Supervision is an important aspect of the directing function and it involves the managerial task of observing the subordinates at work to ensure that they are working according to plans and policies of the organization, keeping the time schedule and supervision also includes helping subordinates to resolve their work problems. Managers at all level are in direct contact with subordinates and oversee their work performance and the top management supervises the work of middle-level managers, who in turn supervise the first-line managers or supervisors and the first-line managers are in direct contact with the operatives and thus, all levels of management are generally engaged in supervising the work of their immediate subordinates. According to R.C. Davis “Supervision is the function of assuring that the work is being done in accordance with the plan and instructions”. Supervision includes the following three elements:

  1. Commanding
  2. Guiding
  3. Controlling

This is the reason why, “Supervisors are known as a friend, philosopher, and Guide of workers”.


Supervision has special importance only at the lower management level and the question which is now required to be discussed is to what role does a person working at the managerial level, the supervisor play in the organization.

1. Supervisor as a key man

 In every organization, the work of putting the plans into action is done by non-managerial staff who works under the guidance of a supervisor but however, at this level, even a little carelessness may cause the closure of the organization and that is why the supervision is referred to as the key man in the organization.

2. Supervision as a middle man

   In the organization, the supervisor plays the role of a middle man and he acts as a link between the higher-level managers and him workers, and his main job is to prepare a co-operative atmosphere among the two parties in order to facilitate the achievement of the goal of the organization.

3. Supervisor as a human relation specialist

A supervisor is likely to face a number of problems related to human behavior, for which one has to try and find out solutions and he can do so only if he is a human relation specialist.


1. Planning the work or schedule activity

The supervisor is a low-level manager and he is required to study and analyze the work of his department and decide what, where, which, why, and by whom the work is to be performed. He has to chalk out daily and weekly program and he has also to arrange the raw materials, machines, tools, and equipment and the successful supervisor is an efficient planner.

2. Achieving the target

It is the most important duty of the supervisor to achieve the target prescribed for his department by the management and this can be achieved if the supervisor enables the best possible use of the available resources of the department towards the desired goal.

3. Enbaling standardized output through instruction and guidance

It is the supervisor, who ensures that the actual performance corresponds to the norms and standards laid by the management and the supervisor must satisfy himself as to the quality of the output and he should concentrate on both quality and quantity of goods.