Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Supervisor and Manager

How does a business organization become productive? It is because of the two important functions that help make the company goals succeed. They are the managers and supervisors who are asked to lead and guide a group of employees to pursue a common professional objective. This article will define and differentiate their significant roles to help attain the organization’s success.


Difference Between Supervisor and Manager

What is a Supervisor?

A supervisor heads the frontline management which includes monitoring the activities and performances of the employees placed under his or her supervision. He or she is authorized to designate work assignments to each employee, with the main duty of overseeing their tasks to reach the target at a certain timeline; and examining how they do it and if they have become productive in doing it. Take a look at the following for a more comprehensive list of supervisory task:

  • Implementing the plans of action produced by the higher management
  • Delegating work assignments to the employees
  • Honing the skills of the employees and motivating them to do better
  • Creating resolutions to the complaints of the employees regarding their jobs
  • Coordinating with different key departments to get the work done
  • Preparing metrics and reports for the performance of the employees
  • Settling the payroll issues of the employees

Most of the time, supervisors are the ones who started as rank-and-file employees and eventually got promoted to supervise the department where they came from. Prior to the promotion, they are the ones who have completely understood what they are tasked to do. They deliver well on their jobs at hand and have usually done things more than what is expected of them, thus making them deserve the advancement.

Difference Between Supervisor and Manager-1

What is a Manager? 

Managers are stakeholders higher than the supervisor and the regular employees who is in control and has the authority to administer the whole organization. He or she is the one deals with the majority of the company’s resources including the workers, finances, supplies and inventory, standard operating procedures and the system.

There are different managerial titles based on the departments they manage such as the Operations Manager, Human Resource Manager, Marketing Manager, Finance Manager, General Manager and so on and so forth. These managers do not necessarily do the work done, rather, they let their subordinates do the nitty gritty tasks while they plan, organize, lead, control and coordinate which are actually their main responsibilities towards the success of the organization.

Overall, a manager represents his or her entire division. He or she is in the power to make final decisions on the recruitment and termination of employees. A manager’s major role is to make sure that all the resources of the company are utilized efficiently and effectively in order to decrease production costs and general expenditures in contrast to the revenue. Just like the supervisor, a managerial position can also be through promotion but some companies also offer this to external parties.


What are the similarities of the Supervisor and Manager?

The functions of these two positions are entirely different but let us just explore some of their similarities in the organization. The following are the major details that somehow make them related to each other.

  1. Major stakeholders of an organization
  2. Tasked to lead and motivate a group of people for a common goal
  3. Delegate work assignments to subordinates
  4. Make action plans for the accomplishment of the team
  5. Higher salary compared to regular employees

Now that we’ve seen some of the similarities of supervisors and managers, let us take a look at the things that actually make them quite different from each other.


What are the differences between Supervisor and Manager?

  1. Major duties and responsibilities: A supervisor directly takes charge of the workers and their job assignments in a department; while a manager manages the company’s resources and coordinates with all the units or departments to make sure that everyone does their job efficiently to reach the goals of the
  2. Power to Recruit, Terminate and Promote: A supervisor is not authorized to hire, fire and promote because he or she can only delegate tasks, train and recommend an employee; while the final decision on these major actions is done by the manager.
  3. Management Level: The supervisor leads the regular employees in the lower management while the manager is part of the mid-level management.
  4. Who They Report To: The supervisor reports to the manager about the performance of the team, while the manager reports to the board of directors about his or her department’s performance.
  5. Approach: The supervisor has an internal approach because he or she only deals with the employees working directly under him or her, while the manager has an internal-external approach because he or she has to deal with the department and other key stakeholders as well.
  6. Operations: The supervisor looks after the daily operations of his or her subordinates while the manager plans about the higher level of success of the department for the benefit of the entire organization.
  7. Task Alignment: The supervisor assigns and realigns the tasks among each employees while directing their work and goals; whereas the manager adjusts and reorients the organizational structure and work descriptions while directing the work and goals in a department.
  8. Salary: Both the supervisor and the manager may earn higher than the regular employees but in the organizational structure, the manager still has higher pay than the supervisor in relation to their overall tasks.


In conclusion, the supervisor and manager are both part of the company or organizational success and even failures. They may be similar on certain cases, but they are quite different when it comes to their major duties, limitations of power, management level, who they report to, approach, operations, task alignment and their salary structures. The table below will summarize their major differences.


Differences Supervisor Manager
Major Duties and Responsibilities Takes charge of the workers and their job assignments Takes charge of the resources and coordinates with other departments
Limitations of Power (Human Resource) Does not have the power to recruit, terminate and promote Has the power to recruit, terminate and promote
Management Level Top of the lower management level Part of the middle management level
Who They Report To Reports to the manager for the team’s performance Reports to the Board of Directors for the department’s performance
Approach Internal: deals only with the workers and their tasks Internal-External: deals with the department and also with other key departments
Operations Looks after the daily operations of the subordinates Plans about the higher level success of the department for the benefit of the company
Task Alignment Assigns and realigns the tasks among each employees while directing their work and goals Adjusts and reorients the organizational structure and work descriptions while directing the work and goals in a department
Salary Higher than the regular employees; lower than the manager Higher than the supervisor and regular employees

Sharing is caring!

Search DifferenceBetween.net :

Email This Post Email This Post : If you like this article or our site. Please spread the word. Share it with your friends/family.

Leave a Response

Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

References :

[0]“Difference Between Supervisor and Manager” study.com. 2017. Web.

[1]Dr. Ali Algahtani. “Are Leadership and Management Different?” Journal of Management Policies and Practices. September 2014, Vol. 2, No. 3, pp. 71-82.

[2]"Image Credit: http://memberzone.capechamber.co.za/events/supervisory-skills-5/"

[3]"Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kikemb/5428414543/"

Articles on DifferenceBetween.net are general information, and are not intended to substitute for professional advice. The information is "AS IS", "WITH ALL FAULTS". User assumes all risk of use, damage, or injury. You agree that we have no liability for any damages.

See more about : ,
Protected by Copyscape Plagiarism Finder