Most administrative positions are very similar in a broad sense, given that they are all roles that oversee people in an organization in some kind of authoritative capacity. There are many kinds of administrative roles in the workplace, and different titles carry with them different sets of responsibilities. Supervisors, managers, directors and vice presidents are very similar positions, but successively increase in the level of responsibility.
A supervisor plays many roles in a company. First, working on the floor level, the supervisor is often side-by-side with employees, acting as a mentor by leading them in the proper performance of their everyday tasks. In addition, a supervisor must plan and write up work schedules for employees, as well as handle any time-off requests or other issues.
The manager is a go-between for workers and upper management. The manager should have an open-door policy and be a good listener. Factoring in information from supervisors and feedback from employees, managers must make low-level policy decisions and act as leaders for employees and supervisors to look to for everyday help and advice.
The director of a company is responsible for the management of the company as a whole. Multiple directors comprise the board of a company. The director must make decisions with the best interest of company shareholders in mind. Whereas supervisors and managers look out for employees, directors look out for the company and the bottom line. This is why it is so important that managers act as intermediaries between directors and workers.
The vice president of a company ranks below the president. In many companies, there will be several vice-presidents, each in charge of a different department, function or product line. In that instance, the highest-ranking one may be known as "senior executive vice president" or other title that sets her apart; similar terms may be applied to other tiers of vice-presidents to denote who among them are more senior or higher in the company hierarchy.
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