First Line Supervisor Responsibilities

First line supervisor is the first entry level position in any organizational management pyramid. The first line supervisor responsibilities comprise performing the supervisory tasks and ensure that the subordinates perform their alloted specific duties that will assist in accomplishing the expected goals while complying with the rules, policies, and procedures of the organization.

Key Responsibilities of a First Line Supervisor

A first line supervisor is a professional who has authoritative power to hire staff members, train them, transfer, recall, or suspend them in case of indiscipline, resolve their grievances, reward, promote, and discipline the employees, and is responsible for delegating and supervising the work of the employees, thus helping in achieving the goals and objectives of the organization. This position can be found in a wide range of industries like manufacturing plants, banks, restaurants, etc. A detailed information regarding the key responsibilities handled by a first line supervisor in various industries will definitely assist you in giving you a better and more clear idea:

  1. First Line Maintenance Supervisor: He delegates the work load to the workers and makes sure that they follow the given instructions. He also sees that the safety procedures are being adhered to and provides the necessary guidance in case there are any issues. He implements plans to schedule and complete the work on the given time. He ensures that all the necessary equipment is available and that quality work is being delivered, keeping in mind the goals of the organization

  2. First Line Customer Service Supervisor: He plans, directs, and coordinates the work schedules and activities of different workers engaged in customer service. He explains the rules and regulations of the organization to the workers and communicates in a clear and a concise manner as to what exactly are the expectations of the company. He helps in resolving their personal and professional problems so as to ensure that quality and productivity of work is improved. He may also be involved in training and hiring new staff whenever there is a need for recruiting new members.

  3. First Line Retail Sales Supervisor: He coordinates and supervises the work of the employees engaged in retail sales, delegates them specific duties, assists in providing customer services, ensures that products have appropriate price tags, instructs and guides the employees on how to handle complex customers, etc. He is also involved in inventory management, reconciling invoices, ensuring security, preparing budget plans, reviewing the sales records, preparing the relevant reports, etc., to ensure that the sales objectives have been achieved.

Thus, in short, the general responsibilities of first line supervisors are to plan, direct, and supervise the work of the subordinates by guiding and instructing them appropriately to ensure efficient and quality output of work by complying with the health, safety, and legal regulations. He may help to implement changes in the working procedures and make recommendations for promotion of the staff members.

Essential Skills

The most essential skills and abilities that play a pivotal role in ensuring success as a first line supervisor are as follows:

  1. Exceptional supervisory skills with an ability to guide and lead the team
  2. Ability to communicate effectively, good interpersonal communication skills and an ability to understand people's grievances
  3. To address and resolve the issues, so that they do not hinder the quality and productivity of the work, to remain calm in pressure situations and should be able to accept criticism by exercising control on emotions
  4. Should be updated with current policies and procedures of the organization
  5. Should possess excellent administration, organization, and time management skills
  6. Should be able to delegate work according to priority, complete it in a timely manner, train and develop the staff members, and demonstrate excellent planning skills

Educational Background

To make an entry as a first line supervisor, you need to complete some formal training from a technical school or should at least have completed graduation in human resource management, business management, public administration, or in any other relevant field. Those with prior work experience in a similar profile would be able to get the job more easily.

Salary Details

The salary of a first line supervisor may vary according to the type of industry he is employed in. Educational background, skills, abilities, and experience are also some of the key factors in determining the salary of the prospective first line supervisor. The average annual salary varies in the range of $40,000 to $77,000.

Work Hours

The weekly routine of a first line supervisor expects him to work for forty to forty five hours per week. However, depending on the work load, he may need to work overtime in the evenings or continue his work even at nights. He may sometimes be called to work on weekends or on public holidays as well.

Career Prospects

The employment opportunities for first line supervisors have declined in the recent years mostly due to the automation of various processes. However, those who carry out their responsibilities efficiently have definitely got chances for advancement to higher positions.

Thus, if you are aiming to become a production supervisor or move into some senior management positions, a successful and demonstrated work experience in handling the first line supervisor responsibilities will surely prove to be a stepping stone for taking your career to new heights.

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