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What is Supervisory Management?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 16, 2024
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Supervisory management is the act of managing employees in a business. There are many trade and business schools, as well as community colleges which offer certification or degrees in this area. The goal of such courses is to teach people how to be effective in supervisory positions. Training can focus on working with large groups, small groups and as well, running whole companies with supervisory management techniques.

The goal of anyone who is involved in supervisory management should be to help employees most adequately fit with the needs of a company. Such acts as holding meetings, reviewing performance, scheduling, assigning raises or bonuses, and hiring or firing employees could all be part of someone’s job in this field.

Depending upon a company’s infrastructure, those in supervisory management may have a lot of power, or have relatively little. For example, a supervisor may be in charge of scheduling and reviews, but not be able to make decisions regarding raises or termination of employees. Such supervisors are often called middle management. Their primary goals are to ensure production, yet they often lack the ability to give rewards based on increased production.

Others involved in this type of management may have greater control over fiscal decisions regarding a company, particularly when it comes to raises or hiring and firing decisions. As well as directly supervising employees, these people may also manage all aspects of a company or a branch of a company. Often in small companies, the owner or the manager practices supervisory management, and is empowered to make major decisions affecting the careers of employees. Some find it preferable to have more direct access to a general manager who supervises, since talking to such an employer may result in more direct action being taken.

It can be frustrating for supervisory managers who have little power for good or ill over employees. They may truly have the best interest of their employees at heart, but may be unable to enact change if upper level management does not wish for the same changes. Often those in middle management are the go-betweens for employees and bosses. Frequently they are the unhappy messenger of bad tidings from either employees or heads of company, and employees resenting them often misplace their resentment.

Those who are good at supervisory management are best when they can be inspiring to employees and promote good work ethic and increased production. Positions may also be held by people attempting to make specific changes in a company, such as changing policies that cause high turnover in a workplace.

Many who are employed in supervisory management are never trained. However, training can really help a supervisor employ effective strategies in his or her job. Though some people have a natural way with employees, many would perform their jobs more proficiently with training or education. Often, employees are likely to be much happier with the work of a supervisor who has either a “way” or the education to really provide excellent management and interpersonal communication skills.

SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a SmartCapitalMind contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By anon64677 — On Feb 08, 2010

How an organization would benefit from an improvement in its current organization structure?

By anon64676 — On Feb 08, 2010

What are the main challenges of the supervision in this new millennium and how to face to them?

By anon35835 — On Jul 08, 2009

You did not include the components of supervisory management. Please post it here.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a SmartCapitalMind contributor, Tricia...
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