There is almost no hope for a business if its leaders do not perform their roles well. From the owner of the business to the third-line supervisors, every leader must take their roles and responsibilities seriously if they want the company to grow. However, some of the reasons why leaders fail are because they lose sight of their roles within an organization. Other times, those roles and responsibilities were not clearly outlined for them.
Whether you’re thinking about going for a promotion or if you’re an entrepreneur ready to build your team, you have to ask yourself “do I have what it takes to be a good manager?” There’s more to being a boss than merely telling people what to do. Being a good supervisor means mastering several key responsibilities.
By understanding the roles and responsibilities of a supervisor, you will be better prepared for leadership positions. And your organization can ensure that they have effective supervisors in place to guide their teams towards success. If you’re a business owner, you’ll want to understand these responsibilities too. When you’re ready to hire your leadership team, you’ll need to be clear on what you are looking for and be able to communicate those expectations to candidates.
In this article, we will explore the roles and responsibilities of a supervisor in detail.
Knowing the abilities of each team member is important. A supervisor will determine what each team member is capable of and assign the workload accordingly. Each person should be given tasks that are appropriately challenging whenever possible. Tasks should be assigned fairly, so as to not favor a small number at the expense of many others.
New managers may struggle with getting too involved vs. letting each team member handle their respective tasks. It’s important to confront problems when they initially present themselves and create plans to address them. New supervisors may find themselves quickly overwhelmed if they start doing things for the team that each team member should be doing on their own.
Supervisors should track their methods for assigning tasks. This can help you maintain a birds-eye view of the whole team’s work.
Training New Employees
What are your new employees experiencing? As they come aboard, are they given adequate training and a message that they’re becoming part of a positive work culture?
Or, are they given a signal that they’ve just joined a sinking ship, and it’s too late to turn back now?
One of the best ways a company can create success – and profit – is by providing great training experiences for their new employees. Great training builds confidence, increases morale, and is time well-spent. This ultimately creates improved sales, better service, and happier customers.
As a supervisor, you may not be the person providing the training, but it is a core responsibility to ensure that every team member is properly trained. You’ll also want to follow up after initial training and confirm for yourself if there are any gaps in your team members’ knowledge. Are some team members “getting it” more than others? Does anyone need extra help? Are some people whizzing past their peers? Keep your eye on the progress of each new hire’s training to ensure that they are acclimating to their roles.
Creating and Managing Team Schedule
Good supervisors will manage the team schedule in a way that meets business needs, yet is also fair.
Being candid with new hires is an important part of this process. Before they accept your job offer, prospective candidates should be informed if they’ll need to work weird hours as part of the job description. Your organization should be transparent if there are crazy seasons when employees have to work 12-hour work days to meet business needs.
Once your team members have said yes to the role, create timeframes for what they can expect in the role for the short-term and the long term. Create expectations for what they can expect weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly, as it pertains to your company or your industry.
No one wants to work for a manager who won’t let them attend their college graduation or take time off for their own wedding. Being able to balance business needs with the important events in your employees’ lives is a skill all supervisors should learn.
Although often left out of the job description, motivating employees is a big part of supervisors. In fact, motivating others is crucial for any type of leader. And once you’ve gotten your employees motivated, then the task is to keep them motivated.
Supervisors are in a unique position to motivate their employees. They have a direct influence on the work environment and the tasks their team members perform. Also, supervisors can create a supportive and positive work environment that encourages employees to feel motivated and engaged. Conversely, a negative work environment can demotivate employees and lead to low productivity and turnover.
Supervisors can motivate their employees in several ways. For example, they can provide recognition and rewards for good work. They can also offer opportunities for career development and training, and encourage open communication and feedback. By showing a genuine interest in their employees’ well-being and career development, supervisors can create a sense of purpose and engagement that motivates employees to achieve their goals.
Conduct Employee Evaluation
Evaluating employees is one of the most critical responsibilities of a supervisor. But it’s not just evaluation – it’s the overall handling of information that is a test of professionalism for a person in a supervisory position.
Supervisors are exposed to information that their team members do not have access to. They may become aware of the need to make job cuts or the news that the company has missed financial targets.
Evaluating employees and exercising fairness becomes extremely important. Good supervisors are discreet with sensitive information. They maintain a respectable reputation that helps their team members know that each person’s job performance is being evaluated in a fair and unbiased manner.
A supervisor should not discuss disciplinary information with employees who have no reason to hear this information.
Dealing with your own tasks can be challenging as an employee. But, when you become a supervisor, your view becomes much broader. Managing workflow means ensuring that the work assigned to all employees is getting done by their deadlines. This means improving processes and communication with employees.
While this seems easy, managing workflow can become increasingly difficult as a business or staff grows. However, there are now several workflow management tools that can make the job a little bit easier. Here are just a few:
Resolving Team Conflict
Sometimes cooler heads don’t prevail. And, when it comes to team conflicts, sometimes people don’t work things out by themselves. One important and often overlooked responsibility of a supervisor is to resolve team conflicts. This includes being a mediator when employees are not getting along. It also means bridging the gap between management policies and processes and employees’ needs and objectives.
Supervisors may find themselves determining the best way to help team members resolve team conflicts, or even reminding team members of the appropriate ways to respect others in the workplace.
Building teams can be a challenging task. Supervisors have the challenging task of determining who is the right fit for each role. Interviewing candidates can be a time-intensive part of this process. Making the right judgment calls to know if a candidate is a right fit for the position can be part of this process. Part of this also involves assessing how a candidate’s experience matches the demands of the position.
Being in charge might sound like fun, but there’s a lot of responsibility behind the title of a supervisor. Many roles are required to perform the job as it’s intended. Good supervisors participate in the interview process, create team schedules, manage workflow, and assign tasks to their teams, all in a day’s work.