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Supervisor Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Supervisor, or Department Supervisor, is responsible for managing the workflow of their team or department by assigning tasks, supporting staff, monitoring results and reporting to senior management. They contribute to the efficiency of their department by reviewing and improving processes and setting targets for their teams.

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Supervisor Duties and Responsibilities

The specifics of a Supervisor role can vary greatly depending on the sector, but Supervisors duties typically include:

  • Compiling staff rotas, dealing with leave requests and arranging cover when necessary
  • Planning workloads, allocating tasks and monitoring progress against targets
  • Briefing their teams on new initiatives, changes to targets and company news
  • Maintaining safety standards, conducting risk assessments, ensuring staff have adequate first aid and fire safety training
  • Recruiting, training and helping staff reach their professional development goals
  • Devising work schedules and implementing deadlines
  • Ensuring that quality standards are upheld
  • Conducting performance reviews
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Supervisor Job Description Examples:

What Does a Supervisor Do?

Supervisors support their team, help manage workflow and solve problems. They play a key role in the day-to-day operation of the business, monitor production and identify areas for improvement. Supervisors maintain a working knowledge of relevant regulations and ensure compliance among their team.

Supervisors report to senior management. They compile data about their team’s work and feedback about upcoming projects and changes to processes.

Supervisors line manage their team members, completing inductions with new staff members including training and briefing on company policies. They monitor individual progress, conduct appraisals and performance reviews and offer support and training to their staff.

Supervisor Skills and Qualifications

A successful Supervisor candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that will make them effective including:

  • Performance management
  • Data analysis
  • Time management
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Quality assurance
  • Managing a budget
  • Prioritisation and time management skills

Supervisor Experience Requirements

The experience requirement for a Supervisor depends on the type of role and the number of people that they are managing. Many companies prefer to recruit internally so that their Supervisors already have some experience of the business and are familiar with their in-house software, company culture and values and the working processes.

For a role supervising a small team, previous management experience is a plus, but may not be required. A Departmental Supervisor with a large team will usually need strong management experience as well as a thorough understanding of the appraisal process and in-depth knowledge of the business’s operations.

Supervisor roles require candidates that have experience of working with others, problem-solving and managing their workload. An ideal candidate will have a track record for improving staff morale, increasing efficiency or for other measurable improvements in their team.

Supervisor Training and Education Requirements

Supervisors need to be numerate and literate with GCSEs in maths and English or equivalent. A degree in a relevant subject is desirable, but not always required. Candidates may also need relevant industry certification or training, such as a regulator-approved diploma or completion of sector-specific courses. Training in management, coaching, staff motivation or similar skills is a plus.

Supervisor Salary Expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Supervisor is £9.83 per hour, but this depends on the number of staff they are supervising and the level of responsibility they have as well as the location of the business and the sector they are in.

Job description samples for similar positions

If you are recruiting for a role that is similar to a Supervisor, then there are other job description samples to help you find the right candidate:

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Supervisor Job Description FAQs

What is the difference between a Supervisor and a Manager?

The roles are very similar, but a Supervisor oversees a team of staff or a specific operational process whereas a Manager usually has a more strategic role. Generally, a Manager will decide what needs to be done and a Supervisor makes it happen.

What qualities make a good Supervisor?

Supervisors are privy to a lot of information about their staff and the company, so they need to be discreet and diligent about maintaining confidentiality. They also need to ensure that their staff feel comfortable about being able to talk to them in confidence. Supervisors can be involved in staff grievance procedures and sickness reviews or have information about changes to the way the company is running. They also ensure that information goes through the proper channels for example with company policies and legal regulations.

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