How Many Subordinates Should I Manage?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about span of authority:

What would be the normal amount of adults a supervisor should have under them in order to do an effective job? We are reorganizing. I will have various sites to supervise and I will be working with 13 adults

Signed, Supervisor

Dear Supervisor:

The term “span of control” refers to the number of subordinates who report directly to a single manager, supervisor, or lead. A correlation generally exists between the span of control and the number of layers within an organization. A low span of control (i.e., few subordinates per manager, supervisor, or lead) leads to a “tall” organization (i.e., one with many layers) whereas a high span of control leads to a flat organization. It is worth noting that any good supervision takes a lot of time, often more time than upper management is willing to admit. Furthermore there is the business trend of ‘flattening’ organizations which means increasing the ‘span of control’, thus making a single supervisor responsible for more supervisees.The question of what is a “normal” number of supervises in order for a supervisor to be able to do an effective job does not have one ‘right’ answer but depends on several factors.The most salient of those factors are:

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