Difference Between Supervisor and Manager

Supervisor vs Manager

If you find a person being held responsible for the performance of others in an organization, what is the impression in your mind about the role of that person in the organization? Is he a manager or a supervisor? There are many similarities in the roles and responsibilities of managers and supervisors making many people feel s if these titles are interchangeable. However, the two designations are completely different as will be clear after reading this article.


If an employee has the power to give instructions to a set of other employees regarding work and performance, he is considered to be a supervisor. Also, when an employee is held responsible for the work of those working as subordinates, he is believed to be a supervisor. People performing the role of a supervisor are known by many other names such as coordinator, facilitator, team leader, overseer etc. The word supervisor comes from English word supervise which mans to watch a person or an activity to ensure safety and correctness of the procedure. Thus, a supervisor is a person who supervises other persons or their activities. It becomes clear that the core of the role and responsibility of a supervisor lies in overlooking the activities of others to the satisfaction of laid standards in an organization.

The position of a supervisor in a company is considered to be at the lowest rung of management. A supervisor in any department has more or less the same work experience as the other members in his team, but he is considered to be the leader of the group.


The word manager comes from the word management, and a manager is a person who manages men. To manage is to control and to organize things, men, and events. Managers do just that. They ensure smooth running of the day to day functioning of a workplace, whether it is business, hospital, or a factory. Thus, controlling and organizing men and activities is at the core of a manager’s job. A manager has the good of the organization at the back of his mind all the time and has to manage men and their activities in such a manner so as to achieve the best possible results for the organization.

In the world of sport, the importance of a manager in a team sport has to be seen to be believed. Managers in football clubs are drawing huge salaries that are at times higher than even their star players. This gives an indication of the important role these managers play in the performance of the players and the players as a team.

Manager is a title that has become very common, and there are floor managers in big boutiques, retail managers, hotel managers and so on. A manager is a versatile title given to people managing smooth functioning of the day to day operations in organizations of all hues.

What is the difference between Supervisor and Manager?

• Manager manages while supervisor supervises.

• There are different levels of managers at all levels of management with junior level, middle level, and later senior level.

• Supervisors are at the lowest rung of management.

• Supervisors are employees who are required to look after the activities and performance of other subordinate employees ensuring a level of standard.

• Managers ensure smooth functioning of the day to day operations managing men and machinery.