Roles and Responsibilities of an On-Site Supervisor

December 10, 2020

The role of on-site supervision in the success of a construction work cannot be overemphasized. This is because everyone on-site needs to step up to their responsibilities and one of the ways to ensure this is by assigning a supervisor to oversee the activities going on there.

While it is recommended that you contract the services of a supervisor, it is important that you go for one with requisite training and certifications. However, you may find it a bit difficult to find one especially if you need them urgently. This is because most people overlook the role of training in the success of a supervisor so they miss the basics, which is mostly pivotal to the success of any project.

While most construction workers and their supervisors barely have time for classroom education, the training system has now been simplified to accommodate their schedule. So if you want to position yourself to fill in this very important role, you need to take advantage of this simplified training system.

Presently, there are recommended institutions that offer training to on-site supervisors online. These institutions are flexible enough to accommodate all kinds of prospective trainees regardless of their schedule. You can visit sites like to get more information about them.

In this article, we have taken time to enumerate the role and responsibilities of an on-site supervisor and/or a team leader; check them out below:

How to Be an Effective On-Site Supervisor

The following are some roles expected of a team leader:

Personnel Management

It is vital that every worker understands how to be effective with their job without incurring health risks. They need to also adhere to the rules guiding the organization or team as applicable. If you find any defaulting member, you can politely guide them towards becoming better and competent at what they do.

Also, you need to know all the site workers to make sure that no one is an intruder. Intruders pose safety hazards and when they are not taken care of in time, they can cost you more than it would have taken you to identify them and ask them to leave.

Another important aspect of managing your team is your contact details. Make sure you are easily accessible especially by senior members of the team. This is because situations that need your attention may arise in your absence and if you are not reachable, it may degenerate to something that may be more difficult to handle.

Effective Monitoring

The responsibility of a good supervisor includes the assessment of different safety hazards and weighing the chances of an accident happening on the site. This involves a careful monitoring and inspection of facilities to make sure everything is in order as well as knowing the ones that require fixing.

If there is something you can’t fix, it is your responsibility to inform the appropriate authority. Also, you need to understand that any accident that occurs on site can disrupt activities for days or even weeks and could cost a fortune to fix.

The knowledge of this should make you step up to your responsibility and these are some of the constant reminders you get during training. This article will help you if you need tips on how to make your project site safe.

Training of Team Members

Occasionally, you should organize training programs for your workers. Doing this will expose them to the actions and precautions they can take in the event of an accident. When you organize any meeting, make sure everyone is present so the message can be effectively passed.

Also ensure that those who are not present during the meeting due to unavoidable circumstances are briefed on the proceedings while you make sure they are brought up to speed immediately they resume.

During supervisory training, you are also taught how to administer first aid treatment to workers and this may come in handy during your personal training for the team.


It is imperative that your team members know what you require from them on a daily basis. This is because consistency makes everyone know and understand their job description. Always make the rules clear to new team members and make sure they are enforced consistently. If some changes are effected, ensure that you inform them in a way they will comprehend.

While enforcing the rules, try to keep your emotions in check to avoid overreacting when there’s an issue. Also try to treat everyone fairly in a way that no one is favored more than others. Doing this will prevent any form of jealousy that may arise from other team members if they feel they are not good enough to attract your favor.

Motivation of Team Members

As a team leader, it is your responsibility to understand how to motivate your team members and also discipline them when necessary. At some point, you may consider mentoring some members of the team whom you feel are getting experienced and have grown enough to lead. Most companies do not consider supervisory roles as an entry level position because it demands training and experience. The training may stem from technical skills to a more general field like business administration.


A good supervisor is not completely immersed in their own ways alone. They need to understand when an approach is not working and adjust accordingly. A team leader that doesn’t listen to other team members will end up making rules that cannot be followed.

Flexibility is key to the success of any leader as you have to put in place a system that accommodates the needs of different team members. Some members may do well under strict management while others may find it difficult to flourish because of the limited freedom. As a leader, find out the needs of everyone on your team and apply wisdom in managing them.

Being flexible does not mean that you have different standards for everyone in a particular role. It is just a tactical and logical approach towards managing everyone to ensure that everyone functions at their best. While you may wish to customize the approach you use to resolve issues individually, always keep in mind that you have to be consistent with disciplinary measure so they do not take you for granted.


One of the responsibilities of a supervisor is being accountable for the whole team. If a deadline is missed or a client is dissatisfied, do not blame others or point fingers for the mistake. The appropriate thing to do is to admit the mistake was from the entire team and come up with an idea that will prevent the repetition of the same mistake in the future.

The fact that you are accountable for the performance of the entire team should make you step up to your responsibility and make sure everyone is making adequate efforts towards the success of the team.

How to Get the Best Out of Your Team

The following are some recommendations on how to get the best out of your team members:

Communicate Effectively

One of the vital aspects of leadership is communication. It is important that you clearly communicate the expectations at the initial stage so they keep it in mind when working. Also try not to be a ghost leader that shows up only when it’s time to give instructions. Your presence gives the workers a level of assurance and a sense of responsibility so try to be there to give instructions and not through wordy emails.

Giving instructions yourself allows people who have questions to ask freely knowing that the response they get is coming from a dependable source unlike when it’s through a proxy. If you need more tips on how to communicate with your team, you can check here:

Outline Reasonable Expectations

One thing you shouldn’t expect from your team is perfection so try not to criticize beyond what is rational or set expectations that are way beyond reach. When the expectations are beyond the reach of the team, the members will get discouraged and this will definitely affect their performance and output.

A good way to set reasonable expectations is through running background checks. You can do this by asking them questions about what they feel is affecting their performance and how it can be addressed. You can also ask questions about the volume of work assigned to each individual to know if it is more than they can handle. When you have all the answers you need, you can evaluate them and know the ideal step to take.

Reward Accomplishments

When there is an outstanding performance from a member of your team, make efforts to reward them. This action serves as motivation to others who will also wish to achieve the same to get rewarded. However, while acknowledging outstanding performances, try to give everyone credit for their contribution to the success of the team to prevent any form of jealousy or bitterness. If you need tips on how to reward your team members for a job well done, you can check here.


The responsibility of a site supervisor involves the supervision and management of a project in accordance with safety and health guidelines. It is the duty of the supervisor to determine risks, assess hazards, conduct inspections and training regularly.

Achieving all these can sometimes be tasking especially if the supervisor lacks training. It is recommended that team leaders get trained on what is obtainable with their job in order to become more efficient.


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Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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