The role of Supervisors needs a rejig to drive efficiencies and quality in the Services Industry
October 1, 2020

COVID economics is putting unprecedented emphasis on businesses to cut costs, resulting in pressure on deployed resources for higher productivity and efficiencies. The Services & Facilities Management Industry in particular impacted by this is therefore desperately seeking for ways and means to innovate their service delivery models.

In the list of to-do things to mitigate cost challenges, the priority lies first with the efficiency of the service delivery, that being the USP of any services enterprise. However, to accomplish this, businesses have to address their workforce management. From their productivity purge, resources planning, training to staff engagement issues, definitive measures would be required. Especially wherein its field workforce represents two-third of its overall headcount; the strategy has to be robust. These need to execute the plan for resource optimization and sustained performance levels with primarily focus on their Supervision.

In most service organizations, the focal point to its service delivery is its Supervision. Businesses that employ a large number of blue-collar workforce, such as Facilities Management, Hospitality, Logistics, Construction has to recognize the paramount importance of Supervision. It serves as the backbone of any service delivery organization and must receive its due attention. In fact, between the different roles in the service-oriented organization’s and its leadership quadrant, supervisors’ control two-thirds of the labour workforce. This role occupies the centre stage, with different dimensions from drivers to influencers to enablers. These are drivers for ensuring timely and qualitative aspect, influencers in boosting its workforce morale and enablers for ineffective contract delivery and bonding with the company and its management. To address routine workforce woes from skill gaps, low productivity, and motivational levels, the supervisors are indeed the key players to manage this. Indeed, they cannot address this on their own. Surely, they can be a stakeholder to effectively manage their workforce and address workplace productivity and routine site grievances. They can also help to engage management through the escalation process to active engagement on other aspects of worker wellbeing and development.

Unfortunately, due to the fast industry growth, the Supervision role in the service industry has been eclipsed with little consideration to its core requirements. The function requires critical personal and professional attributes as essential prerequisites to the hiring level. Besides, the incumbents must have qualified credentials with relevant experience during the selection processes. Both of these requirements are important, along with the appropriate compensation. To build an effective service delivery with stability and quality, the role of the supervisor is a dominant factor in overall project management and organizational sustainability.

In the current dynamics of service delivery, industry productivity is a dominant factor with skills gaps, and workforce development emerging as some of the critical areas of focus. The role of Supervision will, therefore, be the great enabler in this pursuit as it can significantly help in all aspects of service quality productivity, employee progression, and development. With the transformation happening in training, a large portion of learning and development is moving to on the job training. This paradigm shift highlights the role of the supervisor and its evolving responsibilities.

It’s time for the management to strengthen their leadership quadrant at the supervision level and ensure that these are supported and given an essential role in the mainstream organization. It is not just their hiring processes, but their overall progression that paves the way to the corporate ladder. For any organization that has a progression from down to top fuelling its executive growth, these supervisors are the real stars. This focus and approach on Supervision led operations will be the ultimate game-changer. More so ever to ride this current tsunami wave of COVID 19, this approach is indeed the need of the hour.

The managements thus have to ensure that these supervisors are engaging their workforce to boost trust. They are also enlisting their workforce participation in the mainstream organization, as well as offering a helping hand in their professional and personal development. These supervisors also should rise to assist their managers not only in contract management deliverables but by bridging all gaps between the workforce and management. It is a fact that many companies have long ignored that. These supervisors are the key to sustainable service delivery; they help to maintain the balancing act between the worker’s performance on the ground and management enablement to optimize its resources.

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