- Supervisors in the Furniture and Fixtures group supervise and coordinate the activities of workers who manufacture furniture and fixtures made of wood or other materials.
- Supervisors in the Other Products Manufacturing and Assembly group supervise and co-ordinate the activities of workers who assemble, fabricate and inspect a variety of products, such as jewellery, clocks and watches, millwork, sporting goods, toys and other miscellaneous products.
- Supervisors from both groups perform some or all of the following duties:
- Supervise, co-ordinate and schedule the activities of workers who assemble furniture and fixtures of any materials, operate woodworking machines and finish furniture to specified colour or finish
- Supervise, co-ordinate and schedule activities of workers who assemble, fabricate and inspect products, such as jewellery, clocks, watches, bicycles, millwork, sporting goods and toys
- Establish methods to meet work schedules and co-ordinate work activities with other departments
- Resolve work problems and recommend work measures to improve productivity and product quality
- Requisition of materials and supplies
- Train staff in job duties, safety procedures and company policy
- Recommend personnel actions such as hiring and promotions
- Prepare production and other reports
- May set up machinery and equipment
Supervisors work in a wide variety of departments and company sizes and most work on a shift schedule. Although the types of products vary greatly, the working environments are similar in terms of the type of machinery and tooling used. The working environment can be dusty, have toxic fumes (in finishing departments for instance), or have health and safety risks due to the nature of the tools and machinery used in production. The supervisor is required to stand/walk throughout the day.
Personal characteristics suitable for the Supervisor include:
- Communication skills
- Strong work ethic
- People skills
- Alert and safety conscious
- Takes initiative
- Decision-making skills
- Stress management
Some supervisors have a high school degree, and some have professional trade degrees in woodworking. However, many have no formal education degrees but several years of experience in the industry. Companies will often offer supervisor candidates opportunities to increase their knowledge of soft skills by offering courses such as sensitivity/diversity training, coaching/mentoring skills, conducting performance evaluations, and other topics related to people or plant management. Supervisors must also take health and safety training or refresher courses and are often responsible for passing on this information to the rest of their team.
A high school diploma may be required for external candidates. Supervisors must have basic to advanced technical skills depending on the type of the organization they work for and also on the type of support they must provide to their team. Supervisors are required to have worked in non-supervisory positions in their current organization or with past employers. They must be able to assess problems or challenges and discuss the technical requirements of solutions with their staff or other departments. Numerical skills are needed to work with technical drawings and specifications. Supervisors must be knowledgeable of the standards of quality, able to communicate and enforce those standards as well as perform inspections of products.