Supervision is vital as it entails human resource management to ensure productivity and profitability of an entity. Lack of supervision on the other hand has different and diverse effects on an organization as well as its employees. Most of the effects of lack of supervision are adverse to the productivity of employees and thus the profitability of an organization. Lack of supervision has been identified as a leading cause to injuries at workplaces, low productivity, absenteeism, employee conflicts, low job morale, crime and embezzlement of funds and goods in an organization and low job satisfaction (Wiles & Bondi, 1986).
One of the major effects of lack of supervision in an organization is that it leads to low productivity by employees. As mentioned earlier, a supervisor has a role of guiding and overseeing the work of an employee. Employees require guidance while performing their tasks especially newly recruited persons. Effective supervision also shows an organizations commitment to the welfare and tasks performance of the employees which improves the morale of employees’ thus increasing productivity.
When employees are faced with difficulties or problems while performing tasks, they need to be guided and helped out by supervisors to encourage them to do such tasks. Without supervision, employees usually leave out tasks they deem difficult and tedious thus reducing their productivity. Also, some people work well when they are guided and controlled than while left on their own. Such people require constant follow ups by the supervisor and lack of supervision would thus mean such people would have little being accomplished in terms of task performance and/ or completion.
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Task evasion and procrastination would in turn lead to poor performance by employees thus the total productivity of an organization would fall. Lack of supervision is a contributor to poor performance by an organization hence overall decrease in profitability and growth (Dennis & Onion, 1990). Injuries in organizations are also associated with lack of or poor supervision. Workers require guidance from experienced personnel especially while dealing with machines and equipment which are harmful to their bodies or even other employees.
Effective supervision in the workplace
As mentioned above, newly recruited people need to be guided while handling some machines and/ or chemicals which can cause harm to their bodies or their colleagues. Without effective supervision in the workplace, more incidences and accidents are bound to be reported in workplaces. Responsibility over accidents and injuries rests with a supervisor who ensures that employees work carefully and handle different machines and chemicals with care. Injuries and damages have negative impacts on both the organization and employees in that the organization suffers in terms of treatment of the employees and/ or subsequent legal suits by employees for negligence.
Negligence is a serious offense in the labor laws which may be very costly for a company if an employee is able to prove negligence on part of the company. Negligence usually occurs due to lack of effective supervision or poor supervision in an entity and in cases where an employee is completely disabled to continue working in the future; a company may be obliged to sustain such an individual for the rest of his life despite the fact that the employee is no longer productive to the organization. In part of the employee, injuries and accidents may lead to complete incapacitation or even loss of life (Ashworth & Saxton, 1992).
Lack of supervision has also been proved to be the root cause of unethical behavior in workplaces. Without supervision, workers feel at liberty to carry out tasks with little regard to the policies and regulations of an organization as well as their colleagues. Supervision improves employees’ loyalty and commitment to an organization as well as the goals and objectives which is vital for productivity, growth and survival. Supervision is also viewed by the employees as a commitment by the management to workers tasks and also meets the psychological association needs of the employees.
Employees translate an organization’s lack of supervision as devaluation of their roles or tasks which in turn creates resentment and disloyalty. This lowers the employees morale and hence productivity. Also, since employees are neither committed nor loyal to an organization, they are forced to engage in unethical behaviors such as theft, embezzlement of funds, misuse of resources or collusion with an organization’s competitors. This can be costly to an organization as it reduces the overall profitability. Lowered productivity also reduced the competitive advantage of an organization hence the long term survival of an entity.
Commitment and employees loyalty are vital aspects which an organization should cultivate if it has to be successful and profitable. This is because committed and loyal employees tend to dedicate much of their time ensuring that organizational goals are achieved and also improves creativity and job satisfaction which are vital tools of improving productivity and competitive advantage of an entity. Lack of supervision reduces the morale, job satisfaction, loyalty, commitment and productivity of the employees (Savedra & Hawthorn, 1990).
Misuse of organizational resources is also another outcome of lack of supervision in an entity. One of the major aims of an organization is to minimize costs and to maximize shareholders wealth or profitability. Supervisors have a role of ensuring that the resources within an organization are used for the right purposes and in the right manner. They also ensure that such resources are not wasted or misused. Supervisors are charged with the responsibility of ensuring workers do not use organizational resources for personal endeavors and any loss of resources is counted on the supervisor and not the worker.
Without supervision, there is no one who is charged with overseeing the distribution and use of organizational resources and chances of misuse by the employees are high. Where there is no supervision, employees tend to take organizational resources for personal use thus increasing the overhead costs of the organization. For example, an employee may take a company vehicle and use it for to meet his or her personal needs. Fuel cost is then counted as an organizational expense thus reducing the overall profitability of an organization.
With supervision, any cost incurred by an employee while using a company’s resources is charged on the employee rather than the company thus reducing misuse and misappropriation of resources (Plunkett, 1979). Labor turnover is also another effect of lack of supervision in an organization. As mentioned earlier, supervision offers an avenue where employees can refer, learn from and be trained to improve their skills and knowledge in any profession. Supervisors acts as role models, coachers, leaders and trainers to their subordinates.
One of the major employee retention tools or strategies which can be employed by an organization is to make sure that employees are provided with avenues of career development and enhancement. Employees are more likely to be encouraged to stay in a work place if they get training opportunities. Also, supervision helps a worker to develop his or her creativity capabilities thus increasing job satisfaction. As stated previously, there is a relationship which is formed between the employee and his or her supervisor which enables them to discuss freely issues relating to employee task performance.
Other issues which could be affecting performance are also discussed which may include personal needs. Meeting such needs is vital for increasing morale and ensuring employee retention. Labor turnover is associated with job dissatisfaction and low morale which makes employees to seek for better employment opportunities. lack of supervision have the effect of lowering the satisfaction a worker feels from his or her job especially because this is seen as a devaluation of the employees tasks which “pushes” employees out of an organization.
This can be costly to the organization especially in cases where such employees hold valuable experience and/ or skills and their replacement would be costly. High labor turnover is also seen by the public as a weakness in the management of an organization thus tampering with such an organization’s public image and hence its competitiveness (Sergiovanni & Starratt, 1988). Supervision creates an avenue where conflicts between employees can be effectively solved in an organization. It is the role of a supervisor to resolve any dispute or disagreement which may arise between employees while they are performing their tasks.
Supervisors are the ones who issue out tasks to be carried out by employees and at times such tasks may overlap causing conflicts. Also, while working as a group, some employees may feel segregated or overworked by other members leading to conflicts. Employees also usually argue concerning performance of tasks which can erupt and become a major conflict if not handled at the initial stage. It is the role of a supervisor to ensure that labor relations problems do not get out of hand. Where there is no supervision, such problem solving avenues are absent which may lead to major conflicts erupting in an organization.
Also, lack of supervision may lead to major division being created between departments or work groups in an organization. Supervision entails monitoring of the functions of the whole organization thus ensuring coordination and cohesion of an organization. Without supervision, workers are divided as well as departments thus making it hard to meet the organizational goals. Lack of supervision as such affects the overall workers relationship in workplaces as well as departmental relationships (Duncan, 2006). Evaluation is one aspect which highly improves the morale and creativity of employees.
Supervision creates a platform which enables the evaluation of a workers performance and without it, creativity and morale of an employee are reduced. Evaluation also enables a company to implement reward systems which can be used as motivating factors. Without supervision, a worker extra efforts towards the achievement of organizational goals are not recognized and this demoralizes such an employee (Wiles & Bondi, 1986). People are egocentric and left on their own; they would carry out tasks which are in line with their own goals and not the goals of the organization.
A supervisor’s role is to ensure that tasks which are performed by the employees are in line with the goals and objectives of an organization. Usually, individuals’ goals conflict with organizational goals and when left alone, a person’s goals would supersede the organizational goals. The goal of an individual is to improve his ego through carrying out the tasks which are in line with his or her self actualization needs. Lack of supervision would thus lead to a deviation from the organizational goals to individual’s goals thus reducing the overall performance of an organization (Ferraro & Spain, 2006).
Despite the above negative impact of lack of supervision, it can also have a positive impact especially on the self driven individuals and teams. Self-propelled and highly skilled individuals hate to be supervised and any efforts to oversee their activities are met by resentment and low productivity. For individuals who prefer to work without being supervised, lack of supervision would increase their productivity, morale and creativity. It is also argued that lack of supervision enables workers to become better managers and to better manage resources at their exposure.
While workers are left to carry out their tasks with minimal interference, they are able to organize their work well and work at their pace to meet deadlines. Also, creativity is also likely to be enhanced as workers try to improve their performance and skills. Lack of supervision can also be translated by workers to mean that an organization or the management believes in the capabilities of the workers thus improving their loyalty and commitment to the organizational objectives.
This would in turn improve the employees’ productivity, motivation and creativity thus enhancing the overall productivity of employees (Dennis & Onion, 1990). Conclusion Supervision is a fundamental human resource management tool necessary for ensuring success and long term survival of an organization. After training, it is important to constantly oversee the performance of the employee and to establish a rapport for such evaluation. Lack of supervision has different and devastating effects on the employees’ motivation, productivity, loyalty, commitment, job satisfaction and creativity.
All these are vital in enhancing the overall productivity and profitability of an organization and their lack may lead to low profitability of an entity. Despite the argument that lack of supervision may increase motivation, creativity and production especially for highly skilled and self driven individuals, the overall impact of lack of supervision on employees as well as an organization are more distressing than beneficial. Effective supervision should be incorporated in the functions of management for productivity and profitability to be attained.
- Ashworth, P. D. & Saxton, J.(1992): Managing Work Experience. ISBN 0415071267, Routledge Dennis, L. E. & Onion, M. L. (1990): Out in Front: Effective Supervision in the Workplace. ISBN 0879121440,
- National Safety Council Duncan, D. (2006): Effective Supervision Reduces Workplace Stress. Retrieved on 8th June 2009 from, http://www. safetyxchange. org/training-and-leadership/effective-supervision-reduces-workplace-stress.
- Ferraro, E. & Spain, N. M. (2006): Investigations in the Workplace. ISBN 0849316480, CRC Press Plunkett, W. R. (1979): Supervision: The Direction of People at Work. ISBN 0697080285, W. C. Brown Co.
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