Shift Leader Job Descriptions


Shift leaders keep the daily operations of an organization flowing smoothly. The shift leader is much like an assistant manager. The shift leader reports to the department manager and acts as a front-line extension of the manager's authority. A shift leader is responsible for ensuring that employees are present and the work is completed on time. The shift leader provides support, direction and assistance to his subordinates on all areas of their assigned duties. Shift leaders do not usually establish policy or evaluate the work of subordinates. These tasks are left to the manager. The shift leader simply focuses on supervising employees during his shift. The average shift leader salary is $22,000 in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Scheduling and Staffing

  • Shift work is usually found in restaurants, retail stores, warehouses, manufacturing plants and many other blue-collar industries. Shift leaders are responsible for scheduling, staffing and organizing the work and workers on their shifts. If an employee is not able to be at work, the shift leader is responsible for making sure that the absent employee's position is covered by another employee.

Team Approach

  • A shift leader rarely manages from a distance but instead works alongside members of her team in order to be more efficient and to resolve customer complaints and other problems as they arise. Working alongside other employees keeps the shift leader sharp in all job functions and allows her to lead by example.


  • The shift leader is responsible for training all new employees on his shift in safety policies and workplace procedures. He maintains training logs and records. The shift leader must be proficient at every position in his department.

Quality Control

  • The shift leader is responsible for quality control. He must ensure product safety and freshness and accuracy in orders. The shift leader must make sure customers receive the products and services they order. If corrective action is necessary, the shift leader must seek the assistance of the department manager. The shift leader is responsible for reporting any issues or quality defects to his manager.


  • The shift leader must make sure the workplace is safe and clean. This includes reviewing and enforcing all Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards and policies. The shift leader is responsible for completing and filing all incident reports and accident reports and reporting all violations of safety and other policies. They must ensure that the company's exposure to risk is minimized by following all safety regulations.

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