What does an Assistant Supervisor do?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Understanding the tasks of the assistant supervisor typically involves comprehending the work of a supervisor. Most assistant supervisors are present to help carry out the work of at least one other supervisor, and they do a variety of things in this capacity. While it’s not fair to state that the assistant always does the jobs a supervisor wants to do least, sometimes this an accurate assessment. In a more equitable arrangement, the assistant takes on some of the work of the supervisor and helps him or her complete all necessary tasks.

Assistant supervisors usually help carry out the work of a supervisor.
Assistant supervisors usually help carry out the work of a supervisor.

Many people want to first know how they get jobs in an assistant supervision capacity. The answer to this may be complex. Some people are hired from the worker ranks to fill these jobs, and their work and professionalism help earn these opportunities. They get noticed by management and are promoted up to a low-level management job. Others are hired from outside of a company, and they could have supervision or managerial experience elsewhere, along with sterling references from former employers. It helps to have some managerial skills, a background in what the particular company produces, and possibly some business management education.

Assistant supervisors tend to be more accountable to their direct supervisors than to higher levels of management.
Assistant supervisors tend to be more accountable to their direct supervisors than to higher levels of management.

Any form of supervision can be partly defined by what a company does, and this will also define the assistant supervisor job. In the broadest definition, supervisors are answerable to management and to employees. They may watch, teach, govern, and discipline or reward workers, at the same time they try to fulfill the goals set for them by management. The assistant receives part of this as a job and could participate in training workers, making schedules, introducing job incentives, disciplining employees, or in running a variety of errands for the supervisor.

One thing that tends to make an assistant supervisor different is that he/she is usually less answerable to management. Assistants tend to be more accountable to the supervisors for whom they work. This doesn’t mean interaction between an assistant supervisor and upper level management can’t exist. Actually, the best supervisors will make sure it does, as part of ongoing training. Often, interaction is more limited and the assistant supervisor will carry on jobs with employees, while the supervisor addresses issues with upper management.

A promotion or hiring to an assistant supervisor job gives people an opportunity to look at what is involved in having more responsibility in a company. Studying the job of supervisors and determining how to function at the next level up best utilizes this chance. While performing work, assistants should try to learn as much as possible about the supervisor job, and eventually be able to perform all aspects of it with competence. Taking on lots of responsibility and learning how to perform every part of supervision may ultimately lead to greater possibilities for promotion in the future.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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Discussion Comments


Bhutan-A voice with no inflection really tells the supervisor that the employee did not want to speak with the customer.

A monotone voice really lacks warmth and enthusiasm toward the customer which is necessary to welcome the customer appropriately.

In addition, the supervisor will check to see if the script was followed and if the customer was properly helped with the call.

The supervisor will also consider if the employee displayed appropriate product knowledge and was able to meet or exceed the customer’s expectations.

Usually an assistant supervisor will also schedule employees in shifts and provide time off as requested by the employee.

They may also have to call additional employees into to work if there is a shortage of staff due to employees not reporting to work.

Staffing falls heavily on the assistant supervisor and they also maybe in charge of training staff members and maintaining optimal inventory levels.

Shortages in inventory levels or overages in inventory levels indicate a mismanagement of inventory and a loss of profit for the business.


An assistant clerical supervisor may be also be a payroll supervisor. He or she may interview potential clerical workers and may also be involved in training such personnel.

A supervisor description also involves the monitoring of their staff to ensure that they are meeting their productivity and customer service goals.

For example, a call center supervisor qualification might involve that the supervisor have experience as a call center representative before the promotion.

This ensures that the supervisor will be able to coach the call center employee more effectively because of the prior experience handling calls.

They will usually monitor calls at random and provide timely feedback to the employee. They will look for things like the cadence in the speech along with the tone and inflection in the employee’s voice.

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