Although the exact duties of a shift supervisor vary with each job, there are many tasks that are often the same. Maintaining work standards, leading other shift employees, and reporting any customer complaints to the store manager are common supervisory shift duties. Supervisors are front line workers who lead a small team while doing the same work as the other employees. They are only in charge during their shifts and must provide leadership by example.
Shift supervisors are usually chosen to lead other team members because they understand the expectations of higher management and how to meet or exceed these goals. They're not only responsible for getting the most from the other employees by inspiring and motivating them, but they must also maintain the smooth running of the store or business during their shifts. Supervisors also must work directly alongside employees to accomplish tasks.
These employees are expected to work well with those they supervise. They should be able to function well without a lot of supervision, yet also report important events or problems to the manager they work under. In many companies, supervisors write notes about the important events of each shift in a log book to later be reviewed by the store manager or several assistant managers.
Shift supervisors must maintain service and security standards during their shifts. Opening and closing the store may be part of their responsibility, and they must oversee their teams to make sure company policies are being met. If team members have questions about how to do something, it's up to the shift supervisor to offer information and coaching. He or she must always be promoting the actions and attitudes expected by company management by demonstrating his or her own appropriate behavior on the job.
Maintaining good working relationships with the other team members is something all shift supervisors need to do. This may be challenging if some of the employees feel jealous or resentful that they weren't chosen for the job. It can also be difficult when a new supervisor from outside the store is brought in, since it may take some time for a work team to mesh well together. The best supervisors can empathize with the other workers while also inspiring them to perform well on the job. The next promotion level may be assistant manager.