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What Are the Best Tips for Managing Supervisor Duties?

By Whitney Leigh White
Updated May 17, 2024
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One of the best tips for managing supervisor duties is to always maintain open lines of communication with the employees being overseen. Making a to-do list is also helpful, but supervisors should remember to not fret if a to-do list is not completed on time, as this causes stress and decreases productivity. Effectively managing supervisor duties also involves using one’s right to delegate certain organizational tasks. Since supervisors are responsible for making sure that employees complete work tasks in an effective and efficient manner, using a project management application is beneficial because each employee’s performance can be monitored.

Attending workshops to improve communication skills is a very valuable tip for supervisors to follow. When miscommunications are present between supervisors and employees, all parties are affected and productivity decreases. Supervisors who maintain open lines of communication are able to identify and resolve problematic issues as they arise; thus, allowing them to better manage supervisor duties.

The amount of work duties a supervisor has is usually large in number, which makes it important to create a to-do list. There are many free online applications that supervisors can use to make a to-do list. It is best to use an application that allows the user to make modifications because it should be expected that duties will change and some tasks will not be completed on time. A helpful tip for making a to-do list is to start out with a small amount of tasks. As each task is completed, supervisors are able to determine how to create a list that enables them to most effectively manage their supervisor duties.

Supervisors have the right to delegate tasks and this authority should be used as much as possible. In many organizations, supervisors complete work duties that can be assigend to the employees that they oversee. These duties often include gathering information, research, and tasks that are similar to work employees’ existing responsibilities. The more tasks that supervisors can delegate, the more time they will have to concentrate on more important supervisor duties. When tasks are delegated, it is important for supervisors to remember that they will most likely be held responsible if the delegated duties are not effectively completed.

Using a project management application is beneficial for supervisors because it allows them to monitor the performance of employees. In addition, this tool systematically allows supervisors to manage different sets of subtasks. Supervisors using a project management applications are more likely to meet project deadlines and manage their supervisor duties.

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Discussion Comments
By indigomoth — On Oct 17, 2011

My best tip for people who are just starting out as a supervisor is to not worry too much about "bossing people around."

When I first became an assistant manager, I was really nervous about telling people what to do. I guess I thought, who am I to be ordering people around? But, you know, in most cases you are all just working together. And it's your job to do it, it will eventually become easier.

By croydon — On Oct 16, 2011

@KoiwiGal - I don't think that is always true. In some cases, you can have real friendships between supervisors and their colleagues.

I was very good friends with one of my safety supervisors. I guess he could trust me to work to the best of my ability, so he didn't have to worry too much about conflicts of interest.

We worked together for a long time, and we knew that the other person was a good person and would try to do the right thing, so there were never any hurt feelings.

I know that's probably more the exception than the rule, but the important thing is to treat the people you are supervising as people who deserve your respect and they will usually return the favor.

By KoiwiGal — On Oct 15, 2011

One of the best tips I can give for a supervisor, is to try to be friendly, but not too friendly. Your people have to know that they can trust you, that you aren't going to ridicule them, or treat them unfairly, and that you are just a person doing as job as well.

But, you also don't want to try and make friends with them. If they slack off, or do something wrong, you might have to reprimand or report them and you don't want that to be personal at all.

I've had supervisors who tried to be friends with everyone and it either caused hurt feelings, or just made people feel uncomfortable.

Sometimes it might even lead you to ignore behavior you should deal with, and that can be risking your own job as well.

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