Career Development

What Does a Supervisor Do?

Find out what a supervisor does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a supervisor.

Supervisors are the leaders of the working world. They are responsible for overseeing the work of their employees, making sure that they’re doing their jobs correctly and effectively. Supervisors may also be tasked with managing the day-to-day operations of their department or company.

Supervisors need to have strong leadership skills in order to manage a team effectively. They must be able to communicate clearly, set expectations, provide feedback, and resolve conflicts when they arise.

Supervisor Job Duties

A supervisor typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Evaluating employee performance and providing feedback to help them improve their skills
  • Establishing goals for each employee based on their individual abilities and needs
  • Ensuring that work environments are safe by following safety procedures and protocols
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of company policies and procedures to ensure they are followed
  • Training new employees on how to perform their jobs effectively
  • Ensuring that projects are completed on time and within budget
  • Managing daily operations and activities of a department or business unit
  • Evaluating customer satisfaction to ensure customer needs are met
  • Supervising employees to ensure they are performing their duties correctly

Supervisor Salary & Outlook

Supervisors’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the company size and industry. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses or commissions.

  • Median Annual Salary: $56,500 ($27.16/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $97,000 ($46.63/hour)

The employment of supervisors is expected to decline over the next decade.

Employment growth for supervisors has been slower than average over the past decade. However, automation and technological change have increased productivity in many industries, which may limit the need for supervisors. In addition, some workers who previously held supervisory jobs may be assigned other tasks as companies seek to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

Supervisor Job Requirements

A supervisor typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is often a requirement to become a supervisor. Some supervisors choose to pursue a degree in business, management or a related field. A degree in a field like human resources or management can also be useful for supervisors.

Training & Experience: Supervisors often receive on-the-job training, but they may also pursue training independently. Many supervisors begin as entry-level employees and learn the skills and knowledge they need to excel in their role. They may take courses in business administration, leadership or management.

Certifications & Licenses: Supervisors can acquire various certifications that demonstrate their knowledge in specific aspects of their job. Depending on the certification, candidates can earn certifications while working under supervision as part of an on-the-job training program.

Supervisor Skills

Supervisors need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Communication is the act of conveying information to others. Supervisors use communication skills to convey expectations, answer questions and provide feedback to their team. Effective communication can help you build trust with your team and improve productivity. You can use communication skills in many aspects of your job, including during meetings, when answering emails and when giving feedback.

Leadership: Supervisors often have leadership skills that help them motivate their team and encourage them to perform well. Leadership skills can also help you guide your team through difficult situations and help them find solutions to problems.

Problem-solving: Supervisors use problem-solving skills to find solutions to workplace challenges. You can use problem-solving skills to help your team find ways to improve productivity, reduce errors and improve quality. You can also use problem-solving skills to help your team find solutions to personal issues, such as health problems or family emergencies.

Teamwork: Supervisors often work with a team of employees, so it’s important for them to be able to work well with others. Teamwork skills can help you to collaborate with your team to find solutions to problems, improve productivity and motivate your team.

Time management: Time management is the ability to plan and execute tasks within a certain time frame. Supervisors often have many tasks to complete each day, so it’s important for them to manage their time effectively. This can include setting goals and objectives for the day and delegating tasks to other employees.

Supervisor Work Environment

Supervisors typically work in an office setting, although they may spend time on the production floor or in other areas of the facility, depending on the industry. They typically work a regular 40-hour week, although they may be required to work evenings or weekends to meet deadlines or resolve problems. Some supervisors may be on call 24 hours a day in case of emergencies. The work can be stressful, and supervisors must be able to handle multiple tasks simultaneously and make quick decisions. They must also be able to deal with difficult people and handle conflict.

Supervisor Trends

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 Need for More Technical Skills

As businesses become more technical, the need for supervisors with technical skills will continue to grow. This means that supervisors will need to be able to understand and manage projects that involve complex technology.

In order to be successful in this environment, supervisors will need to be able to communicate effectively with both technical and non-technical employees. They will also need to be able to manage projects effectively and ensure that they are completed on time and within budget.

The Importance of Cultural Fit

As businesses become more global, the importance of cultural fit is becoming increasingly evident. This means that employers are looking for candidates who not only have the necessary skills and experience, but also share their company’s values and beliefs.

Supervisors can use this trend to their advantage by developing a deep understanding of the values of the companies they work for. This will allow them to better identify candidates who are a good fit for the company and help them to succeed.

More Collaboration Between Departments

As businesses become more complex, there is an increasing need for collaboration between departments. This is especially true in industries such as healthcare, where different departments need to work together to provide the best possible care for patients.

As a supervisor, you will need to be able to facilitate communication between different departments and encourage cooperation. This requires a strong understanding of the needs of each department and the ability to create a positive working environment.

How to Become a Supervisor

There are many paths to becoming a supervisor. You may have started your career as an entry-level worker and worked your way up the ladder, or you may have started as a manager and then moved into supervisory roles. No matter which path you take, it’s important to develop the skills needed to be a successful supervisor.

One of the most important things you can do is learn how to manage people effectively. This means understanding what makes employees successful and how to help them reach their goals. It also means knowing how to handle difficult situations and deal with employee problems. Additionally, it’s important to be able to communicate effectively with both employees and managers.

Advancement Prospects

A supervisor is a management position that is responsible for a team of employees. The title of supervisor is given to a variety of positions in different industries, and the specific duties and responsibilities of a supervisor vary depending on the industry and the size of the company.

In general, a supervisor is responsible for overseeing the work of a group of employees, providing guidance and direction, and ensuring that work is completed according to the company’s standards. A supervisor may also be responsible for training and mentoring new employees, and for evaluating employee performance.

In some industries, a supervisor may also be responsible for managing budgets, scheduling work shifts, and ordering supplies. In larger companies, supervisors may have additional responsibilities, such as managing a department or division.

Supervisors typically report to a manager or a director. In some cases, a supervisor may report to a senior executive, such as a vice president.

Supervisor Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we believe that our employees are the key to our success. We’re looking for a supervisor who shares this belief and is committed to creating a positive, productive work environment. The ideal candidate will have experience leading and motivating a team, as well as experience with conflict resolution. He or she will be able to effectively communicate with employees at all levels, provide feedback and coaching, and create an environment of trust and respect. The supervisor will be responsible for ensuring that employees are meeting performance expectations and working together collaboratively to achieve departmental goals.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Maintain a safe and clean work environment by enforcing company policies and procedures
  • Motivate employees to meet or exceed productivity goals
  • Monitor employee performance and provide feedback and coaching to improve efficiency and effectiveness
  • Investigate accidents, injuries, and unsafe work conditions
  • Enforce company policies and disciplinary procedures
  • Prepare and submit reports on employee performance and safety compliance
  • Recommend measures to improve productivity and product quality
  • Assist in the development and implementation of process improvements
  • Serve as a role model for subordinates
  • Perform other duties as assigned
  • Supervise a team of employees in a fast-paced environment
  • Train and develop employees to reach their full potential

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, management, or related field
  • 3-5 years experience in a supervisory role
  • Proven leadership ability
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills
  • Ability to motivate and inspire employees

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • MBA or other advanced degree
  • 7+ years experience in a supervisory role
  • Experience in the same or similar industry as the company
  • Working knowledge of relevant software programs and applications


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