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KPI of the Day – Human Resources (HRM): # Supervisor to staff ratio



Measures the ratio between the number of supervisors and the headcount of the organization.


To assess the number of employees each supervisor has under control.


Allocation of employees to supervisory staff is an important component of workforce distribution. The # Supervisor to staff ratio is also an indicator of the span of control within the organization. A wide span of control relates to the distribution of a large group of employees for every supervisor, whereas, a narrow span of control typically implies the opposite.

The optimal span of control has to take into consideration the organizational size and structure. An adequate # Supervisor to staff ratio facilitates effective internal communication and coordination.

However, it should be noted that there is no ‘ideal’ ratio of line employees to administrative and supervisory staff that can be applied across all organizations, divisions, or even across functions.

Numerous factors affect the optimum ratio, including: *The mission of the organization; *The type of service or product produced; *The complexity and sensitivity of the work; *The management style of top executives; *The proximity of employees to each other and to their manager; *Legal requirements; *The consequences of error.

A few factors to be considered in determining the most suitable span of control for the organization include:

  • Organizational size, profile and structure;
  • Complexity of tasks and activities;
  • Monitoring and coaching demands;
  • Supervisor experience and expertise.

Accurate reporting for this KPI is dependent on a well-maintained register of all employees in the organization and their supervisors.

If you are interested in more Human Resources-related KPIs, subscriptions provide access to +500 KPI examples. Our dedicated Library contains relevant resources to improve your KPI practices, and if you want to further improve your knowledge, feel free to explore our latest publication – The Human Resources KPI Dictionary.

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