Delegation Trains Everyone
By Justin Tyme
The inability to delegate is one of the most common problems of managers. Management and leadership is all about getting results by organising and supervising a workforce. Poor delegation or no delegation is inefficient and expensive. And the worst thing about not delegating is that managers are losing wonderful training opportunities for their workers.
Managers have many reasons for not delegating:
They feel at ease doing routine tasks rather than supervising the work of others
They aren’t familiar with the skills of their workers and therefore unsure of other people’s ability to take more responsibility
They hate correcting other people’s work
They know they can do some things better than others
Delegating is hard work, but it’s work that is needed to help an organization grow and improve. You can tell people what to do, you can show people what to do, but by far the best way to teach people is to simply let them do the work themselves. Delegation provides that training avenue.
There are basically two good reasons to delegate:
One – It gets the job done more efficiently
Two – It provides training and new experiences for members of workteams
Writer Andrew E. Schwarts says, “Too many managers waste both time and energy performing tasks an employee could perform just as well, thereby lowering productivity while raising operating costs. The answer to the problem is easy–delegation. However, many managers still limit their own effectiveness, create imbalances in the organization, waste their department’s time and energies, and fail to develop their subordinates by either ignoring or mismanaging the techniques of delegation.”
The ability to delegate tasks and control productivity simultaneously is an essential skill for managers. It’s kind of like juggling three or four balls in the air, while ordering fastfood out your car window and talking on a cellphone at the same time. There are many pitfalls that can undermine efforts to delegate, but there are also some basic steps to help managers ease their workload through delegation while maintaining control.
There are six functions of an effective delegation and control system:
Planning and Goal Setting – If everyone is involved in the planning and goal setting of a project, it is more likely that everyone will buy into the work involved to bring the project to fruition — which makes delegation easier.
Responsibility and Authority – Before delegating, everyone needs to know which way the responsibility flows. Who reports to who? That question must be answered for effective delegation. James G. Patterson, a business writer and faulty member of the University of Phoenix, advises, “Be prepared to supervise. All projects require regular monitoring – especially in
the beginning stages. So do all employees. But some projects require more scrutiny than others, and some employees demand more direction. Here, too,
it’s a matter of matching the task with the person.”
Negotiation – “Can you do this?” Give and take is part of the delegation process.
Management by Exception – Only the unusual problem or case is brought to the top.
Consultation and Coaching – Think of consultation as a the bedside manner of a physician taking the pulse of a family member. The manager needs to know how the patient is doing, and must make suggestions to improve the overall health of the individual.
Review and Control – This is kind of like consultation and coaching, but from a step back. Reviewing project aspects and controlling the work and schedule insures continued progress toward worthwhile goals. In reviewing the project the results should be addressed, the methods that were involved should be not critized very much, if at all.
Delegation can result in some mistakes being made, but mistakes can also be learning opportunities. Praise should be given for jobs well done. Each time delegation happens there is a chance that everyone will improve their standing in the organization.
Justin Tyme is an internet reporter and published author. He writes for print media and industrial video productions and is a contributor to Ideas and Training (http://www.ideasandtraining.com) and Human Resources Radio (http://www.humanresourcesradio.com).