Skills and Tips for Supervising Employees

What does it mean to supervise employees?
  • Provide employees with the tools they need to do their jobs. …
  • Provide employees with the training they need to do their jobs. …
  • Help employees set goals to improve their performance. …
  • Become a resource. …
  • Hold staff accountable.

Soft Skills – Employee Supervision

Skills for supervising employees

You need specific abilities to oversee staff members effectively. To become a successful supervisor, try to cultivate the following skills:


Supervisors must be able to speak and write clearly when interacting with staff members and executives. They need to deliver easily understandable instructions and provide actionable feedback, and they also have to describe issues and needs to upper management. Since supervisors often correspond with staff and management via email, they must also be able to read and write effectively.


Because supervisors manage people and tasks, they must be able to make and adhere to decisions. Supervisors should know how to research and consider all relevant sides of an issue and make decisions that meet the needs of the company and the team. Once a supervisor makes a decision, they should communicate it to all parties to ensure everyone understands what they need to do.


Supervisors oversee employees, which means they must have strong leadership skills. They should know how to serve as role models, be accountable for their decisions and achieve the goals they set. To demonstrate leadership, supervisors should also strive to do their best work every time they complete a task. Working hard can encourage team members to follow that standard.


Since supervisors often handle issues related to staff and productivity, they must be able to solve problems quickly and effectively. They should know how to assess problems, research potential solutions, determine possible outcomes and recommend an effective solution. Supervisors should also understand how to use resources to implement solutions and how to get support from upper management when necessary.

What jobs are responsible for supervising employees?

Supervisors can have one of many job titles, but following are some of the most common jobs that involve supervising employees. For the most up-to-date information from Indeed, please click on the salary link for each job title below.

Primary Duties: Shift managers, or shift leaders, are responsible for supervising shifts and ensuring employees complete tasks and remain productive throughout the day. They typically take charge when higher-level managers are not on duty, and they report issues to their own supervisors. Shift leaders often work in retail or restaurant settings, where they are also responsible for customer satisfaction.

Primary Duties: Team leaders manage groups of employees and guide them toward defined goals. They develop strategies, administer training, delegate tasks and respond to employee feedback. Team leaders also report on team progress to higher-level managers and executives.

Primary Duties: Supervisors are lower-level managers who are responsible for overseeing the performance of teams or departments. They schedule shifts, monitor performance and productivity, and ensure that employees meet goals. Supervisors also coordinate training and assist with resolving employee issues in the workplace.

Primary Duties: General managers oversee an organizations daily activities, develop budgets, implement policies and create strategic plans. They manage higher-level employees, such as supervisors, team leaders and shift leaders. General managers also evaluate departmental performance and assist with hiring new employees.

Primary Duties: Operations managers oversee production and projects for their organization. They are typically responsible for productivity and output, and they often develop strategies for improving efficiency. Operations managers supervise and hire new staff, and they also train and develop talent in current employees.

Responsibilities for supervisors

As a supervisor, your everyday tasks revolve around managing your team. Typical supervisor responsibilities include the following duties:

Managing team workflow

For supervisors, one of the most important daily responsibilities is overseeing workflow. Supervisors often create schedules for team members, delegate tasks to relevant staff and communicate goals. They also measure progress and provide feedback to ensure their team meets essential objectives.

Training employees

Supervisors are often responsible for ensuring that team members have the knowledge and skills required to perform tasks. They must assess team needs and identify knowledge gaps. Many supervisors train staff directly or work with human resources colleagues to arrange for training sessions.

Evaluating employee performance

Because supervisors are responsible for managing team members and productivity, they also evaluate performance and offer feedback. Most companies require supervisors to provide standard performance reviews on a regular basis. Some supervisors may also have to offer feedback at the end of a project or if a serious performance issue arises.

Reporting to executives

Since supervisors can exist at many levels, they often need to report to executives regularly. They should expect to discuss team performance, productivity levels and progress toward goals with upper management. Many executives rely on supervisors to provide accurate, insightful information to create overall company objectives.

Tips for supervising employees

To excel as a supervisor, follow these tips:

Strive to be inclusive

In most cases, teams include employees from a variety of backgrounds and with a wide range of experience. The most successful supervisors embrace diversity and encourage all team members to contribute. By supporting inclusivity, supervisors can allow team members to do their best and grow as professionals, which can benefit both the company and the employee.

Reward team members

Successful supervisors know that teams tend to produce their best work when they receive regular acknowledgment for accomplishing both small and large goals. To reward teams, supervisors must assess the types of rewards that resonate best with employees, such as public acknowledgment or extra compensation.

Advocate for team members

To meet company goals, many teams need more resources or additional training. Others may require incentives, such as promotions or new challenges and opportunities. To enable staff to produce the best possible work, supervisors must advocate for their team members. Accomplishing this task often requires identifying team needs and presenting a case to management.


What are the 5 roles of a supervisor?

The five key supervisory roles include Educator, Sponsor, Coach, Counselor, and Director. Each is described below. Note that in your role as a supervisor, you will be using these five roles, in some combination, simultaneously, depending on the needs of the team members.

What is the main role of a supervisor?

The supervisor’s overall role is to communicate organizational needs, oversee employees’ performance, provide guidance, support, identify development needs, and manage the reciprocal relationship between staff and the organization so that each is successful.

How do supervisors manage staff?

Tips on How to Manage a Team Successfully
  1. 1) Assemble the right team. …
  2. 2) Trust your team to do their job. …
  3. 3) Be consistent, but use different approaches. …
  4. 4) Recognize achievements. …
  5. 5) Focus your team on a unified goal. …
  6. 6) Improve rapport. …
  7. 7) Create an open dialogue. …
  8. 8) Foster development.

What are the 3 types of supervision?

There are three types of supervision: administrative, clinical (also called educational supervision) and supportive supervision. The most basic function of administrative supervision is to ensure that work is performed. Most social workers receive administrative supervision at their agencies.

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