What Does a Factory Supervisor Do? (with picture)

Lori Kilchermann
Lori Kilchermann
Factory supervisors make sure quality standards are maintained.
Factory supervisors make sure quality standards are maintained.

A factory supervisor monitors workers, making certain jobs are being completed properly and quality control standards are being maintained. The factory supervisor typically creates a shift schedule and approves days off for those workers who request them. The factory supervisor attends production meetings with company executives and acts as a go-between by relaying the wants and wishes of the executives to the workers, and vice versa. The supervisor typically receives phone calls from employees who cannot make it to work, and in most cases, the supervisor is the company official that is in charge of firing poorly performing workers.

Many supervisors are longtime employees who have risen up through the ranks by working and performing exceptionally. The factory supervisor often is able to complete the job of any employees who are under his direct supervision. This makes it easier for the supervisor to understand the reasons behind poor performance, in some cases. A company will often send a prospective factory supervisor to a training session or seminar to help in preparing the supervisor for the change from worker to supervisor. Occasionally, an employee who has been promoted to a supervisory position will be transferred to a different department in the new role so he is not supervising his former co-workers.

Transfers are made, if possible, to allow the new supervisor to function in the new role without any disrespect or hi-jinks from friends or fellow employees who were used to working with the newly promoted person in an equal position. Reassigning a new factory supervisor provides a fresh start where the factory workers only know the supervisor as a superior. Some supervisors will eventually be promoted to plant manager, and this is a typical aspiration of many supervisors. Commonly, the position of plant manager is the pinnacle of a supervisory career in a factory setting. Beyond the additional pay received from the promotion, the feeling of being noticed and appreciated for a job well done is sometimes the motivating factor in an employee's drive for success.

Occasionally, certain perks accompany the position of factory supervisor. Assigned parking spaces, company vehicles and longer break times are all used as motivating factors from the company to its employees. These factors are typically designed to make employees want to strive to work harder to achieve them. Benefits in the form of increased vacation time and sick days are usually offered to the supervisory staff in the factory. Specially colored hard hats or a different style or color of uniform — if the factory utilizes them — are also perks typically given to a supervisor.

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    • Factory supervisors make sure quality standards are maintained.
      Factory supervisors make sure quality standards are maintained.