Role of Supervision in Organizations


Supervision is the process where those given the role of directing are expected to influence and support people working in the organization to work devotedly towards attaining the goals of the organization. It is a pillar of success as people work in a disorganized way if they lack supervision and people to guide them. Workers in an organization always wait for supervisors to show them the way so that they may do the right things. Supervisors are supposed to influence the employees to work hard by voluntarily giving their efforts and making sure that the goals and the mission of the organization are achieved. Without good supervision an organization would be seen to direction and will just be full of confusion as seen in music when musicians sing without harmony due to lack of a conductor.

Being a learner in the working environment I find out that supervision is seen as a channel that transforms prospective into realism and is seen in major organizations where they wait on supervisors to make strategic decisions that are of critical importance to the success of the organization. Smaller organizations also depend highly on good supervision to boost their growth and compete effectively with those that have a remarkable name in the market. A leader should ensure that he/she identifies the potential in an organization, develops it, enriches it and finally channels it to the people for better results of the firm. Every organization will bank on good supervision for its growth and survival. Therefore the key role of the leader is to make the employees work enthusiastically by motivating them and influencing them so that they can stretch to their maximum for the organization to run at profits and succeed. (Thomson and Rampton, 2003)

Managers are expected to plan for the organization as poor planning means planning to fail. Good planning will make sure that there is reduced wastages and costs are minimised and the profits maximised to make the company operate on profits and reduce expenditures. Supervisors control the other workers so that they can minimise expenditures and use the organizations resources well to control those who may not utilise the resources well. Managers are also expected to use their informal influence even though they are always expected by the workers to only be very formal all the time. This motivates the workers and makes them feel that they are taken importantly even though they are outside the organization setting. Managers are also supposed to achieve results by directing the activities of those under them while supervisors have a role of creating a vision and making workers inspired to achieve this vision by going an extra mile beyond what they are expected to do according to their job descriptions.

Being a learner in the working environment I find out that Management and supervision go hand in hand and a good manager should have good and high supervision qualities to make the organization a success. Supervision qualities can be acquired through management training, learning from past work experiences and observing role models. Organizations need good supervisors and are seen to be of great value to them. They usually strengthen workforce with convincing visions of the future, and show supportive cultures which bring together the workers to work as one. Supervisors also guide their firms through hard crises and also increase share holder value. When outcome from good supervision is constructive supervisors are rewarded to motivate and energise so that they can play their role more efficiently. Research has also shown that good supervisors depend more on the right skills, behaviour, and actions and concentrate less on personal traits (Sparrow and Hilltop, 1994).

Who is the Supervisors?

Supervisors are the ones that are supposed to initiate the proposals that are passed and programs that are to be done in an organization. They keep the workers and the groups in the organization moving and are vital in suggesting that actions be done. They help the organization by being the ones on the ground that point out the goals of the organization to the workers so that they can operate from points of knowledge. They help the workers in settling the doubts and come out to clarify on where there are doubts and make the workers have a clear mind in whatever they are doing.

Supervisors are seen to be the ones that can be used by the organizations to regulate by influencing the tempo and the direction of the workers and are supposed to ensure that they point out the limits that the workers are supposed to attain and therefore should motivate them to meet the goals of the organization. Supervisors are also the point of communication from the organization to the workers themselves and are the ones that pass the message and ensure that whatever they communicate is done. They also pass messages from the workers on their welfare to the top authority and also help negotiate for better terms and conditions so that the workers are motivated to give their best in their workstations.

Supervisors create an environment that is conducive for all the workers as work cannot be done perfectly if there is intervention from the environment that affects the routine operation of the workers making them distracted and lack full concentration in the workplace. They therefore create an emotional climate for all the workers to hold up together. This makes the workers learn to co-exist with their colleagues for the good of the organizations. This makes it very easy for all the workers to contribute to work and tackle all the tasks that are assigned their way. Supervisors are positioned to evaluate the performance of the workers and can therefore look for strategies of rewarding and encouraging the workers so that they may yearn to improve and give their best all the time and therefore leading to success of the organizations in the long run. (John and Keith, 1997)From the research I conducted I found that Good supervisors are supposed to handle conflicts in a wise way as organizational conflicts are normal and bound to occur anytime due to the management and workers trying to ensure that their interests are addressed well and forming ground for disagreements on the fundamental issues affecting their working relations.

Workers will always want to reap maximum benefits from the organizations while they want to give and do little work as much as possible. Supervisors then are supposed to ensure that the workers perform their duties well and ethically so that they may expect benefits from work done rather than just waiting. There are many causes of industrial conflicts that supervisors are expected to handle so that the organization can perform and generate income and also achieve the mission and the vision that they have set. They include: the Conflicts that arise from lack of a clear guidance on the subject matter by both parties and one party. They are expected to show a clear way and ensure that everything is understood clearly and done as required. Conflicts also arise when the workers do not receive good communication and guidance on the subject matter due to lack of awareness. Supervisors are also supposed to handle selfish motives either from the organization or the workers that bring about stress on the both sides as it may lead to workers avoiding to do what is right since they may feel that they are not being handled in the right way. There is a great need for good interpersonal needs between the workers and those who are in the authority to help handle the day to day conflicts that threaten the organization (Michael, 2006).

I find out that supervisors should therefore have good reasoning to handle the workers and have capabilities of solving problems and thus helping the organization. Workers at times lack patience on anything that they need from the organization and therefore needing professional assistance from good supervision to make them patient. Workers are sensitive to small changes that organization might want to make and supervisors should handle them well and explain and make them own the idea of change so that the whole process may succeed. Managers should always apply factual judgements before making a decision to ensure that they solve problems in the right way. Supervisors are also expected to be free of bias, ideology and negative attitude in order to be impartial in solving problems that face those under them so that they may do all that they are instructed to do by their supervisors without opposition on grounds of unfairness. Some of the issues that the supervisors are expected to handle are simple and straight forwarding and can easily be solved while others are complicated and require a good measure of analysis to handle it so that the right judgements are made by the supervisors.

What does it take for a supervisor to be successful?

From the research I conducted I found that for supervisors to be successful, it is required that one should behave in a way that unites and drives those who are under him to work towards a defined goal in a specific situation. There are three elements which interact with one another and also affect one another in determining desirable supervision behaviour. The elements are: the leader himself, his followers and finally the situation at hand. Supervision should change according to situations that face them every time making supervision a complex system that must be handled carefully for the success of the organization. Being very antagonistic and constant intrusion into others privacy is not a good supervision as workers will always expect their privacy to be respected and will tolerate those who try to be a nuisance to their private life. Therefore a good leader should reduce the pressure he or she puts to the workers and stay in the background, and should also keep quite to give room to others to also contribute, he or she should be calm in times of chaos and respected, so that they can be consulted to offer a solution in such situations. Other times, a leader should be controlling, able to give direction and be very wise in decision making so that the organizations they work for can benefit highly (Michael, 2006).

I therefore find out that in few times supervisors are also answerable to others and follow orders. A leader in a normal circumstance has someone that he reports to. A good leader should therefore relate well both upwardly and also downwardly. Supervisors expect those that are under them to follow what they tell them and also respect them and supervisors are also supposed to seek a validation from superiors on all the key contentious issues that might affect the relationship that they have with their seniors so that they may all work in unison to make the organization succeed in its mission. Those expecting to be supervisors in the future should learn to be good follows so that they may learn to instil the right discipline of work that is essential in all organization that wants to grow competitively and make remarkable profit margins. Those who work skilfully are observed well by organizations so that they may rise to supervision in future as the organizations will welcome new blood so that they bring new drive that will make the organizations in future more prosperous. Good supervisors should mould their workers to be good team players and be very supportive to the organization and their fellow workmates. Supervisors also have a big role in that they should ensure that their workers are loyal to the organization to make the workers more committed to their work and visionary in their duties.

Supervisors should therefore be in the forefront to motivate the workers who work hard to make the company successful. This will make the other workers motivated so that they may also be supportive and will be spotted by the management and also rewarded like the others. Cash rewards may be given to the workers, scholarships to further their education e.t.c to motivate those who are doing good work to make the company have resourceful supervisors who will be in a position to also take supervision in the future. The company will depend on supervisors to train others to be more competitive so that the company will have an edge over their competitors in the market. Supervisors should also punish those who do wrong to the company and should come up with fair penalties that are humane. (John and Keith, 1997)

Even though supervisors should punish those who wrong the company, they should not harass them by reprimanding them in front of the other workers as it may make them feel demoralised to give the best in the organization. Good supervisors should behave like supervisors more and should not be seen to be only the bosses who only appear to push the workers. Organizations depend on supervisors to be very calculative in handling workers so that they work well and achieve the targets and operate effectively all the time. Without good supervisors, organizations will not succeed since workers will not work as a unit and coordination of all activities will not be achieved.

From the research I conducted I found that there are many styles of supervision that supervisors may employ to make their organizations succeed depending on what organizations practice and have a strong support for it. They include:

Autocratic style

Supervisors in this category will be expected by their organizations to centralise decision making and power so that decision will be expected to come only from the top central authority. It is advantageous to the organization when especially new policies are being introduced into the organization as the supervisors will push the workers to follow the decisions from the top authority without question and leading to the success of what is being introduced. Workers tend to come up with their own decisions that may cost the organization highly and there is need therefore for the supervisors to give a central decision that must be followed by all. Harmonization of the operations being done can be achieved when supervisors can ensure that their decisions can be followed for uniformity in all that is done. Standards can be observed by all and the organization can succeed. It also allows for quick decisions to be made since there is no fear of contradiction as decision comes from one angle. Workers need to be pushed so that they can work and avid being absent from duty due to lack of autocratic supervision and low turnover can be realised if autoerotism is not practised by the supervisors in the organizations. (Debra and Perry, 1997)

Participative style

The workers are brought to contribute and their decisions are taken seriously. A good leader can make the organization prosper when they take good contributions that help the organization improve and achieve their goals. The supervisors have a role to ensure that both the workers and the top management operate as a unit so that they can face challenges that face them and sit together to bring solutions that make the organization better every time and improve. Employees should be informed about things affecting their jobs and allowed to make contributions and ideas on how to change those conditions. Participative supervision brings a lot of improvement in an organization because employees feel a sense of being involved in decision making and the goals of a company are achieved thus good supervisors should give employees chances of participating in making decisions of the company which encourages them to work hard to achieve the goals they have set themselves.

Free-rein style

Supervisors in this category do not use authority and responsibility but depend on the employees to make their own decisions and work towards them. The employees are also allowed to solve their own problems arising in the organization therefore in this case supervisors play a very insignificant role and the groups in the organization are allowed to lead themselves. This type of supervision doesn’t contribute much in an organization but it has an advantage of different ideas being brought in to the organization. Supervisors have to leave the choice completely to the employees and thus the supervisors in this type of supervision are not involved in decision making but only implement what has been decided by the group.


I therefore find out that In a nutshell supervisors have a very big responsibility in making sure that the objectives and goals of an organization are achieved. Whichever style they use and in whatever manner they implement the style they should ensure that everyone in the organization is cared for and also the organization. Without good supervision the organizations cannot run well because supervisors act as bridges in organizations where they bridge the top management and the employees. Organizations need supervisors very much because they play a very vital role in them. Supervisors act as mirrors in an organization and reflect its image to the outside world. Good supervisors give a good image to an organization thus contributing to its successes. (Armstrong, 2006)


  1. Armstrong. M. (2006): Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice, 10th Edition, London, Kogan Page
  2. Debra, J. & Perry, J. (1997):- Strategic Human Resource Management: Public Personnel Management; New York, Longman publishers
  3. John, W. and Keith, D. (1997): Organizational Behaviour- Human Behaviour at Work. 10th Edition, New York, McGraw-Hill,
  4. Michael, A. (2006): Human Resource Management Practice. 10th Edition London, Kogan Page Publishers,
  5. Sparrow, P. and Hilltop, J. (1994): European Human Resource Management in Transition- New York, Prentice Hall
  6. Thomson, C. and Rampton, L. (2003): Human Resource Management. New York, Melbourne press

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