The main job of a shift supervisor is to supervise the work and activities of workers and ensure that they follow the procedures to meet individual, group and company goals. These professionals are very important in the retail industry, as well as in a manufacturing unit. Here, we will discuss the basic duties of such professionals in both these industries.
In a manufacturing unit, the main job of a shift supervisor is to ensure that the production line operations are smooth, procedures are followed, and the shift production goals are met. For this, he is supposed to train the employees on the laid standard operating procedures (SOP).
He makes their weekly and daily schedule and delegates work. When they are performing the work, he supervises them and ensures that the quality standards are being met. To maintain quality specifications, he has the authority to reject the products manufactured during the shift which do not meet the specifications laid down by the company.
A shift supervisor co-ordinates with other departments to ensure that the flow of production is maintained. For instance, if the staff under him is less, he reports it to the human resource department.
These professionals are highly involved in the recruitment and performance reviews of workers, thus, they play a major role in the worker's increments. Employee leaves, shift rotations, employee attendance - all come under their job description.
Shift supervisors in a manufacturing unit have to conduct daily meetings to communicate with the plant manager and fellow shift supervisors. In these meetings, safety of their workers is always their prime concern.
In the retail industry, a shift supervisor is a link between the store manager and the workers under him. If it's a big retail store, generally there are a number of supervisors who report to the floor manager. They ensure that each worker under them is performing his designated duties so that the customers of the store feel satisfied.
For this, they must have good communication, organizational, planning and leadership skills. They delegate work to subordinates, inspect how the work is being done, ensure that it is completed on time and it's quality is in accordance with the standards set by the company. Recruiting and training are two major responsibilities of such professionals.
A shift supervisor needs to coordinate with other departments so that the store operations function smoothly. Inventory management, preparing weekly schedule of workers, allotting them work, opening and closing the store (if it's a small store), taking care of customer complaints - all fall under the job description of a retail shift supervisor.
In the retail industry, one has to work on weekends or sometimes in the night as well. A major part of his day is spent on the floor, supervising his subordinates. Sometimes, he may have to fill in for a worker in case he is on leave and perform the same duties as his subordinates.
More than education, it is on-the-job experience and employee management skills that are more important in order to become a shift supervisor. That's why, companies usually promote their most efficient and experienced worker to this position, someone who knows the nitty gritty of the job at hand.
As far as education is concerned, a high school diploma and the ability to read, write, and speak well is a prerequisite. Knowledge of the organizational processes, ability to lead and get the work done, and problem solving are the prime requirements to be successful in this profession.