Who is first line manager

Last updated: 2024-01-08

Line manager (or first-line manager) is someone who is directly managing other people within the team. Line managers are the lowest, base level of management, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the team and reporting to higher levels of management in the company. The role of a line manager is very important for business operations to run smoothly. 

  • Coordinates day-to-day activities and routines
  • Typically, a line manager will be one position above the employees they manage.
  • Line management becomes more proficient in tactical human resource functions.
  • The role they perform is incredibly important in the running of operations in a business – giving more junior members of staff the guidance they need, and providing them with a link to those in more senior roles.
  • They may also be known as supervisors, or team leaders (depending on the company). 
  • They will carry out additional responsibilities like overseeing their team’s day-to-day tasks but will often work on similar tasks and projects as those they line manage too.

Line manager responsibilities

Management of activities, tasks and approval of requirements

  • Managing a team of employees
  • Managing holiday approvals
  • Managing requests of the team

Workforce Performance & Development Management

  • Conducting employee performance appraisals
  • Maintains a consistent approach to performance management
  • Identifying gaps in knowledge and arranging training opportunities
  • Training staff, and planning out their development 

Onboarding & New Workforce Adaptation

  • Leading new team members through an adaptation process
  • Hiring and interviewing new team members, inducting new members of the team

Conflict Resolution in the Workplace

  • Resolving issues between employees or issues between employees and their managers
  • Facilitates positive working relationship between employees
  • Mediating differences between staff
  • Document their employment actions and decisions appropriately and according to company policy


  • Line managers usually determine the skills and qualifications required for seamless operation of department functions
  • Line managers review the job description for accuracy and completeness (vacancy)
  • During the recruitment and selection process, HR advises line managers on how to identify qualified candidates
  • Assess existing department staff capabilities

Workforce Strategy

  • Cooperate with HR department on future staffing needs 
  • Determine whether to train current employees to prepare them for promotion or to recruit candidates with higher level skills to augment the current employee knowledge base
  • Succession planning and adequate staffing

Other Line Management Responsibilities

  • Ensuring their team hit their targets
  • Mentoring or coaching team members
  • Coaching and mentoring their team members 
  • Reporting to senior leaders with regards to team and individual performance
  • Overseeing budget for training and work equipment
  • Leading team meetings
  • Communicating business changes and top management decisions