How to Be a Good Supervisor

How to Be a Good Supervisor

There is no magic formula on how to be a good supervisor. It all starts with a careful evaluation of your leadership style, then looking at the areas that could use some improvement. Obviously, our opinion of ourselves can be skewed despite our best efforts to remain objective. This is why seeking insight from other employees is the best way to gain a fair perspective of your leadership style. By and large though, a combination of the following attributes will have you pass for a good supervisor.

Ability to Delegate


Good supervision and the ability to delegate tasks to those employees best suited to tackle the tasks go hand in hand. Effective delegation streamlines a project, in turn leading to efficiency and profit maximization. If you delegate a crucial task to an employee short of experience, it could hamper the entire project. Worse still, it could force you to go back and start fixing errors from the start. You don’t need to be told this is a downright waste of time and resources that could be channeled to other important matters.



A good supervisor is one who comes across as confident in their abilities and sure of the direction they are taking their team. If you are not sure of what you’re doing, your employees won’t have cause to believe in you whatsoever, and it is just a matter of time before the house comes crumbling down. Confidence is a key attribute of a good supervisor. If you don’t have it, it is about time you looked for ways to cultivate the same as you grow into your role. People are different: some are born confident, others need to nurture it. But the good thing is that it is totally acquirable. Fake it until you make it.



A good supervisor is one who can put themselves in the shoes of his/her employees. This is not the easiest of qualities to nurture because the workplace comprises all types of employees. Some are graduates from college; others come from entirely different cultures from yours. There will always be parents within the ranks; others will be single moms. Now, putting yourself in these myriad of shoes is not easy, but the whole idea is to understand employees’ plight. Be as accommodating as you can when an employee is faced with genuine need, and you can bet that this shall be paid in kind.



The workplace is a dynamic environment and no single approach to management will work in every situation. A good supervisor needs to be aware of this and employ tactics depending on the situation s/he is faced with.

Take an example. When you have delegated tasks to your staff and the deadline is looming, a hardline approach may get the work done. However, other times you may need to adopt a relaxed approach because no one can operate at such levels day-in day-out. And even if they could, you risk creating a high-pressure environment which, despite what you may hear, is never the best approach to management. Period.



While all the above qualities are bound to make a good supervisor out of you, it is important to acknowledge the fact that not every decision you make will work out well. A choice will backfire every now and then. A project will fail. That’s part of the job – as long as mistakes are not the norm for you. The good thing is to cop it and learn from the mistake. There is no use blaming your employees for mistakes that resulted from your decisions. Own up to it, and as counterintuitive as it may sound, it will only make you more powerful. You will appear responsible. You will come across as relatable. And it will show you are a leader of integrity.

Don’t take your power and responsibility for granted. Rather, keep working on those qualities that make you a great supervisor. Remember, good supervisors are made. Not born.

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