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An area supervisor often has a very broad range of duties and can be employed in different fields. Some of the key responsibilities most often associated with the position are providing leadership to a team of workers, organizing schedules and making sure the work is accomplished as planned. An area supervisor is often expected to have good communication skills and to work in accordance with the goals and values of his employer.
The duties of an area supervisor are typically divided into two key areas — people-related and job-related. The job-related duties may consist of administering the company or organization’s policies, inspecting safety standards, identifying problems and proposing solutions. The people-related duties usually include supervising, coordinating and controlling the safety of a work area. A person in this job must also inspect and evaluate work progress, coordinate activities and communicate with all levels of management.
Depending on the type of work his company does, an area supervisor may be expected to perform physical labor. At a manufacturing plant, he may be exposed to very high temperatures and humidity levels, toxic chemicals and fumes, and work near explosives. An individual in this field can be required to climb stairs and ladders, work on uneven platforms and sometimes lift heavy objects. He may also need safety equipment, such as safety goggles, special footwear, a construction helmet, gloves and other protective clothing.
An area supervisor may be asked to manage his departmental budget. This can include calculating finances, monitoring all daily expenses and making sure that money is not being wasted. Although costs should be closely monitored, most organizations require that safety standards be maintained and that all necessary supplies are abundant and readily available.
In addition to working at factories, supervisors can be employed at government organizations, retail stores, transportation companies and in many other fields. Since these professionals often work with a lot of different people, they are typically responsible for maintaining team unity and individual performance. An area supervisor may also be responsible for hiring new staff and providing proper training and advice when needed.
A high school diploma or its equivalent is usually required for this position, although some companies may also prefer to hire people who have completed some form of higher education. Most employers seek supervisors with leadership training, but experience in the specific field is also taken into account. Many area supervisors are promoted to their positions, so people who obtain the job in this way have typically worked in related posts.
@hamje32 - I think you’ve identified examples of job related duties that the article is talking about and which are the responsibility of a supervisor.
I believe that knowledge is not the most important thing here however. I believe that a supervisor needs to be relatable. I’ve been in some companies where nobody wanted to approach the supervisor for fear that they were going to get snapped at.
Sorry, but this is not a good trait to have as a supervisor. You are there to pull your team together, and no man is too lowly on the totem pole to request your assistance.
I think the better you can be at building your team, showing your human side a little bit, the greater the morale you’ll have and the smoother your operation will be.
A good maintenance supervisor should have more than leadership capabilities in my opinion. He should know a little about the different areas of maintenance that he will be overseeing.
For example, if his area of responsibility is plant maintenance he should know something about the electrical, plumbing and other aspects of the plant.
He does not have to be an expert; he has a team for that, but I think that he should also know a little something about each of these areas so that he can talk shop with his team, and just as importantly, to ensure that he is not taken advantage of by outside vendors who come to work in his plant.
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