Employee Supervision: What does it mean?

Employee Supervision: What does it mean?


In a workplace, supervision refers to the act of amicably getting work done through your employees. Supervision takes into account the employee, employer relationship, and the designation of duties. A supervisor has a significant role in designating and getting work done through their employees. Recent trends of work from home have seen drastic changes in the role of supervisors. In this article, we shall discuss some traditional supervisor duties and ways to motivate your employees, especially in the context of the recent work-from-home trends caused by the global pandemic.

Table of Contents:

What are the Various Roles of a Supervisor in Employee Supervision?

Supervisors play a considerable part in developing the workforce through supervision. Central roles played by an efficient supervisor include: 

  1. Leadership
  2. Training
  3. Morale boosting
  4. Task Direction 

Depending on their organization's goals, supervisors have to set examples and motivate employees to follow them. Supervisors should be able to train their employees to do their duties and delegate tasks for efficiency.

How Relevant is Communication in Employee Supervision?

Communication is the keystone of developing employee-employer relationships. Supervisors should encourage organizational communication for the strength and success of their organization. Often, supervisors facilitate the dialogue between management and employees. They become mediators through communicating company directives and reporting employee feedback.

Supervisors also create work-groups that facilitate discussions. Employees appreciate approachable supervisors. Supervisors who encourage communication can boost workplace morale. Communication creates a safe workplace and reduces confusion as employees clear their doubts and work productively.

How does a Supervisor Manage Conflicts?

Conflict is an undesirable but mostly unavoidable event in an organization. Conflicts can result as employees work together frequently and disagree on certain things. Conflict can be personal or the result of a creative debate. Regardless of the nature of the conflict, employers should be able to manage conflicts professionally.

As part of employee supervision, supervisors can manage conflicts by encouraging a healthy and open dialogue between employees and addressing issues before they become serious. Approachable supervisors, both online and offline, can settle disputes quickly and have a good rapport with employees.

What are the Various Challenges that Supervisors Face in Employee Supervision?

Supervisors are not immune from making mistakes. Although efficient supervision is beneficial for an organization, misuse of power can be detrimental to the growth of an organization. The following problems may occur when employers decide to abuse their roles:

  1. Emotional exhaustion
  2. Employee burnout
  3. Poor performance and productivity
  4. Lack of motivation
  5. General blow to morale
  6. Lower employee turnover

Often, faulty supervision practices are the result of organizational cultures that practice such culture from the top-down. The trickle-down mechanism brings bad supervision practices down to the lower management level. 

By encouraging efficient communication and approachability with your employees, you can boost workplace morale and productivity.

How Can an Employee Stay Motivated While They Work Independently?

The online or remote mode of work has posed significant challenges to the role of supervisor. Employers can no longer meet their employees in person or schedule meetings as frequently as in an offline workplace. As individual employees deal with different circumstances and problems, supervisors have to expend more time for individual employees and solving their work-related problems.

As far as online workplaces are concerned, improving online communication and email discussions can increase accountability. Employees should feel that they are listened to and valued and that their online work conduct should be as ethical as their offline conduct.

Let's face the facts, the extent to which employers can supervise their employees reduces in a non-office workplace setting. It is, therefore, the role of employers to motivate their employees to meet their targets. Employers must also ensure that the workload does not take a toll on their employee's mental health. You can provide the following list to motivate them while they work independently:

  1. Get up early and take a stroll or walk around your block.
  2. Do not spend all your time working from home. You can spend some time with your family, work outdoors under a tree, in a park or a cafe, etc.
  3. Apart from your home environment and workplace, setting a 'third place' is essential to spend your time.
  4. It is ideal for you to set your tasks, prioritize them and take action.
  5. Doing some fieldwork, such as meeting clients in person, can give a change of air.
  6. You can talk to people over the phone.
  7. It is best to talk to a friend or your spouse about your achievements in work.
  8. Sign in for online and offline networking events.
  9. Reduce distractions around you. 
  10. Take frequent but not prolonged breaks between work.

How Can a Supervisor Stay Motivated in Isolation?

As a supervisor, working in isolation can be strenuous, and staying motivated becomes essential. The following checklist can help supervisors remain motivated and productive while supervising employees from home.  

  1. Stay Connected - both with your workplace and with your friends and family
  2. Keep track of your workload
  3. Take lunch breaks at your usual time
  4. Schedule some catching-up sessions with your friends and relatives
  5. Start your day by preparing a plan or an itinerary
  6. Focus on your self-care


Adequate employee supervision can result in several positive changes in a workplace. Supervision can facilitate effective communication, the delegation of tasks, and overcoming challenges. Just as good supervision leads to positive changes, faulty supervision practices can be detrimental.

A supervisor has the responsibility of overcoming challenges in the offline and online work environment. It is vital to motivate your employees and to remain motivated while dealing with isolated and remote work.

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