What does a Floor Supervisor do?

In a retail establishment, factory, or other business, a floor supervisor supervises employees and assists customers as needed. He or she may be responsible for organizing and maintaining the department’s inventory, ensuring that all equipment is in working order, and responding to any questions that employees or customers may have. Most supervisors start their careers as salespeople, machine operators, or in other positions that have prepared them for the responsibilities of managing others.

Description of the Position

Floor supervisor jobs can be found in a variety of industries, including retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. The term “floor” can refer to a building’s floor, as in the case of a hotel housekeeping floor supervisor, or a work area, such as a factory floor or a sales floor. In general, the supervisor oversees the work of lower-level employees in a specific department or area. He or she may be in charge of answering questions, solving problems, and ensuring that everything is completed correctly.

For example, grocery and retail stores rely on knowledgeable floor supervisors to ensure that they run smoothly. This person is usually in charge of keeping the store clean and making sure the price tags are correct. When necessary, he or she may direct employees to restock items and prepare store displays. Before or after a shift, a supervisor may count cash drawers with cashiers to ensure that they are consistent with records.

The supervisor assists in ensuring that safety regulations are followed in factories and production facilities. He or she may be required to turn on or set up any machinery and check that it is operating properly at the start of a shift, and it may be this person’s responsibility to ensure that all equipment is shut down at the end of the day. When necessary, the floor supervisor may make minor machine repairs or arrange for larger repairs to be made. He or she may be in charge of training new employees. Additionally, floor supervisors ensure that production schedules are adhered to and that only high-quality work is completed.

Additional Responsibilities

Many supervisors are in charge of creating employee schedules and evaluating their performance. If an employee fails to meet the company’s standards, the supervisor may suggest additional training or notify store executives of the problem; exceptional employees, on the other hand, may be given pay raises or promotions. A floor supervisor may also administer written tests for promotion and transfer purposes. Employees who have concerns about other employees or company policies that require immediate attention usually contact this person first.

Although this may be handled human resources or a department manager, a floor supervisor may be responsible for hiring employees to work within the same department. He or she may conduct interviews with competitive applicants after reviewing resumes. Other responsibilities may include ordering background checks and calling references prior to extending a job offer.

Supervisors frequently train new hires and teach existing employees classes on updated policies. They may be required to create their own instruction curriculum and assess compliance with new requirements.

A supervisor usually steps in to resolve issues when employees in a retail establishment are unable to provide customers with the assistance or answers they require. He or she might help a cashier with a return, direct a customer to a specific product, or take a special order for an out-of-stock item. Customer service and communication skills are frequently required in this position.

Employment and Promotion

Supervisors are frequently promoted from within the company because they must be very familiar with how a department operates and the people who work within it. Experienced cashiers, salespeople, and other employees with a strong work ethic and a desire to learn may be promoted to supervisory positions. A positive attitude and a demonstrated ability to get along with coworkers can also help a person advance in this position.

On their resumes, outside supervisor candidates should highlight any leadership positions and completed projects. Past management experience is often very valuable, so emphasizing any tasks that required the applicant to lead others — even if not in a management role — could be beneficial. References who have personally witnessed management-level performance may also be included.

Supervisors are frequently in a good position to advance to higher management positions with time and proven success. Look for special projects and extra work opportunities that demonstrate leadership abilities as one way to highlight a person’s potential. Establishing a mentor relationship with a higher-ranking manager can also demonstrate a supervisor’s desire to learn and improve.

Education is very important.

In most cases, there are no set educational requirements for becoming a supervisor, and many people can advance to the position demonstrating their ability in other jobs. However, some employers prefer to hire business professionals with an associate’s degree or higher. People who have a natural talent for the job, especially those within the company who demonstrate their knowledge of the position and a desire to improve their skills, are frequently given special consideration.