The Most In Demand Qualities For A Site Supervisor

October 12, 2019
Soft skills are becoming increasingly important for site supervisors to ensure infrastructure projects run smoothly.

Site supervisors are crucial to any infrastructure project as they oversee activities on site and serve as a liaison between field and office teams.

While construction experience is important, soft skills are becoming increasingly crucial for a project to run smoothly and for field teams to be kept informed.

Here are the top 5 qualities of a good site supervisor.

1 - Good Communication

Your supervisor should understand the importance of good, clear communication – both written and verbal.

They need to be able to look at the scope of a project and break it down into actionable chunks, then communicate progress back to the office in such a way that makes sense to the relevant job roles and stakeholders.

In addition, your supervisor should be a ‘people person’, able to motivate their team and handle any interpersonal issues.

2 - A Logical Approach To Problem Solving

Site supervisors have to deal with a wide range of challenges such as technical, site access, or interpersonal.

There’s no way to predict what might come up, so your supervisor must be able to think quickly and take a logical, analytical approach to solving problems and minimizing impact on the wider project.

3 - Flexibility

This point goes hand-in-hand with number two:

You can’t always predict what’s going to happen on shift. Supervisors need to adapt and implement contingency plans.

For example, if poor weather limits the ability to complete planned works, the supervisor must work closely with their manager to amend the actual works and record the reason for delay, actions taken, and team members present.

4 - Prioritization

It’s important for any professional to be able to prioritize.

Supervisors need to assess their activities, assign plant and lab or, then delegate.

Key to this is knowing the skills and experience of your team, as well as having experience of your own to draw upon when estimating how long a job might take, or how many people are needed.

5 - Technology

The rail industry is rapidly moving from being very nervous about embracing new technologies to adopting them with great enthusiasm. But implementing new digital processes is no small feat, and one of the biggest challenges is getting your field workers to use it – and use it well.

That’s where your supervisor comes in. They should be open to new technologies and quick to learn. Then they can champion the new solution among their team and make sure everyone is happy with the change.

At Raildiary, we have an extensive and thorough training process to help teams implement our software. Training can be a mixture of online and in-person. We rely on our good relationships with site supervisors to help communicate the benefits of Sitediary to field teams – that it isn’t a process for process-sake, but a tool that will save them time on shift, improve their work-life balance and streamline project delivery by reducing the need for duplication of work or last-minute changes to the project scope.

In conclusion, a good site supervisor needs to possess a combination of technical knowledge, soft skills, and adaptability. Strong communication, logical problem-solving, flexibility, prioritization, and openness to new technology are the five most important qualities for a site supervisor to have. With the right skills and mindset, a site supervisor can effectively manage their team, keep the project on track, and successfully deliver infrastructure projects.

The Most In Demand Qualities For A Site Supervisor

Will Doyle


I am an experienced RICS chartered Quantity Surveyor​ with first-hand experience of how the consistent capture and analysis of data can transform global project delivery.

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