After reading this article you will learn about:- 1. Meaning of Foreman 2. Duties of a Foreman 3. Essential Qualifications 4. Supervision and Control Function.

Meaning of Foreman:

Foreman is said to be the backbone of any industry. His position is a key position. Indus­trial concern whatever the planning is and however good it is, the foreman is responsible for obtaining results. Foreman is a man who has a direct supervision over the working force to get job and work done, in a well-disciplined manner.

The foreman is the most essential and effective post between the management and the workers. He is in direct charge of labour and controls the activities in his section.

He is respon­sible for individual and collective efforts of the group of man under him and also for obtaining results as planned both in respect of quality and quantity. He must lead and inspire his men and should be familiar with human psychology and the art of handling men.

Duties of a Foreman (Supervisor):


I. Towards management:

1. To translate managerial policies to the workers.

2. To inform about the workers’ desire to the management.

3. To get the required production in time.


4. To maintain the standard of quality.

5. To formulate the plans and methods to increase the productive efficiency.

6. To reduce the wastage to a minimum.

7. To give suggestions whenever required.


8. To act as middle man between the employees and employers.

II. Towards the workers under him:

1. To provide adequate instructions about.

(a) Company’s policies and procedures.


(b) Correct method of performing operations.

2. To maintain satisfactory working conditions, cleanliness, safety etc.

3. To maintain discipline.

4. To promote co-operative efforts and goodwill.


5. To represent the workers to the management.

6. To encourage suggestions and give credit where it is due.

7. To promote and transfer impartially.

8. To lead and inspire his men.


9. To fit each worker into the job for which he is best suited.

III. Towards other foremen (supervisor):

1. Maintain friendly and helpful working relations.

2. Maintain flow of work to and from other departments.


3. Desist from and resist any interference between departments.

IV. For materials, building and equipment:

1. To aid in the selection of suitable materials.

2. Selection of best equipment for a given operation.

3. To minimise the wastage of material.

V. General:


1. To report on the progress of work, spoilage of work and wasted time of machines and operations.

2. Collaboration with the management in affecting changes in methods, mode of remuneration and working conditions were found essential.

3. To make-recommendations in respect of precautions against danger from accidents.

4. To help training department.

5. To maintain the necessary records.

6. To know first-aid techniques.

Essential Qualifications of a Foreman:


Foreman or a supervisor should possess both mechanical skill and supervisory ability.

He should have the following essential qualifications:

1. Technical Qualifications:

The foreman must have the requisite qualifications and experience to understand the plant and equipment, the materials handled and the processes worked in his section.

2. Knowledge of Responsibilities:

He should work as per duties and responsibilities given above.


3. Skill in imparting Instructions:

He should be able to impart the instructions in such a way that the instructions are easily understood by the workers. He must instruct his men fully as to the right use of tools, materials, machines and the right method of operations.

4. Controlling Power:

Foreman should be able to solve the various problems which arise due to the relationship of the workers. He should be able to lead the workers in right path to control them. For handling the workers it is essential that he should encourage the workers in looking to him for direction whenever they come across any difficulty in performance of their task.

He should never hesitate to demonstrate his superior skill and knowledge whenever nec­essary. He must try to understand the view-point of the workers, listen to their complaints and try to get their grievances removed or rectified if found to be fair and justifiable.

Finally, he is expected to lead by examples, display sound judgment showing initiative in overcoming obstacles.


Thus we can conclude that he should be full of energy and alertness and must possess a robust physique to enable him to discharge his duties well. He must be able to inspire confi­dence and respect in his men by his superior knowledge of production techniques and skillful handling of men.

Supervision and Control Function of a Foreman:

It is very essential for a foreman to supervise and control the workers under him.

He should give due consideration to the following:

1. Supervision relating to money.

2. Supervision relating to time.

3. Supervision relating to quality.


Foreman should be capable of saving money. He should try his best for economy and maxi­mum possible profit. Since for a good business the manufacturing cost should be minimum, the wastage of money, time, material etc. should be avoided.

For considerable economy, wastage of time should be avoided by minimising unnecessary fatigue and other operations taking the use of time and motion study, and utilizing all ma­chines.

He should also give his attention to the quality of product, while taking necessary steps for economy and time considerations. Because it is the only quality, due to which reputation of factory increases in the public. Hence, he should try to keep the quality as per prescribed standards, by inspecting and checking the products when these are in operation.