Describe the minor functions performed as a supervisor.

Expert Answers
M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The minor functions performed as a supervisor may seem menial but they actually may consume up to 40% of the total time of management.

According to McNamara (2012) the major roles of a supervisor include:

  • coaching
  • mentoring
  • evaluating
  • advocating for employees
  • advocating for the organization
  • planning and procedures
  • organizing
  • directing
  • applying policies

However, the minor roles consist of the processes that enable the major roles to come through. These minor roles require organization and discipline from the part of the supervisor, since they often involve close observation and control of the tasks at hand. They include:

  • reading action reports
  • record-keeping of any actions (grievances, accidents at work, etc)
  • checking attendance records
  • verifying documents/signatures
  • allowing/prohibiting actions from employees (smoking, lunch breaks, regular breaks, talking about politics, etc)
  • mediating among employees (arguments, conflict)
  • counseling employees individually (employees often transfer their issues at home into their jobs)
  • providing consistent feedback.

As can be seen, the minor supervisory roles take up enough time and focus from the major roles. Therefore, it is best that supervisors learn to delegate personnel to deal with the minor issues so that the supervisor can focus on the bigger ones. Yet, a supervisor who is willing and able to do both types of tasks is all the more commendable.