What are the major functions to perform as a supervisor?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The four main functions of a supervisor are planning, organizing, leading, controlling. To understand the role of supervisor, it is first critical to understand that supervisor duties are distinctly different from manger duties. If there is an overlap between these distinct duties, the organization can suffer in efficiency, cost and productivity.

Supervisors plan goals and the steps needed to meet them. Steps toward goal fulfillment must be measurable or observable to facilitate productive progress and to evaluate rate and success of progress.

Supervisors organize the processes and working groups or teams through which goals will be met. This includes allocation of resources, staffing and scheduling.

Supervisors lead by providing the motivation and inspiration to work effectively toward the goal and the individual objectives for reaching the goal.

Supervisors control by understanding the corporate process they work in and by insuring that all parts of a project or work routine are functioning in keeping with the corporate process they are part of with little deviation from the organizational agenda.

normielutz | Student

Supervisor is person who directly oversees his workers/subordinates in the operations. A supervisor is like the first line manager. He is part of the management team but is still not considered as a manager because his function is only to oversee or supervise.

A supervisor has multiple functions, such as follows:

PLANNING: A supervisor plans daily work schedule and he/she divides the work among his subordinates according to their duty.

LEADING AND GUIDING: Supervisor acts as the leader or his workers/subordinates. He guides them towards achieving a common goal and meeting required target.


MOTIVATING: A supervisor plays a vital role in ensuring that workers are motivated in performing their duties and he also encourage to give their best by coming up with incentive plans.


MEDIATING: Supervisor is the link between workers and management. He can serve as the spokeperson of worker to the management and vice versa.


COUNSELING: A supervisor also plays as a counselor when his/her worker has a problem, especially if it affects the workers' performance. He/she listens to his/her workers' problem and help them find a way to resolve it.


REPORTING: He/she reports to the management about the productivity, cost, quality, performance, etc of the workers.