The Eddy peer group by Zebulon LLC.

As you establish what intentional supervisor roles will look like in your outfit, use the below Supervisor Summary to make sure you’ve covered all your bases.


Supervisors should be the cream of your crop – we’re talking the top-performing 10-20% of your employees. Remember, the cream rises to the top, so the go-getters who deliver high results on the daily will likely be some of your best supervisors, too.

Hierarchy visual with teal dots representing members of an outfit as described in the Supervisor Summary - four small teal dots with smiley faces have an arrow leading to a larger dot in a


Through consistent and open communication, supervisors are a key component in an outfit’s leadership hierarchy. Supervisors should be the first point of contact, via a friendly and non-judgmental communication channel, for 2-5 direct reports. Supervisors should be growth-focused, and by developing their own leadership skills, they’ll kick-start the professional development of their assigned team members, too.


Consistency is key. Supervisors should meet with their direct reports frequently (the exact meeting cadence will vary depending on the outfit). However, we recommend a blended framework of weekly informal check-ins, monthly progress checks, and larger seasonal performance reviews to discuss goals and overall impact.


Filling supervisor roles with intentionality can boost employee satisfaction – both that of the supervisor and the team members reporting to them. Effective supervisors increase the year-over-year retention rate of all team members, including trip leaders, guides, drivers, and admin workers. 

Assigning supervisors is a low-risk opportunity to test the waters of an employee’s management aptitude, before assigning them manager responsibilities and paying management wages. Most importantly, filling supervisor roles with intentionality can instill a sense of ownership in your workforce and demonstrate a clear path of professional growth.


We recommend the “crawl, walk, run” method. 

Crawl: Begin with baby steps and start by establishing a mentorship program in your outfit.

Walk: Then, work your way up to implementing Gallup’s Q12 questionnaire

Run: Once you’ve got the hang of crawling and walking, take a leaf out of the “First Break All the Rules” book and implement full-fledged performance reviews. Or, better yet, join our Eddy leadership group to hash out the nuts & bolts of implementing supervisor roles together with your peers and fellow outfit leaders.

This summary builds off our Eddy Series article on Incorporating Supervisor Roles Into Your Outfit’s Depth Chart, which in turn was inspired by in-depth conversations and workshops held during The Eddy. The Eddy is a friendly and non-competitive peer group made up of some of the nation’s foremost growth-focused outfit owners and leaders. If you own or lead an innovative and knowledge-hungry outfit, and if you’d like to join the outdoor industry’s only business accelerator, reach out to us here.

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