Shift supervisors have to balance a fine line between efficiency and approachability. As a co-worker, they should have a trusting, respectful and openly communicative relationship with the rest of the staff, but they are also responsible for monitoring staff performance and reprimanding them when necessary. If promoted from within, people who hold the shift supervisor position can suddenly feel alienated from their peers. The ability to separate professional duty from personal feelings is key.
Shift supervisors are primarily responsible for staff support. It’s their job to answer the questions of the people they are supervising during the shift, and anticipate, prevent and solve issues that arise. They are also often responsible for training staff, implementing reward and incentive programs for both employees and customers, noting poor or excellent performance and either rewarding or reprimanding, and keeping staff on track for sales and performance goals. To do their job effectively, shift supervisors must also set a stellar example for staff to follow, including being punctual, acting with fairness, honesty and integrity and following company policy, rules and regulations.
Shift supervisors must provide excellent customer service as a representative of the company. When customers have complaints, comments or questions that can’t be addressed by staff members, shift supervisors should step in and assist. When dealing with customers and staff -- even if the experience is frustrating -- shift supervisors must set a positive example. They must maintain a constant awareness of the potential effects of their actions on employee morale.
Scheduling and Organization
Shift supervisors often set the staff schedule and organize the flow of the shift, including positioning and rotation of staff work zones, as well as designated break times and lengths. Supervisors should be well versed in every position and able to fill in whenever necessary.
Fiscal Duties and Reporting
Shift supervisors often have certain fiscal responsibilities as well. They typically open and close registers, balance books and are responsible for processing and accounting for large sums of money. They are also required to report back to their own supervisors on the conditions of the business, including updates on employees, maintenance issues and achieving sales goals.
Education and Experience
The education required for a shift manager position can range from a high school diploma to a college degree, depending on the job. Some employers prefer shift supervisors to have some previous management training, education or experience, but other employers provide on the job training. Supervisors must have extensive experience in their industry, as they need an intricate understanding of all the tasks performed under their management, as well as how those tasks contribute the company's short-term and long-term goals.
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