Supervisor duties can show exceptional range depending upon the type of business or industry in which a person is employed. They may also be different from job to job, as each business could define a variety of supervisor elements they find important. Yet most supervisor jobs will include work with employees and work for upper level management. This can help define responsibilities, which might include employee supervision, training, scheduling, and motivation, and carrying out or attempting to meet manager goals for a particular work area.
Certainly, supervisor duties will include much employee interaction, and the supervisor typically has the most direct contact with the employees. Supervision or overseeing the employees has to be part of the job, since it helps to assure that employee level work is meeting management goals on what needs to get done. Part of this will be making sure that people receive the training they need to do their jobs capably.
The smart supervisor delegates some of his or her work, and training could be part of this. In many different industrial environments, the supervisor may not have technical knowhow, and the assignment of training could go to other employees or to a strong technical group, like engineers, instead. Where the supervisor has risen from the ranks of employees, he or she might choose to train employees instead, and in either case, he/she is likely to train employees on basic things such as work ethics and work responsibility. Ideally, training should never stop, and though less intensive, providing a continuing work/learning environment may be useful.
This also leads to the idea of motivating workers. Some supervisor duties could include offering incentives or kick-starting special projects. Motivation doesn’t just come from the chance possibility of a reward, though, and should also be reflected in the way employees get treated by their supervisors. Typically motivation is highest when workers feel valued and appreciated and when they note their supervisors work as hard as they do.
One of the supervisor duties that may serve employee and management is scheduling. Many people will determine when and how much each worker will work each week. This could be flexible, as it is in many retail environments, or it might stay relatively static.
In serving management, the supervisor duties can be much more extensive. Supervisors could also be responsible for disciplining employees that break the rules, they might need to implement new rules, and they occasionally act as go between if an employee wants to approach management. Some supervisors also hire and fire employees, and they could have other jobs such as managing payroll.
Those interested in a career in supervision may find many paths to this work. Lots of people do get hired directly from a lower employee pool to be supervisors in many different work settings. Others are hired directly to supervisory roles. Having strong people skills, being precise in work, demonstrating responsibility, and being able to please people are all valuable to this form of work.