Top Skills That Your Supervisors Must Have

Being a first level supervisor can be a difficult, demanding, and challenging job. A typical manufacturing supervisor is responsible for the day-to-day performance of a group of production employees. Often, the supervisor has experience in what the group does and has earned the position based on management's belief that he/she can guide the team.

The new supervisor must navigate the transition from being one of the team members to the individual responsible for guiding work, offering constructive feedback and even disciplining or terminating a long-time coworker or friend. Instead of being a team member, the individual is now part of management.

How often do you promote an employee to the supervisor level without providing training or coaching on how to successfully transition? Supervisors must have the ability to understand, influence, and merge the two worlds of management and workforce. Below are some basic skills that companies must foster in their supervisors:

  • Communication – Supervisors not only communicate upward with other managers, they must cope with the day to day complexities of the workforce.  Your workforce’s attitudes will often reveal the quality of their “supervision”. Supervisors with developed communication skills can use listening techniques and nonverbal strategies to improve conversations and results.
  • Conflict Resolution – A supervisor’s ability to define and identify conflict styles, causes, and methods for handling conflict can improve the department’s or organization’s productivity.
  • Leadership – Supervisors with leadership skills help bring accountability to their teams by creating a supportive and motivating work environment.
  • Diversity and Generational Awareness - Diversity is not just a business buzz word. Proactively managing diversity in the workplace is a smart way for businesses to capitalize on all employees’ experiences, talents, and skills.
  • Interpersonal Skills – Relationships are a key aspect of all our lives. Building healthy workplace relationships enables an individual to develop highly effective teams.
  • Time and Priority Management – How much time do your supervisors spend “putting out fires”? Supervisors with time and priority management skills can boost productivity and efficiency.
  • Problem Solving - A valuable supervisor is someone who not only knows how to take an issue and find the root cause of the problem but also has a structured process for engaging others and solving the problem.

UT CIS can provide the training required to set your supervisors up for success. One of most popular company engagements is our Leadership and Supervision Program. Over a period of 7.5 non-consecutive days, participants will experience an individualized, practical, "real-world," approach to supervisory leadership. The program is offered as an open enrollment throughout the year but can also be customized to your specific needs and delivered on site. For more information click HERE.

Participant Testimonials

“I enjoyed learning about the 5 different generations in the workplace. I feel like this topic is very beneficial for me because I am one of the youngest employers in our plant."

“The instructors and other participants were diverse in their views and experience and one of the main reasons I enjoyed this program.”

“If I had known about the personality colors in my past leadership role, there may have not been such a conflict. I would have known why we/I did things the way we/I did.”


Leadership and Supervision Grads UT CIS

Graduation photo of Leadership & Supervision Program participants with UT CIS instructors Keith Groves and Andre Temple.

Tags Leadership