Manager and supervisor are often used interchangeably in conversations. While organizations have a different hierarchy of roles and designations, management and supervision are quite different. People who supervise employees are called supervisors, whereas those who manage tasks within a department are known as managers.
Now, you may wonder; that sounds the same!
Yes, that does sound the same. Managers and supervisors both have leadership roles within the company. But, they are not identical in terms of responsibility and authority. Let’s take you through the differences between management and supervision for a detailed understanding.
What is a Manager?
The primary function of a manager is to manage how things take place in a department. Managers typically make decisions about a business in a particular domain or various areas of business operation. They are involved in recruiting new people, identifying jobs of other employees working under them, and ensuring the completion of tasks on time. They also determine the resources utilized by their department to execute specific tasks. For example, a quality control manager is responsible for ensuring that all the processes are aligned, and the products are of standard quality. Yet, he might not go to the processing facility all the time to access work.
Roles of Management
The four major roles include planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Management plans the timelines for the department and organizes pathways to achieve the timelines and goals. They make sure to be the leaders in situations employees need their assistance to perform better. Other roles of management include:
- Dealing with the issues within the workplace when brought to them by the supervisors.
- Make sure that the supervisors are kind and fair to the workers.
- Evaluating the performance and competency of employees and finding the reason for poor performance.
- Managers also assist the HR professionals in HR functions including hiring and staffing to ensure they find the best fit for their department.
- Making decisions for the designated responsibilities for the best benefit of the company and the employees.
- Controlling and monitoring expenses, and managing them within the budget.
- Setting goals for the future and encouraging other teammates to perform their best.
What is a Supervisor?
Supervisors also have a leadership role in the company. But, they work under the manager. Supervision mainly includes keeping an eye on the employees’ day-to-day activities in the department. They ensure that the tasks are completed in time by the works, and the goals are achieved per the manager’s instructions and timeline. They also act as a bridge between employees and the upper hierarchy. Supervisors usually have an informal relationship with their workers to encourage them to do better. They initially study a situation to assess if it needs the manager’s attention.
Roles of Supervision
As manager leads the supervisors, they lead other workers under them. Major roles of supervision in a company are:
- While the manager contributes to hiring new talent, supervisors train them to gel in the environment.
- Reporting to seniors and HR professionals when needed.
- Accessing the performance of the workers and reporting their evaluation to the managers.
- Acting as a connector between the manager and the employees.
- Resolving conflicts between employees if they are not significant enough to be forwarded to the manager.
- Managing schedules and keeping everyone on track to ensure that all goals are achieved in time.
Management vs Supervision
As mentioned already, management is the manager’s job, while supervision is the supervisor’s task. Here are all the differences between manager and supervisor to help you understand Management vs Supervision.
A manager’s role in a company is to create goals and encourage the employees to achieve them. He focuses on the management processes and is concerned with timely finishing projects.
The supervisor accesses the individual performance of workers and their contribution to the operation. He makes sure that all the processes are moving according to the timeline and takes care of daily functional activities.
A manager has a middle-level managerial position, and he is directly connected to the upper hierarchy.
Conversely, the supervisor is in a low-level leadership position where he deals with the workers. He cannot directly connect to the CEO or Board of Directors.
Managers have various responsibilities within the company like discussing the budget, managing tasks, and supervisors, communicating with the company leaders, evaluating the performance of employees and supervisors, and ensuring goal achievement.
Supervisors deal with the workers directly, resolve their disputes, monitor daily assigned tasks, manage workflow, and train new employees.
Managers are the decision-makers in a business, especially in their department. They decide goals, budget, and the timeline for projects. Managers can also make different types of decisions about the promotion and demotion of employees.
While supervisors can recommend a worker for a different (or better) position, they are not decision-makers. They rely on the decisions made by managers.
Managers work with the Human Resource department to hire new talent per the department’s needs.
Supervisors are not involved in the hiring process. Instead, they are responsible for training the new hires and accustoming them to the company.
The Bottom Line
Management and supervision are both essential parts for a company to function properly. It is difficult for the manager to monitor every employee’s performance. That is why supervisors are assigned over a group of employees. Managers hire new people with HR, manage the budget, and deal with the issues between supervisors and employees. Conversely, supervisors train new employees, evaluate their performance, make decisions, and set goals for the future.
Matthew is a Co-Founder at BusinessFinanceArticles.org. Matthew was a floor manager at a local restaurant in Wales. He lost his job after the pandemic and took initiative to make a team and start the project.