First Level - supervisory/operative

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First level managers are the most involved of all the management levels with the practical, hands-on aspects of an organisations operations. This type of manager supervises frontline staff and while usually not directly involved in strategic planning, has a direct impact on carrying out objectives set by higher management levels. First level managers are the liaison between staff and middle and top level management, usually handling grievances, disciplinary matters and organising training and recruitment. On a daily basis they provide instruction, delegate tasks and monitor the activity of their organisation in order to produce reports for the other management levels. Paths of entry to this level of management include:

  • Promotion from general staff where organisation/industry - specific operational skills have been developed or leadership potential shown
  • Entry-level positions in which an undergraduate degree is sufficient, but later completion of postgraduate studies improve promotion prospects

First level managers typically have industry specific skills and training; for example an undergraduate major in Supply Chain Management gaining employment in a warehouse environment. As experience at this level of management grows, some may find that they wish to further develop their industry specialisation, while others may try to increase the versatility of their core business management skills by undertaking broad studies. The necessity of further studies is highly dependent on the labour market and industry in which an individual is employed. In some countries and/or industries, postgraduate qualifications may be essential even for this lowest level of management while in other environments undergraduate qualifications, completion of courses at vocational training providers or even experience only may be sufficient.

Following is a list of sample first level management roles. The roles reflect the combination of supervisory and hands-on nature of the responsibilities at this level. (click job title for description):

  • Coordinator of Social Services
  • Campaign Manager
  • Case Manager
  • Events Manager
  • Front of House Manager
  • Laboratory Manager
  • Marketing Coordinator
  • Museum Visitor Services Coordinator
  • Project Manager/Coordinator
  • Stage Manager
  • Trainee Manager