What is delegation?
When someone in a position of authority grants another person the ability to carry out a specific task, this is known as delegation. Most of the time, delegation is a one-way path whereby superiors give authority to subordinates.
The person who was permitted to accomplish the assignment, however, normally retains ultimate accountability for its fulfillment. For instance, even if your supervisor assigns you a task, she is still likely to be ultimately responsible for seeing that it is completed.
5 principles of effective delegation
1. Principle of Functional Definition
The related or comparable operations should be grouped by the enterprise function. Delegation of authority is made easy when a position’s definition is clear. The more clearly defined a position or a department is, the more effectively its employees can contribute to achieving organizational goals. Examples of this include activities to be carried out, organization authority delegated, knowledge of authority, and informational relationships with other positions.
The authority needed to carry out a job and its definition are both exceedingly challenging. It is made further harder if the superior is unclear about the outcomes anticipated. So that the appropriate amount of authority is assigned, it should be obvious who is responsible for what. Conflicts, divided loyalty, and a lack of personal accountability for outcomes occur from dual subordination.
2. The Unity of Command Principle
The Unity of Command Principle is the fundamental management principle. A subordinate should only report to one superior, according to this principle. A sense of accountability will result from this. Although it is conceivable for a subordinate to report to several superiors and take commands from them, this poses more issues and challenges. Since accountability is ultimately personal, conflicts between authority and responsibility are likely to arise when more than one person grants authority to a single person. This notion helps categorize authority-responsibility interactions as well.
3. Results-based delegation of the authority principle
Authority should be delegated based on the outcomes desired. The level of authority should be adequate to produce the intended outcomes. Results won’t be produced if the authority is insufficient. Therefore, there should be a balance between the authority needed and the results expected.
4. The Parity of Authority and Responsibility Principle
Since responsibility is the requirement to carry out an assignment and authority is the right to do so, there should be a balance between the two. The accountability should make sense concerning the power granted. High-performance obligations should not be placed on the subordinate without adequate delegation of authority. Sometimes the authority is given, but the individual in question is not held responsible for its appropriate application. This is an instance of bad management. For efficiency to be attained, authority and responsibility must be equal.
5. The Principle of Authority Level
the idea that authority-level decision-making should always be in place. Although they distribute authority to subordinates, managers struggle to resist the urge to decide for them. They ought to give the subordinates the freedom to act by the authority granted to them. Only when the delegation of authority is transparent and understandable to subordinates will it be effective. The subordinates should be aware of the scope of their authority and resist the urge to refer issues to superiors. “Maintenance of intended delegation demands that choices within the authority competence of persons be taken by them and not be referred upward in the organization structure,” would be the authority level principle.
Importance of delegation in leadership
Any leader must strike the proper balance between the strategic and the tactical to be effective, especially in light of the numerous demands on their time and attention. In a survey by the Strategic Thinking Institute, 96% of leaders claimed they didn’t have enough time for it. Leaders can focus on higher-value work and make better use of their time when they delegate some tasks to others.
In addition to giving leaders time for strategic planning, the delegation also enables them to concentrate on other responsibilities that are uniquely theirs, like managing and coaching their teams. According to a Harvard Business Review article, one team leader switched from being just busy to being productive by adopting a strategy of delegating.
Encourages task prioritization
Determining which jobs may and cannot be delegated is the first step in the delegation. Prioritizing tasks enables leaders to choose which jobs should be performed by whom and which are the most important. The Urgent vs. Important Matrix is one method for creating a delegation prioritization system. With the help of this matrix, managers can group jobs according to their urgency and significance.
Delegating less significant but urgent tasks or decisions, such as responding to a routine inquiry from another team, is a good idea. Delegating tasks to a team member with more experience could be a good idea for those that are both urgent and very important.
Employees are empowered by delegation because it gives them the chance to prove they are capable of taking on new tasks. People become more invested in the outcomes of their allocated obligations when they are given the option to move outside of their regular day-to-day activities and take on new tasks or participate in decision-making. Delegation encourages a greater sense of dedication and engagement by assisting individuals in realizing their value to the team. Employees’ sense of empowerment can be increased by managers assigning tasks in areas like:
- Project management: Ask a team member to develop the initial version of the project proposal.
- Client relations: Before a client encounter, choose a member of the sales team to acquire client information and background reading.
- Implementation of a new system: Select a few team members to test-drive the system and then report back to the group on their observations.
Delegating Promotes Innovation and Creativity
Delegating encourages an “inclusive” culture in which more people can consider various solutions to a problem or issue. Different points of view can be provided by a team as opposed to one person working alone on a task.
This configuration makes it easier for people to think of numerous more original or creative ways to approach the task. It’s possible to learn new approaches to a task or activity, which will boost your team’s production and efficiency.
The Succession of Leadership Requires Delegation
When you delegate, you give others a chance to step up and develop new talents that are beneficial to the company. Delegating tasks to others within your organization could be a technique to train them to carry them out.
Someone in your organization may be trained through delegation to carry out responsibilities other than their normal ones. You have given responsibilities to other people several times, so you are confident that they know how to complete them when the time comes for your promotion or your departure from the organization.
The Organization Benefits from Delegation
You can foster a sense of dedication in your firm by assigning specific tasks to employees. Employees who embrace responsibility and authority when delegation occurs feel more a part of the organization’s success and have a deeper sense of shared duty.