Supervisory Skills: A Guide for Aspiring Supervisors

Effective supervisors should have some top-notch supervisory skills to get their job done. Employees must be able to rely on supervisors for guidance and support. And supervisors have to value and trust their employees. The two-way street can thus lead to efficiency and organizational quality.

You may require specific supervisory skills depending on the nature of the company you work at.  However, there are universal supervisory skills that can effectively help you to lead. The article will discuss seven essential supervisory skills that you will need to progress into a management role.

Table of Contents

What is Supervision?

Supervision encompasses interacting and meeting with employees regularly to curate their work progress. This process is called supervision. You need certain supervisory skills to fulfil your supervision responsibilities properly. Supervision can help to manage employee performance and productivity. However, it is not a process of exerting power over another in any means.

What is Supervision

The aim of supervision is to help employees develop new skills and exude confidence in their position. Some supervision examples include monitoring employee performance, reviewing workload. 

Moreover, supervisors have to identify learning opportunities for employees to aid professional development. Supervisors also keep employees in the loop with wider organisational news.

You need to have related knowledge and skills to be appointed as a supervisor. Supervisors are accountable for the performance development and wellbeing of the supervisee.

Consequently, supervision is usually one to one sessions conducted in a formal arrangement. Group supervision sessions can also be helpful sometimes. In addition, you have to keep a record of each and every supervision session. It is good practice to do so.

7 Supervisory Skills for Aspiring Supervisors

You might already have some idea of what supervisory skills one should possess. Being a supervisor is a taxing job, even if you are managing a small group of people. So, in order to lead effectively, you have to finger out the style of your leadership. Here are seven supervisory skills that can help brush up your supervisory skills.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills are one of the most important supervision skills you can acquire. Building successful relationships are integral to being a successful supervisor. Because supervision is all about how well you can work with others. Employees have to feel free to communicate with you regarding their issues and progress.

Interpersonal Skills

Make sure to connect with your interpersonal skills and be kind to everyone you work with. Moreover, you will need to earn the respect of your colleagues to supervise them. For such a reason, you should be aware of how to deal with people effectively.  

Consequently, you can create a healthy work relationship with your team. But it would help if you had the right combination of personableness and professionalism.

Make sure to keep some time aside to get to know your team members professionally and personally. Arranging social activities or team-building training can go a long way to earn their respect. 

However, make sure you maintain professional boundaries.  In short, you have to demonstrate your authority and managerial qualities. And you have to be capable of playing your part as a team leader.


Having well-developed communication skills is another important supervisory skill. You need to be able to provide clear and concise verbal or written guidelines. Because, much of the work of a supervisor is to guide and direct others. 

Being good at written communication is also an extremely important supervisory skill. Because many workplaces use messaging applications or email to communicate.

Communication Skills

Use your active listening skills when you have face to face communication.  Effective supervisors have to master all sorts of communication. It includes listening, written, and verbal skills. 

And you are going to be the line of communication between senior management and frontline staff. Also, you will have to liaise with a variety of people. You will have to communicate with entry-level employees as well as the CEO and heads of departments. 

Moreover, you have to use non-verbal cues while communicating with team members. It demonstrates to your team how much you value their opinions and concerns. Consequently, giving proper feedback is imperative to show you paid attention to the discussion. 

To brush up on your supervisory skills, establish a trusting relationship with employees. It will motivate employees to feel comfortable in sharing information with you. 

Communication in the workplace takes place in a number of ways. It could be via phone, one to one meetings, or presentations. You have to make yourself accessible and readily available to ensure lines of communication remain open. 

And supervisors can facilitate their team by having an open door policy. Also, arranging weekly or monthly team meetings can help. To create a healthy and happy environment, a positive attitude goes a long way. Putting yourself on a pedestal in a supervisory role will be damaging for the workplace. 

Decision Making & Problem Solving

Taking important decisions in a supervisory role will be a regular occurrence.  To make quick and smart decisions, follow an effective decision making model. It is one of the most important supervisory skills. So use your critical thinking skills to weigh your options. Moreover, critical thinking skills can also assist in finding the best possible outcomes.

Problem Solving

Make sure your decisions are based on the well-being of your company and employees. Consequently, look at situations with an impartial outlook. And make sure to use all the available information to make an informed decision. In addition, if your decision affects other people, make sure to take their opinion as well. 

Consequently, spotting and solving problems are supervisory tasks you have to complete on a regular basis. You need the ability to remain calm under pressure to be an effective problem solver. And having a keen eye for detail is also necessary. It will help you to think on your feet when necessary. As a supervisor, your responsibility is to ensure that your team is productive and workflow is running smoothly.

Moreover, creative thinking is another important supervisory skills. It will help you facilitate innovative solutions that positively impact your workforce and the company.  Quick thinking also comes in handy while making a snap judgment. 

Supervisors have to meet the joined goals and objectives of the company successfully. Therefore, if you can quickly weigh up the pros and cons of a situation, it can make you a better supervisor. Moreover, it will aid in making an informed decision.

Time Management & Delegation

You have to multitask and organise many projects at once in a supervisory role. For instance, you have to attend meetings and training sessions. On top of that, you will carry out appraisal procedures following company policy. So, excellent organisational skills along with time management are important supervisory skills.

Time Management

While overseeing the work of others, you have to manage your own workload. To get everything done on a schedule, time management skills are vital. At the supervision level, tardiness and lack of organisation will be frowned upon. Moreover, sloppy working practices will set a bad example for your other employees. In contrast, effective organisational skills save time and reduce stress. 

So, to be able to work efficiently, you must prioritise or delegate tasks. For example, delegating tasks to employees can ease your workload. In addition, you must have a good idea of the duration that each task requires for completion. Organisations these days are embracing digital platforms for effective task planning and time management.

Consequently, you need to analyse and identify the skills of your employees to delegate tasks effectively. Then, depending on the skillset, you can assign and delegate tasks to each employee. 

Always remember that delegation is not a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it can increase the productivity of the task force. Moreover, it multiplies the number of tasks a supervisor can accomplish within a short time.


A supervisor is someone who helps their team to succeed at work. You will cooperate and guide your mentees in a way that advances their professional skills. Supporting your team during challenging times is your responsibility. And you should encourage them to work towards their goals. In addition, you must offer guidance and advice to your team members when they need it.

Mentorship Skill

Always encourage your team to provide new insights.  And playing a supportive role can have a positive impact on your business focused decision-making. 

You might have a repertoire of knowledge, experience, and skill at the supervisory level. So, it is a part of your job to share your skills and pass your knowledge onto others. Moreover, it gives a chance to your employees to discuss any concerns or issues that arise.

Also, you will be the driving force behind the progression of your team members as a supervisor.  This requires you to train and advise your staff and build their skills. Provide active encouragement to supervisees and recognise their achievement. It will make sure your staff feels valued. In addition, a positive workplace will create motivated employees.

Adaptability & Cooperation

As a supervisor, you have to sort out problems even on a short notice. Because sudden changes at the workplace are inevitable. To overcome challenges, you must have the ability to think and react quickly. It is one of the most important supervisory skills. It will help you to continue to lead your team efficiently.

Adaptability & Cooperation

Using creative strategies to solve issues is a good trait of a supervisor. Flexibility is the key to success in unexpected situations. Sometimes, you might need to take a step back and let other people decide too. Even though as a supervisor you will be in charge of decision making, sometimes you need to trust and cooperate with others. 

Consequently, your co-workers might have some valuable opinions and insights in certain situations. So make sure you consider the suggestion. Accordingly, you have to be considerate of what other people want. And you have to collaborate with others to reach the collective team goal together. 

In addition, meet with your team to discuss the strategies you want to opt for decision making.  A supervisor can not go around ordering others to do his job for him. A successful and collective team effort can assist in tackling any challenges that may come your way.

Positivity & Willingness to Learn

As a supervisor, it is your responsibility to create a positive and healthy workspace for everyone. In addition, you have to keep your employee’s morale up during busy and challenging times.  Moreover, you will have to try to keep an optimistic outlook all the time. In this way, employees will be encouraged and model your views.

Positivity & Willingness to Learn

Consequently, instil confidence in your employees so that they can overcome any obstacles. In addition, in the face of any challenge, you gotta back up your team with resources and moral support. Acknowledge your team’s hard work and give positive feedback when they accomplish a big task.

Consequently, supervisors need to have a positive attitude and willingness to learn. There are always opportunities to grow your skills and learn more. Even as a supervisor, it is crucial that you gain more knowledge and develop your skills. Also, you have to learn as much as you can about the industry and your role within the company. 

Continuous professional development is crucial for you to stay relevant in the industry. You have to take training and certification courses to keep your skills updated. You can get your certificate in supervisory skills with Euston College. 

The course is designed by industry experts to help you get accustomed to the role and responsibilities of a supervisor. The in-depth course material will teach you the conflict management process. And it will also help you to understand the best practices of a supervisor.

Certificate in Supervisory Skills
This course Knowing how to delegate work, monitor performance and build strong working relationships.
Certificate in Supervisory Skills
This course Knowing how to delegate work, monitor performance and build strong working relationships.


Becoming a leader from a follower is a daunting process, especially in the workplace. However, supervisory skills are easy to acquire with hard work and perseverance. So, follow the guidelines mentioned above to make your transition a smooth one. 

If you apply the seven supervisory skills properly, you will have an engaged group of employees. And people will respect you more as a confident and personable supervisor.

January 14, 2022

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