A Supervisor’s Job Is Difficult and Challenging

Posted by on Sep 8, 2019 in Continuous Improvement, Decision Making, Efficiency, human resource utilization, Organizational Goals, safety, Training Effectiveness | 0 comments

Supervisors have a challenging job and have to juggle a lot of things in order to keep things going in the right direction for their organization.  They have to show leadership, promote safety, schedule and prioritize work assignments, improve efficiency, train new employees, continuously improve their operation, and settle employee squabbles.

There are two main functions that every supervisor is tasked with.  They are producing the quantity required and providing quality assurance.  They have to make sure every employee is trained so they can produce the proper amount using the appropriate quality techniques and checks required.  If there is a problem, they must know how to solve it or call in the appropriate help to get it solved.

How does a supervisor provide products that can satisfy quality, quantity, and cost needs?  What is the one thing that can help her improve her task?  That one thing is standardization.  Standardization means determining standard operations and having everyone abide by them.  It means clear-cut directions for the amount and place of storage, the use of kanban, and handling standards.  It means having everything defined, everyone having the same method and process, which then allows a supervisor time to work on improvement and cost reduction.  Once the workplace is organized, the supervisor can play closer attention to those matters which do not follow the rules and that cause her problems.  The closer she can follow this approach, the clearer it becomes in knowing what she must do.

It has been estimated that a 10% cut in cost is the equivalent of a 100% increase in sales.  A supervisor, or any job function for that matter, who promotes these activities can make a significant contribution to their company.

Here are some basic steps a supervisor should consider:

  1. First, make sure to observe what is going on in the workplace.  Spend as much time as possible learning and observing, looking for problems that arise on a daily and hourly basis.  It is only when you know the problems and the frustrations of your employees that you can start to put a game plan together to address the issues.
  2. Second, guide and control your employees well.  Make sure they’re doing what you want them to do and train them properly.  This doesn’t mean you look over their shoulder and try to micro-manage them.  It does mean, however, that you give them the proper tools, processes and procedures to get the work done.
  3. Third, take a broad perspective and make decisions that are beneficial to the company as a whole.  Refrain from making decisions that are beneficial in the short term and that may have long term consequences.

The attitude you take as a supervisor is important.  If you take the approach that you want to learn and discover issues that must be improved and address them, then it will make a crucial difference in the end.  You must be engaged with a positive, forward-looking attitude to learn and make improvements.

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