectations and assign tasks, and they work to ensure those tasks are completed according to company and industry standards.
Supervisors typically serve as the “go-to” person for their team or department, and they commonly take on a variety of responsibilities. They might help employees resolve problems, give feedback and coaching, and identify areas for improvement. They may also be responsible for hiring new employees, overseeing workplace training programs, and managing budgets and expenses for their team.
Read on to learn more about what it’s like to be a supervisor and what it takes to become one yourself.
Supervisor Job Duties
A supervisor’s responsibilities can vary depending on the company and industry. In general, a supervisor is responsible for the following:
- Managing a team of employees to ensure that all tasks are completed
- Reviewing performance reports to assess how well the team is performing
- Ensuring that all projects are completed within budget and on time
- Working with the human resources department to hire new employees and conduct employee evaluations
- Recognizing employee accomplishments and offering feedback to help them improve their performance
- Meeting with other supervisors to coordinate departmental activities
- Interpreting company policies and procedures to ensure that all employees are following them
- Identifying areas where team member productivity can be improved or identifying team member deficiencies that need to be addressed
Supervisor Salary & Outlook
The median annual wage for supervisors is $52,320. The highest earners make over $96,000 per year. Those earning higher wages tend to work in the finance and insurance industry.
The employment of supervisors is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade. This growth will be due to increased demand for supervision due to growing organizations that need help with managing their employees.
Supervisor Job Requirements
The requirements for supervisors are as follows:
Education: Many supervisors have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as business administration or industrial technology. Many of these programs provide courses in management, business, and finance. Some students may also choose to pursue a master’s degree in a relevant field.
Training: Most supervisors receive their training through on-the-job experience and their supervisor’s guidance. They begin their career in a lower position and work their way up through the ranks. They may also receive training through seminars, conferences and professional development courses.
Certifications & Licenses: Certifications aren’t generally required for supervisor positions, but some employers may seek them out because they can indicate proficiency in the area of supervision and management. Some of these certifications include Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and Certified Supervisor (CS).
To perform this job successfully, an individual should have the following skills:
Supervision skills: Supervisors must be able to supervise employees and coordinate projects, including assigning and delegating tasks, and evaluating the quality of the work.
Time management skills: Time management is important because supervisors often have multiple tasks they need to complete within a certain time frame.
Interpersonal skills: Supervisors must have excellent interpersonal skills in order to supervise and motivate employees. They must be able to interact well with co-workers and subordinates.
Communication skills: Supervisors must be able to communicate effectively with employees, customers, vendors, and other individuals.
Good judgment: Supervisors must have good judgment in order to make decisions that will benefit the company as a whole.
Initiative: They must have initiative in order to suggest improvements and new ideas that can help the company succeed.
Supervisor Work Environment
Supervisors work in a variety of settings such as factories, offices, and retail stores. They spend most of their time sitting at a desk, looking over paperwork and talking with coworkers and employees. Because they also lead others, it is important for supervisors to be good communicators. The job can also be stressful, as supervisors have to manage employees and also high employer expectations
Supervisor Career Path
Achieving the supervisory level is a long and difficult process for new supervisors. They must learn the skills of managing people and how to control budgets, schedule work, and delegate tasks. New supervisors rarely have an easy time making their mark in this competitive field. Around 40 percent leave the profession in the first two years.
Five Years On The Job
The most difficult challenges in management occur at this point: controlling costs, resolving personnel problems, and coordinating projects and activities with other departments. Supervisors may be asked to take on new responsibilities; they may supervise more workers or become part of a team headed by a senior supervisor or manager. A few may be promoted to director level. For most people who remain in the field, there is a significant improvement in salary and benefits; work satisfaction is high.
Ten Years On The Job
People who survive ten years become well-known in their organizations; they are responsible for a large amount of successful output. They have had significant impact on their organizations and have had a role in setting policies for others to follow. They have gained an excellent reputation among both peers and superiors. With higher salaries comes greater independence from peers, increased responsibility for others, and more administrative duties.
Here are three trends influencing how supervisors work. Supervisors will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.
The Rise of Remote Work
Due to a growing desire for increased flexibility and the rise of the freelance economy, the demand for remote work is increasing. In fact, more than 50% of workers who have left their jobs in the last year did so in order to be able to work remotely.
While this trend is good news for many employees, it presents a unique challenge for supervisors who need to monitor their employees from afar.
Self-Evaluation and Personal Growth
Supervisors and managers in all industries will need to become more adept at self-evaluation and personal growth if they want to remain competitive in the job market.
Companies are becoming increasingly interested in leaders who can not only motivate employees, but also provide guidance on how to improve their own work ethic and perform well in stressful situations.
For example, an employer may be more likely to hire a supervisor who is able to assess their own strengths and weaknesses than one who lacks the ability to do so. This trend is likely to continue, as supervisors seek out opportunities for self-improvement while developing new skillsets that will allow them to excel at their jobs.
Increased Use of Collaborative Tools
With increased focus on teamwork and interdepartmental collaboration, employees in supervisory roles will need to become experts at leveraging collaborative tools like Dropbox or Google Drive.
As companies look to keep up with increasing demand for such tools, the ability to create and implement such systems will be increasingly important for supervisory roles.,The Importance of Project Management
According to a study by the National Federation of Independent Business, project management is the most important skill that employees need to have in order to advance their careers.
In addition, a large number of supervisors cited project management as one of the top skills they want to develop. This trend is likely due to the fact that the role of a supervisor has evolved from being primarily concerned with managing direct reports. Significant involvement in project work is now also required. This needs greater flexibility and an understanding of how to motivate employees working on different projects.
How to Become a Supervisor
1. Planning Your Career
If you’re interested in becoming a supervisor, it’s important to think about what type of management style you want to adopt. Some supervisors are more laid-back and flexible, while others are strict and structured; these factors can affect how employees perceive your role as well as the level of trust they have in you.
As with most roles, communication skills are essential for anyone looking to become a supervisor. To practice this skill set, try giving presentations at school or joining an organization like Toastmasters; this will give you an opportunity to hone your public speaking abilities while building your confidence.
Another great option is to get involved in an organization where you can volunteer your time and practice supervising groups; if you’re interested in working with young people, consider getting involved with a local youth sports league or church group.
2. Writing a Resume
The best resumes for supervisor positions should include examples of communication, people management, and leadership skills.
When describing your previous jobs, be sure to include details about how you’ve demonstrated these skills. For example, if you were in charge of supervising an entire team you could highlight the challenges that this entailed and what steps you took to ensure that everyone was working well together. If you worked with clients or customers, list specific examples related to communication that demonstrate your ability to be effective in dealing with different types of people or situations.
3. Applying for Jobs
Getting a job as a Supervisor is a multi-step process. The first step is building a portfolio of your work, which you can share through a portfolio website, a LinkedIn profile, or a personal website. Next, it’s important to network with people who are currently working in your field. Find out what the hiring process is like and learn about what sort of experience is needed for this position. After that, start your job search by setting up informational interviews with people you know.
4. Ace the Interview
The interviewer will want to vet your ability to lead a team and stay on top of the responsibilities that come with that role. In addition to questions about your experience, they will likely ask about your management style as well as how you respond to difficult situations.
As you prepare for the interview, think about what type of supervisor you are. Be sure that you tailor specific responses so that the interviewer has a clear sense of your management style. Think about your response to stress, how you feel about delegating tasks, and whether you’re comfortable working in situations where you’re expected to perform at an extremely high level.
It is also important to be aware of issues related to ethics and values. Consider how your work style might impact team morale, morale within the company as a whole, and how it may affect corporate values.