What Does a Supervisor Do?

JD Hancock/CC-BY-2.0

A supervisor’s role varies by industry, organization and management level. Most supervisors have primary responsibilities of leading and motivating the task performance of subordinates. A supervisor receives directives from top management and communicates tasks and expectations for a department or work team to individual employees.

Some supervisors have hiring and firing authority, but many do not. A supervisor often has the authority to recommend an employee for a pay raise or promotion. Giving feedback to employees about their performance and skill development is an ongoing role. Supervisors conduct formal evaluations as set out by the organization. Developing group cohesion is another common responsibility of a supervisor.