Role of Production Supervisor in Garment Industry

Last Updated on 11/01/2021

Role of Production Supervisor in Garment Industry

R.S. Balakumar
Associate Professor
Dept of Fashion Design & Arts
Hindustan University, Chennai, India


Qualities of Garment Production Supervisor
Garment production floor supervisor is the key person in garment factory. A supervisor has great role in garment industry to maintain quality and productivity. A garment production supervisor has to manage and motivate workers. Besides, garment production supervisor manages apparel production teams by making sure team members meet quotas, use equipment correctly and adhere to company policies. There are a lot of qualities that a garment production supervisor needs on order to supervise effectively. What follows is a list of some of those qualities along with descriptive comments where appropriate.

Supervisor in Garment Production Floor
Fig: Supervisor in Garment Production Floor

Qualities and Responsibilities of Production Supervisor in Garment Industry

1. A garment production supervisor should realize and show that many of the ideas he or she uses come from the people in his or her group. Actually, many studies indicate that supervisors do not originate all of the plans. In fact, with many good supervisors, the majority of ideas do originate in the group. It is common failure of some new supervisors to feel that they lose face if they accept suggestions from subordinates. On the order hand, experienced leaders know the value of having the group feels that they are participating and that goals set up reflect their own ideas and contributions.

2. A garment supervisor should show respect for employees as individuals and as groups. The supervisor should be sensitive to and withstand their needs.

3. Most employees want their supervisors to be the kind of supervisors they would have selected themselves even though the supervisors are appointed by their employers.

4. Wise supervisors should be satisfied to know they are right. They never feel they have to prove that others are wrong.

5. Supervisors should act as buffers between employees and top management. They can do this by not passing on the pressures put on them to those who work for them. This includes taking personal responsibility for the directions and others they are required to give even when they are not what the supervisors would like to do or would have chosen.

6. A Supervisors should leave his or her or her personal problems and feelings out of his or her relationship with the group and its members by showing a clam, understanding approach at all times. A lack of emotional balance stirs up tension and steers in a group of employees, particularly if a supervisor is grumbly, irritable and difficult on one day and happy, pleasant and agreeable the next.

7. A supervisor should be fair and square at all times. A supervisor should not play favorite. This is in keeping eight leadership and good discipline.

8. Supervisors should live up to what they say by setting the right examples.

9. A Supervisor should be available and understanding when employees come in for help. A supervisor should avoid giving the impression that he or she never has time to help or to listen to problems. If a supervisor really is under pressure and just cannot take tome to see someone at the moment, there is nothing wrong in saying so and telling the person that he or she will talk with the person just as soon as possible. But it is vital that the supervisor live up to that promise.

10. It is important for a supervisor to be accepted as a member of the work group. It is just as important for the supervisor not to go so far in gaining acceptance that his or her position as a leader is undermined.

11. A Supervisor must try to establish a work environment that will not generate fear or anxiety in the employees under his or her supervision. This will help to boost productivity and make the supervisor’s job easier.

12. People want to feel secure. To achieve that, the supervisor should not only inspire confidence but should be quietly confident of his or her ability. This gives the supervisor the quality of presence that is associated with competence. A skillful supervisor will not exercise his or her leadership to the point where employees rely on the supervisor so much that they do not make enough of an effort to solve their own work problems. Effective supervisors must be aware of this possibility and go out of their way to avoid it. It is necessary for every employee to retain and maintain his or her individual initiative.

Many qualities have been studied over the year to see which are common to the greatest number of successful supervisors. Two things are clear: First, there is on one quality of personality which could be described as leadership. Second, Leadership is based on a number of traits.

These traits are the ones that tend to convince a group of employees that this supervisor really is one. The traits themselves are no different from the traits that the employees have. However, supervisors usually have these traits to a greater degree than other employees. This is significant, because it is important for a supervisor to be seen as essentially one of the group.

In fact, all the indications are that an effective garment production floor supervisor embodies of the qualities of those under his or her supervision. Otherwise, the supervisor would not be able to understand his or her people’s needs, inspire confidence, gain their respect, and get willing cooperation on achieving work goals. There is no question but that leadership is a mutual endeavor. It cannot exist without willing cooperation instead of mere yielding to authority though fear.

What are the traits that supervisors have to a greater degree than those whom they supervise? Here they are, listed alphabetically because it is difficult to say for sure what order of important is: ADJUSTABILITY, EDUCATION, EMOTIONAL MATURITY, ENTHUSIASM, INTELLIGENCE, PRESENCE SELF-CONFIDENCE, and SOCIABILITY.

Possession of such traits is important. Since these traits are common to those to who are supervised as well as supervisors, it is obvious that people are not born to leadership but that leadership is and can be learned for day use in supervision.

What is Team Work?
Organizations are essentially about people working together and yet so often they fail to capitalize upon the full potential of this. A team can accomplish much more than the sum of its individual members and yet frequently group of people are seen to achieve less than what could have been accomplished by the individual members working alone. Most organizations have meetings which dampen inspiration and departments which seem to devote more energy to maintaining their own organizational position than to the common good of the organization as a whole. Team work is individuals working together to accomplish more than they could do alone, but, more than that, it can be exciting , satisfying and enjoyable. Perhaps the simplest analogy is with that of the football team. Were any of us to be given the task of building up a new a national team we know that the task would involve much more than just obtaining the eleven best players in the nation. The success of the team would depend not only upon individual skills but on the way those individuals supported and worked with each other. The good football team is much more that a collection of individual skills; it is these skills used in a way which produces a united effort. Similarly, with almost any kind of team, its success, its very existence, depends upon the way in which all play together.

Over the past few years we have many approaches aimed at increasing organizational effectiveness and organizations today pay more and more attention to the training and development of their people, particularly those who hold managerial positions. Most of that development activity is centered upon the improvement of individual skills, knowledge and experience, but organizations are increasingly finding that this is not enough, that a real key to success is the way in which individuals behave towards each other and the way in which group of people relate to and work with each other Team work improves these things.

How then do we recognize where good team work and bad team work flourish? Perhaps, as with most things, it is easier to start with bad than the good, so let us look at some of the symptoms of bad team work.

First there is the symptom of frustration. As organizations get larger the opportunities for personal expression and satisfaction often become less. Too frequently people who work in organizations become frustrated because they can no longer see a clear way of meeting their own needs and inspirations. People just lose inspiration and lack the commitment and motivation which are essential ingredients of effective team work.

In many organizations, the symptoms of grumbling and retaliation are easily seen. Because people cannot express themselves through the system they do it privately in discussions in the corridors, lavatories and car parks. Often bar room chat is a better indicator of organizational health than the most elaborate attitude surveys. The organizations that experience poor team work also seem to spend a lot of time on retaliations.

It is clear from motivational theories promoted by various proponents that there is common strand in all of them people are conditioned better and care for positive attention. Confidence building words and actions of supervisors and seniors go a long way to motivate the employees to contribute their best because the inherently desired to be successful in their profession and life.

Supervision is no more a matter of managing people move things rightly or wrongly. For the organization, supervisor’s role is that of Team Leader and he leads his man by creating intrinsic motivation which can lead to better success.

They do not use mistake as opportunities for increased learning and improvement but as excuses for punishing those who made the mistakes, and they do this in the many and varied ways in which organizations are able to hand out punishments.

Unhealthy competition is another indicator of poor team work. Competition is the life-blood of many organizations but there is a great difference between the kind of healthy competition where people can enjoy the just rewards of their deserved success and others can accept that the best man system or policy succeeded, and the kind of organization where backbiting ,’dirty tricks’ and politics are the everyday pastimes of managers. Similarly great differences in rivalry between departments may be found. Many organizations owe much of their success to the nature competitive spirit which exists between departments and to the pride of team membership which departmentalization often brings, but many others have departments which are at constant war with each other, each jockeying for superior organizational position, influence or perks. One particular organization was characterized many years by the constant bickering and ‘dirty ticks’ of its heads of departments, each departmental head taking advantage over the others whenever possible. Not only did that lead to the organization a whole missing opportunities, but many more junior employees found that although they wanted to work with others, organizational barriers been erected between them and their counterparts in other departments.

Another sound indicator of poor team work is simply the expression which employees wear on their faces. Effective team work breeds happiness and the uninformed visitor can often get an immediate impression of whether work is a happy place to be or whether he is likely to be ‘killed the rush’ if he is around at ‘clocking off’ time. Work does not have to be a dull and unenjoyably place; it can so easily be really rewarding place where people love to be.

To many who have studied organizations, openness and honesty are the key indicators of organizational health. Unfortunately, some people seem to try honestly only when everything else has failed. Many managers particularly seem to go to enormous lengths to avoid telling the truth. There are, of course, occasions in every or organization where something other than total openness is necessary but where good team work exists there is generally no need for locks on drawers, dishonest statements to employees and the taking of false bargaining stances.

Meetings are another key indicator of team work. The main reason for having meetings is to utilize the collective skills of a group of people whilst working on common problems or opportunities. Too often, however, we experience meetings which in no way use these skills, meetings where only one or a few people contribute, and meetings where many managers seem to use the occasion as an opportunity to lay down the rules rather than utilize the resources of the team. The quality of meetings can usually be determined by the way in which individuals either look forward to or dread the normal weekly or monthly get together.

In many organizations the quality of relationship between managers and those they manage is so low that effective team work just cannot get off the ground. Where people cannot confide in or trust their managers, where are they are fearful of him or where their conversations are on a superficial or trivial level then real team work is unlikely to exist. Essentially team work engenders high quality relationships. Another sign of low quality relationship is often that the leader becomes increasingly isolated from his team. He does not represent their view and they do not subscribe to his. The effective team leader needs to be very much a part of his team.

People just not developing are another sure sign of ineffective team work. If a team is to be effective it needs to be continually developing itself and this in part means constantly facilitating individual as well as team development. Often development does not happen because:

  • There are perceived or real time pressures;
  • It is seen as the job of the personnel department or training officer;
  • Conflict exists between the team’s culture and that of the organization;
  • Team leaders lack the skills or willingness to make it happen;
  • There is fear of the consequences of development.

Sometimes poor team work results in jobs getting done twice or not at all because no clear understanding of roles within and between teams exists. Sometimes although common problems exist people are just not able or willing to get together and work on them.

Then there is the attitude which teams and individual members have to the possibility of external help. The ineffective team will usually either reject offers of help because it fears the consequences of outsiders finding out what the team is really like or will seize all offers of help because it lacks any coherent view of how of proceed and is content to hand over its problems to someone else. The effective team will use external help constructively by recognizing the unique contribution and viewpoint which it can bring, but it will always maintain ownership of its problems and its own destiny.

Creativity is a delicate flower which only flourishes in the right conditions, mainly conditions of personal freedom and support; freedom to experiment, try out ideas and concepts and support from those who listen , evaluate and offer help. A dearth of new ideas generally goes with poor team work can most easily be created.

The degree to which people; help and use each other is another indicator. Where effective team work does not exist people tend to work in isolation and neither offer nor receive the help of their colleagues. All of us need that help in order to perform at our optimum level.

The conditions described above are indicative of an unhealthy organization and all of them can be significantly improved by effective teamwork.

What then are the characteristics of effective team work? Very simply they are the opposites of what is described above.

People can and do express themselves honestly and openly. Conversation about work is the same both inside and outside the organization. Mistakes are faced openly and used as vehicles for learning and difficult situations are confronted.

Helpful competition and conflict of ideas are used constructively and team members have a pride in the success of their team. Unhelpful competition and conflict have been eliminated.

Good relationships exist with other teams and departments. Each values and respects the other and their respective leaders themselves comprise an effective team.

Personal relationships are characterized by support and trust, with people helping each other whenever possible.

Meetings are productive and stimulating with all participating and feeling Ownership of the actions which result from the decision made. New ideas abound and their use enables the team to stay ahead.

Boss-subordinate relationships are sound, each helping the other to perform his role better, and the team feels that it is led in an appropriate way.

Personal and individual development is highly rated and opportunities are constantly sought for making development happen.

There is clear agreement about and understanding of objectives and of the roles which the team and its individual members will play in achieving them.

External help will be welcomed and used where appropriate.

Finally, the team regularly reviews where it is going, why it needs to go there, and how it is getting there. If necessary, it alters its practices in the light of that review.

All of this means that “Work“ is a happy place to be; people enjoy themselves wherever possible but this enjoyment is conducive to achievement, not a barrier to it. People get satisfaction from their working lives and work is one of the where they meet their needs and aspirations.

Characteristics can be seen as the raw materials of team work:

  1. Clear objective and agreed goals
  2. Individual development
  3. Regular review
  4. Appropriate leadership
  5. Sound procedures
  6. Co-operation and conflict
  7. Openness and confrontation
  8. Sound inter-group relations
  9. Support and trust

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