September 17, 2006
Delegation is a key to the effective exercise of authority in your business. By delegating limited authority to accomplish specific tasks the talents of employees in the organization can be used to upgrade the skills and experience of the manager. Delegation goes much more smoothly if you match the person with the appropriate skill set to the task you have to assign. Now if you don’t have a candidate that has all the skills you are looking for, decide which is the most critical one (analytical ability, attention to detail, communications skills) and make that match.
Managers must focus on planning, organizing, motivating, and controlling. They also need to develop employees who can improve their job performance and become more valuable to the organization. In this way organizations grow and their accomplishments soar. A key method of ensuring stronger employee performance is to delegate responsibility to the individual. Most employees want increased responsibility and are usually willing to take on tough assignments. Strong leaders understand this and strive to develop others by delegating meaningful work assignments.
The job of any manager is to make the best possible things happen. A successful manger gets the best possible work from the team and contributes as much as possible to making their organization successful. To provide interesting work managers needs to create clear, but challenging goals, delegate responsibility, and back them up when they need help. One of the rewards of delegation is the opportunity to help someone develop and grow. It is unlikely that you will always have a candidate that you can hand off something to and not have to provide some training or coaching. But learning to empower your employees will reap big rewards as their confidence grows with their abilities, and delegation becomes easier.
Learning how to delegate is very important for managers, however, this task isn’t easy. It’s the giving away of work and gently guiding it, and the person doing the work, to quality results that is the core of what managers are supposed to do. It’s a two way process as the manager won’t always be right and won’t always know the best way to solve a particular challenge especially if the people reporting to the boss are talented. The smart manager must delegate, in part, to keep learning new ways to do things. Delegation will always be one of the most important management skills, and one of the easiest to get wrong. Good delegation saves time, develops people, grooms a successor, and motivates. Bad delegation will cause frustration, de-motivates, confuses the other person, and fails to achieve the task itself.
The best managers build trust with their team, every day, in every meeting, so that eventually critically important and complex tasks can be delegated away. Managers become more fulfilled and productive themselves as they learn to count on their staffs and are freed up to attend to more strategic issues. If a manager feels his team isn’t capable, his job is to figure out exactly what they’re capable of, and then helping them to grow.
Delegating will give managers the opportunity to see what happens by delegating the work. People need the opportunity to prove themselves and that opportunity is only granted by the manager. If it turns out that work is done poorly, was too hard or the goals weren’t set properly, then as a manager, you have a living example to discuss and explore with the person in question. You can work to understand what your expectations of each other were and what they should be. It is where trust is built and lessons for how to make better work happen are discovered.
Effective delegation involves