An Assessment of the Impact of Supervision on Employee Sales Target Achievement

6. 16. 2023

Employees are important organizational resources as they play a key role in the survival of any firm in the current competitive business space. An organization is comprised of three key components which include finance, machine, and people which are needed for full operation. The people refer to the employees that are expected to manage other resources for optimal performance therefore ensuring they efficiently discharge their duties is key hence a full fledge and functioning HRM unit is needed.

Employee programs are aimed at human resource development and optimal utilization, keeping in mind that motivated and satisfied employees are organizational assets that improve performance (Gopika & Dubey, 2023, p. 65). HRM plays a major role in how organizations obtain a competitive advantage by managing the workforce (Riaz, 2017) to deliver the expected result. In pursuant to goal achievement, organizations through their formidable HRM unit strive to engage employees with skills and competencies to handle key functions. Despite engaging the right employees for specific roles, the gap remains in how the workforce skills, abilities, and competencies can be stimulated to achieve better results hence giving rise to the need for constant supervision.

According to Cheng & Kusumah (2020), supervision in organizations becomes crucial through efforts to maintain and increase work motivation and enhance organizational performance by improving employee performance. Supervision is an administrative process of providing guidance and mentorship to subordinates on professional, personal, career development, and educational advancement for goal attainment.  According to John (2021, p. 504), “supervision seeks to equip individuals with the necessary knowledge, attitudes, and skills to make them useful; not only to themselves but their immediate community and country at large”. Bernard (2005) defines supervision as the ability of superiors to influence the behavior or habit of subordinates to take a particular course of action. For an organization to increase its efficiency and productivity level, providing regular supervision should be inevitable to ensure the workforce is all contributing meaningfully towards the bigger goal achievement. Every organization is operating based on the template of the vision and mission statement to make a positive impact in the business space therefore for the achievement of their goals and objectives, the employers are expected to engage the right employees to handle key broken-down functions and most especially well-trained supervisors whose functions are to ensure strict and apt supervision of their subordinate to ensure everyone is seen doing the needful and making the workforce know the best way to perform a specific task to achieve their sales target and strive towards the attainment of the organizational goal as regular supervision help to detect areas of concerns and aptly resolve issues arising more promptly (Zivnuska & Shaw, 2007).

According to John (2021), “Supervision is a delicate and often misunderstood function that can have a variety of effects on employees’ efficiency”. Records of action plans, monitoring, and follow-up reports show that supervision goes on in every unit in an organization (John, 2021). Employees by nature want to work without being supervised just to have their way of working but the introduction of supervision has greatly helped organization to maximize their input to achieve the desired output. It does not only improve organizational efficiency but also the supervised employee efficiency which will aid their target achievement because the manager or supervisor is saddled with the responsibility of strategically influencing the workforce towards the attainment of their set individual, or group target for the overall achievement of organizational goals. There is no gainsaying that for the subordinate to be influenced to take the positive line of action, the quality of the supervisor must be improved as they play a key role in mentoring their subordinate.

According to Richard et al. (2009), Supervision is the act of supervising the work or duties of another person who may not have full knowledge of the concept of the work at hand hence the supervisor who is more experience and knows what the employer wants is expected to mentor, train, and groom them to achieve their target for the overall organizational gain hence Gopika & Dubey (2023) opined that the oversight or supervisory function entails leadership in a professional manner or building people personally to fit into what is expected and not dominating over others because supervision is not a manager forcing the supervisee to do work in a particular way but managerially and professionally influencing them to see reasons to be more committed and the positive impact of working based on laydown principles/regulations/standards. Supervisors ensure the sales representative becomes a problem-solver who can identify and define customer needs, problems, and inefficiencies and offer solutions that will solve those problems and eliminate market inefficiencies (Czinkota et al., 2021)

Study Objective

Below is the objective of the study:

  1. To find out the concept of Supervision
  2. To find out the concept of Target Achievement
  3. To establish the ways supervision can help employees in target achievement

Literature Review

The importance of supervision transcends the organization’s goal achievement but also the employee’s career development and advancement. Through mentoring and guidance by the supervisor, employees are motivated to put in more effort resulting in improved productivity. Gopika & Dubey (2023) stated various advantages of supervision which include increased productivity, better decision-making, nurturing of future leaders, helping in employee retention, and improvement in effective leadership through training and development.

Concept of Sales Target Achievement

            Every sales organization has a specific sales target to achieve in other to break even and possibly make a profit within a period. Such sales milestone target is further broken down to the salesforce based on the potential of the location for them to know what their level of commitment is and therefore each strives daily to achieve the assigned sales target to avoid being punished, sacked, suspended, and possibly not receiving full salary. The supervisor ensures the sale force are adequately managed and trained on managing an order, which for most manufacturers are key to customer management to achieve their sales target (Czinkota et al., 2021)

Concept of Supervision

The failure and success of any sales organization rest majorly on the shoulder of the salesforce. The customers see only the product and the sales force of the organization therefore in maximizing their effort, adequate supervision has to be put in place for them to positively represent the organization. According to Czinkota et al. (2021), recruitment, motivation, control, and training, all have their part to play in an area of management that poses considerable challenges through people management and motivational skills. The study of Rulandari (2017), examined the effect of supervision on employee performance and concluded that a positive and significant effect was observed for supervision on employee performance in the Office of Social Affairs in the East Jakarta Administrative City

The study by John (2021), define clearly the three aspects of supervision that exist in every organization which includes autocratic supervision, independent supervision, and democratic supervision with each having their benefit to improve efficiency. The study was conducted in two key financial institutions known as First Bank and UBA Bank, Mubi in Adamawa state with a total of 71 staff. The study concluded that the bank relies more on threat and punishment to influence productivity therefore there is a negative relationship between autocratic supervision and workforce efficiency. Though independent supervision has both a negative and positive relationship with the workforce efficiency level, democratic supervision is preferable.

The work of Rowe et al. (2012) stated four key indicators to help measure supervision which include support to be offered to the subordinate, and education which includes coaching and mentorship to the subordinate. Thirdly administrative support includes helping the subordinate to address managerial gaps during supervision and lastly, guardianship which involves both task-oriented and developmental/advancement oriented to the subordinate to not only achieve the present task but also develop a career path for the future through adequate guardians. 

Cheng-Wen Lee & Kusumah Alum (2020), study centered on the influence of supervision on employee performance with work motivation as an intervening variable and it was carried out using quantitative methods in a forest industry with 112 employees. The result shows a direct positive impact between supervision and work motivation. They summarized that when employees are adequately supervised, they are motivated to work better which will have a positive impact on their overall set target.

Supervision and threat

The importance of supervision in an organization cannot be undermined hence the need to define the appropriate methods supervisors need to employ to effectively supervise their subordinates to avoid perceiving this key management function as a distraction. According to Goldhammer and Krajeweski (2010), supervision refers to close observation, detailed face-to-face interaction between the supervisor and the subordinates‟ staff to bind the two in an intimate professional relationship. Equally, the attitude of supervisees most times at the workplace, places some supervisors under pressure which pushes them to start acting unprofessionally therefore a well-trained supervisor who is prepared to provide the necessary and appropriate guidance, support and guidance, structure, and encouragement to their staff will help greatly but when the supervisors see the supervisees as trash, there is bound to be an issue hence bonding supervisors and supervisees work relationship will help address such weakness (Linda, 2014). The supervisor must possess good knowledge of the job and have the ability to regulate the job because it is a managerial competency that must be owned and used to determine the effectiveness of performance (Leonard & Trusty, 2016). An effective supervisory relationship requires a capable supervisor that not only demonstrates technical expertise but also has the ability and responsibility to mentor subordinates (Omisore, 2014).

According to John (2021), for organizations to increase their performance, there is a need not to rely on threat and punishment with the view to influencing employees but involve some of them in decision-making, skills/results to boost their self-confidence and improve their commitment in the organization. When employees are adequately informed of the objective and goals to be achieved and a concise strategy on how to achieve them, then supervising them becomes easier as employees need to feel that they are part of the organization and not just workers in the workplace which will encourage the subordinate to give suggestions, initiate means to solve their problems as it occurs and work with minimal supervision (Skare et al., 2013).

The gains of supervision cannot be recorded when the content and approach is not encouraging as poor supervision has an enormous impact and cost for both the employee, as well as the organization (Harris, 2007).


Efficiency drive is very key in any workplace hence needs to be attained. It shows the peak level of competency in the performance of any machine or employee, and it also helps to measure the output with the level of effort put in at the workplace to avoid wasting energy, scarce resources, time, and effort. It can also be seen as a measure of the productivity of a person, machine, factor, system, etc., in converting inputs into useful output (John, 2021, p. 503). Management establishes the efficiency level most times when the average output is calculated using the average input like energy and cost hence efficiency is a critical determinant of cost productivity (Shilpa, 2015). Employee efficiencies accumulate into organization efficiency which is the ratio of output compared with the ratio of input of a particular organization. OE can also be seen as the volume of resources put into a calculated volume of output for a particular period, therefore, the productivity level of an organization can be calculated using the efficiency level that supervision will help to achieve in an organization. The importance of supervision in an organization to attain a high level of efficiency cannot be undermined hence Onyije (2015), terms efficiency as one of the major drivers of success in the organization.


From previous findings and discussions relating to the impact of supervision on employee performance and sales target achievement and overall organizational goals, managers and employees have acknowledged that oversight functions and supervision play a key role in motivating the workforce to improve their commitment and efficiency therefore salesforce needs constant supervision and oversight function to help them be sales target focus and keep them on track to be more committed.

Salesforce expressed that the supervisory style in the organization has a major role in either motivating or demoralizing hence there should be a relationship between the supervisor and the supervisee that will encourage smooth coaching and better compliance for a win-win result.

Sales team management has not been given adequate attention in the past which probably has exposed most of them to finding it difficult in handling market objectives hence this study helps to structure out the importance of adequately supervising the salesforce to assist them in achieving their assigned target because hitherto to manage salesforce in an organization is very difficult.



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Author: Owie Godfrey Lawrence, student LIGS University
Approved by: Catherine Muthu, lecturer LIGS University

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