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A line manager oversees activities that are directly associated with products and services. In regards to human resources, big companies have human resource departments. However, in smaller companies, with less than 100 employees, the human resource duties are usually taken over by the line manager. A line manager is an employee’s immediate supervisor, but can also function at any level if he is responsible for employees' work directly. His duties include supervision, staffing and ensuring safety and health.
A line manager usually works in manufacturing plants, but can also work in restaurants, banks or in retail operations. He is responsible for the employees’ immediate work on the line. He monitors work quality, productivity and attendance. He makes sure all personnel are present and all stations are being manned. When an employee is absent, he must have a plan to fill her position. If necessary, the line manager will fill in for a missing operator. Making sure the line operates smoothly and without down time is his chief responsibility. This directly affects the company’s production goals and, subsequently, profits.
A line manager assists in hiring staff. Then it is his responsibility to train and mentor the new employee. Good training ensures good performance down the line. As companies expand, the need for training expands. A line manager also needs to provide training that updates current employees’ methods. Often, employees will need training on new equipment as well. A further need for training comes when a company downsizes, and some employees’ job duties may change. Performance evaluations not only help determine compensation and benefits, but can make the line manager aware of areas where further training is necessary.
Safety and Health
A line manager has to provide a safe and healthy environment for the employees. Good training is essential so that machines may be operated properly and in a safe way. Safety is basically preventing injuries from work-related accidents. The line manager needs close supervision of workers needs to be certain they understand the rules and regulations.
It is also a line manager’s job to help keep employees free from physical or emotional illness. Health problems can include drug or substance abuse, AIDS, stress and employee burnout. Most companies have programs to help employees with these problems. The line worker needs to be aware of the company’s policies and be able to identify problems early so intervention can take place as soon as possible.