A line supervisor is a communication link between the management and the workers in manufacturing plants, factories and assembly line production works. Being an integral part of almost all industries, they work towards meeting the production goals set by firms.
A line supervisor working in a factory like cement plants is exposed to dirt and noise. However, those working in electronic chip industry assembly line may work in extremely clean, dust free and hygienic environment. Being a position that demands leadership and management qualities, it is essential for aspiring line supervisors to understand the typical duties entailed in their profession.
Mostly, first line supervisors are required to ensure that the production goals set by project managers and chief engineers in a plant are achieved timely. To do so, they may have to look after supplies and availability of equipment necessary for production. This is true for their works in mechanical plants, steel plants, cement factories and automobile plants.
Designations may vary depending on the industry type. In printing industry, for instance, line supervisors who look after management of production floors are often referred to as "chief bookbinders". Irrespective of the working company, the performance of a line supervisor affects the company's profit. While monitoring production works forms, their primary role is deeper when it comes to handling challenging situations tactfully.
To ensure smooth production, he has to maintain good relationships with workers and he must also be able to understand their working speed as well as working qualities. To enhance production, a supervisor may move a worker to a different department or to handle different machine. All this requires a fair sense of judgment and understanding.
Supervisors must have a deep understanding of their workers and their efficiency. Gaining respect from workers is essential to keep them motivated to give their best. Maintaining a close professional relationship and tackling daily problems, as they arise, demands good management skills in a line supervisor.
One of the other aspects of his job is to have an uncanny knack to spot errors in production. It won't be an exaggeration to say that some knowledge of operational management can be great even for freshers.
Some other duties are as follows:
- They're communicators between management and production employees. This makes their role very crucial as good relations can boost firm's productivity.
- Supervisors offer rewards and encouragement to workers for doing good job.
- Plants that have workers unions, supervisors meet with union leaders to deal with issues concerning worker's interest. Strong conflict resolution skills do come handy in such situations.
- Supervisors have the authority to terminate employment of workers who're found to be working against the code of conduct of factory or due to poor employee performance.
- It is the supervisor who explains company's laws to workers.
- Supervisors also ensures all workplace safety regulations are implemented.
- Supervisors keep attendance sheet, record in and out timings and they also create work schedule.
Education and Skill Requirements
- High school degree/college or technical training in supervisor trainer works.
- Good work experience is preferred. However, many companies provide management training
- The ability to lead is a necessary trait.
- Effective communication skills especially regional language knowledge helps to explain things to workers or laborers.
On an average, a line supervisor can earn anywhere between US$33,000 to US$55,000. Interested candidates can contact their college placement cells or visit job listings of production companies in newspapers and also on the Internet.