Concept, Role & Factors affecting Supervision

Concept of Supervision

Supervision means establishing one’s wider vision, above vision, supreme vision and seeing other’s work carefully. From a management point of view, supervision means overseeing the subordinates or workers or members at work to ensure that work is being performed as required, directed and assigned based upon work plan. Virtually, it refers to the guidance and control of subordinates. The subordinates are supervised by the manager just to know whether they have performed the job according to plan, policy, program, instruction and scheduled time or not. This supervision is a continuing activity and it is performed at every level of management.

The task of supervision is taken by the respective manager the manager while performing this task is known as a supervisor. Thus, a supervisor is one who is in charge of a group of workers. He plans, organizes, directs and regulates the activities of his group members. He allocates tasks among the subordinates, provides necessary material and inputs, guides, trains and then gets performance from them. The utilization of human resources can be done through the process of supervision. Thus, supervision is considered as an important function of the management process.

According to George R. Terry, “Supervision is the achieving of desired results by means of intelligent utilization of human talents and facilitating resources in a manner that provides the greatest challenge and interest to the human talent.”.

concept of supervision


Role of a Supervisor

Supervision also provides help to the organization by putting the plans into action towards the accomplishment of organizational goals. In the absence of supervision, the subordinates, and the workers cannot perform the job well. Supervision relates with the authority and responsibility of a supervisor, who guides and controls the employees in the performance of their works. A supervisor is supposed to lead the group of employees and motivate them positively.

Hence, some of the roles of supervisor can be briefly shown below:

  • Guidelines:

The workers and subordinates perform the work under the supervision of a supervisor. A supervisor guides the workers and provides instruction to the workers. Without proper guidelines, the workers may not perform the job well.

  • Regular Monitoring:

Under supervision, a supervisor regularly evaluates the performance of the subordinates. Thus, supervision has become important because through this the performance of the employees are evaluated and a definite motivating method can be applied. Reward to a good performer and punishment to bad performer can be done through the regular monitoring and supervision.

  • Continuous Feedback:

Supervision is important in the sense that through this, supervisor provides feedback to the workers needed for their better performance. It is very necessary to provide feedback to the workers so that they will get motivated towards their working performance and can learn many lessons from it.

  • Suitable incentives and environment:

The work efficiency and capability of a worker may decrease if he is not properly inspired and encouraged. In this regard, only through effective supervision, a supervisor can give incentives and create work environment. It is very important to provide necessary incentives and working environment to the workers.

  • Sense of goal and direction:

Generally, the employees do not know the corporate goals and they also do not know about the directions relating to the organization. Supervisor provides the knowledge about corporate goals and directions suited for the organizational success. It is necessary to have a sense of goal and direction for achieving the objectives of the organization.

  • Quality product and services:

As the supervisor supervises the performance of the employees regularly, due to which, he can maintain the standard and thus he can help the organization to process and establish product / service quality.

  • Link between management and employees:

Supervision is considered as an adjoining element between management and employees. No doubt, supervisor commands the capacity and power to solve the problems relating to the works and workers. However, he establishes a harmonious relationship between management and employees.

Factors affecting Supervision

Factors affecting supervision
Factors affecting supervision

A mere supervision is not sufficient for successful operation of an organization but the supervision should be effective. Successful supervision, of course, changes the behavior of the employees, because the supervisor uses his positional power. Further, effective supervision, not only changes the behavior, it also changes the attitude of the employees, because the supervisor uses his personal power and qualities. Thus, effective supervision is an important tool for getting the job performed well from employees.

There are certain factors which govern effective supervision and they are:

  • Knowledge of inputs:

For effective supervision, a supervisor must have the knowledge of rules and regulations, installations, equipment, minor machines, production process, and procedures. Besides, he must be familiar with the plans, policies and programs of the organization and he also should have the knowledge of state laws. He must be well known to his authorities and responsibilities.

  • Leadership skill:

Effective supervision requires effective leadership. A supervisor should be a leader in the true sense. A supervisor should possess all leadership qualities otherwise, he may not be in a position to inspire the subordinates and establish a harmonious relationship among them.

  • Communication skill:

Another factor for effective supervision is effective communication. One of the important function of a supervisor is to issue an order with sufficient instructions to the subordinates and employees. To perform this function, a supervisor requires communication skills. Without communication skill, a supervisor cannot perform well.

  • Skill in human relations:

Supervisor gets the things done by others, for which he must establish and command effective human relations. To make supervision effective, a supervisor should adopt employee-centered approach but not work-centered approach. He should treat the subordinates and employees as human beings and encourage them positively.

  • Impartiality:

A supervisor should be impartial, open minded and fair in dealing with the day to day problems of his work group. With this impartial attitude in his style of work, his decisions will be obeyed by all and the employees will not raise any kind of resentment. A successful and effective supervisor should not have any kind of prejudices.

  • Clear Instructions:

Work instructions are very useful to the workers. A supervisor is required to provide clear, precise, and complete instructions so that the subordinates and workers could understand the instructions clearly and perform well. He should leave nothing to chance and communicate instructions effectively.

  • Proper working conditions:

The workers may be positively encouraged and inspired to perform the assigned job if work condition is proper and favorable. So, a supervisor should take an initiative to provide good working conditions to the workers, otherwise not only work, even supervision cannot be carried effectively and efficiently.


Sharma, P., Shrestha, A., Pant, H., Gautam, I., Thapa, R. B., & Upadhyay, P. (2011). Buddha Publication.

Poudyal, Santosh Raj, Business Studies-XII, Asmita Book Publication, Kathmandu

Bhandari, Kedar Prasad, Business Studies-XII, Bundipuran Prakashan, Kathmandu

- Supervision is the important function of management.

- It is the process of overseeing the working performance of workers.

- Effective supervision is an important tool for getting the job performed.

- It helps the organization by putting the plans on it.


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