Role of a Supervisor Vs. a Manager

Securing a job in management is often the first step to climbing the corporate ladder.

Securing a job in management is often the first step to climbing the corporate ladder.

Becoming a supervisor or a manager is a good career choice if you want to take on more responsibility and move up the ladder within your company. You’ll be the boss in both positions, but managers usually play a more significant role. It can be exciting to share successes with your team, but you may also have to take the blame if one of your employees makes a mistake.

Job Duties

Supervisors are responsible for managing a small team of employees. They have daily goals and are tasked with ensuring their teams meeting goals. Monitoring work quality and staffing are part of most supervisors' duties. For example, if you work in customer service, you might become a supervisor of a calling center. You’ll make sure all calls are answered on-time and coordinate your team’s break schedule to ensure the phones are always attended.

Managers typically are responsible for a team as well as a department or particular function. If you work as a marketing manager, for example, you might be in charge of a small marketing team as well as the execution of a marketing function like advertising, public relations or social media. You might be responsible for the advertising budget or coordination of trade shows. You’ll also be in charge of conducting employee reviews each year and hiring and evaluating employees.

Both supervisors and managers are in charge of managing teams of people. In both roles, you need good interpersonal skills. Effectively communicating and with your team members is crucial. You’ll need to be an active listener, problem solver and and know how to resolve conflicts. You’ll have to deal with a variety of different personalities and will need to motivate each employee. You should be friendly with your employees, but it’s more important to be respected than to be liked. Both supervisors and managers have their own boss, so you’ll still have to report to someone above you.

The main difference between a manager and supervisor is the level of responsibility and authority. As a manager, you have more responsibility and will be in charge of an entire function. This may involve managing an entire restaurant, if you’re in the food industry, or an entire department if you work in marketing or engineering. Managers often have more control over spending money and decision-making. A supervisory role can be stepping stone to a management position. Managers usually have years of experience in the field before being promoted. A supervisor, on the other hand, is usually an entry-level management position.

 

About the Author

Auston Matta is an experienced engineer who has worked in the packaging industry since 2003. He holds a bachelor's degree in bio-engineering and a master's degree in engineering management. Auston has also contributed to "Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News."

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