What is delegation?
The downward transfer of power from a superior to a subordinate is called delegation. This is crucial because the superior can’t manage every process. Additionally, this aids in time management because it is unrealistic for a particular superior to manage the volume of work alone.
Delegating authority enables time to be focused on an organization’s most crucial tasks. Additionally, it gives those who have given authority a sense of responsibility, an opportunity to develop, and a chance to exhibit initiative.
The transfer of authority from a superior to a subordinate does not imply a transfer of accountability, which is an important distinction to keep in mind. It’s interesting to note that the superiors are still responsible for the tasks. Effectively, delegation involves the distribution of authority for less essential jobs to subordinates accompanied by no transfer of accountability.
The delegation process
Follow these seven steps for effective delegation:
1. Get ready to assign
By stating the task’s goals and expectations in detail, you can evaluate the task you want to assign. To clarify your objectives, pose the following questions to yourself:
- What tasks must I complete?
- What qualifications and experience does my employee need to complete it successfully?
- What more materials can I offer to support what they already know?
- What resources can they access to increase productivity?
- What should the final product look like?
- What does a job well done look like in the eyes of those to whom I am accountable?
- Is this one job or can I break it up into several positions?
By providing answers to the aforementioned questions, you can create a clear description of your goals, offer a doable checklist of how to achieve them, and assist your team in reaching success.
2. Delegate the duty
Choose the ideal person or team for the job using your goal analysis as a reference to your expectations. You could make a choice using the following metrics:
- Skills: Assign the assignment to a person with the right skills for it because they are more likely to be able to work independently, which can increase their confidence and save them time.
- Interest: Assign the task to the most enthusiastic person or group because motivated workers are frequently more productive.
- Time: Assign tasks by employees’ availability since those who have enough time to finish the job are more likely to fulfill deadlines and may be more prepared to accept delegation in the future.
3. Verify comprehension
The individual or team embarking on the project should be made aware of the goals and expectations for the assignment. Consider reiterating the instructions in a useful way to make sure they understand them and are prepared to start working.
Here is an illustration of how to verify understanding in real life:
Manager of a public library, Gabriella. By the end of the day on Friday, she needs to classify a sizable stockpile of brand-new books. She assigns this duty to two available workers who have prior cataloging experience and enjoy going through new stock.
Gabriella informs them of the project’s deadline before politely requesting them to write it down on their calendars. She offers a rough estimate of the project’s time requirements and advises dedicating at least two hours every day to it. She inquires as to what time they will begin working on the job the next day to confirm the timeline and deadline.
4. Encourage success with SMART objectives
Establish precise, doable objectives to assist you in monitoring the development of your employee. This offers a clear route to success for both the big and little initiatives you delegate. Here are some examples of SMART goals for the delegation procedure:
- Specific: Precisely define the expectations for success, such as one 30-slide presentation on your company’s monthly financial performance intended for the vice president of the company.
- Measurable: Quantify your employee’s progress. Consider setting check-in points, such as completing ten slides to help them manage their time more efficiently and feel successful during the process.
- Attainable: Ensure your employee has the information, budget, software, and time they need to complete the task by the deadline. Predict the resources they might need and remind them you’re available to answer questions.
- Relevant: To maximize efficiency, separate unrelated resources, and tasks from the ones you delegated.
- Time-based: Set the task in a clear timeframe with a specific deadline. This can help your employee schedule time to complete the delegated task and manage their time more efficiently.
5. Demonstrate commitment
To ensure that your team or employee is committed to the assignment, schedule a follow-up meeting. This is an excellent opportunity to highlight the significance of the project, how it will help them develop their talents, and what’s interesting about the impending work.
To ensure your employee’s dedication, you can ask them the following straightforward questions:
- When can you expect to complete the project in half? Let’s set up a check-in time.
- What do you anticipate with this project?
- Do you believe you can meet the deadline and produce these results?
- How do you see yourself benefiting from this project?
- These queries can increase a worker’s enthusiasm for the project and highlight professional development.
6. Assure responsibility
Keep up your leadership responsibilities by giving your team the necessary backing and making sure they have the resources they need to succeed. How to improve accountability for delegated tasks is provided here:
- Decide on definite deadlines.
- Encourage a culture where people feel at ease asking questions
- Establish goals to enhance time management and track development.
- Be truthful about the repercussions of submitting incomplete work.
7. Offer rewards for success
Reward successful people. You may encourage professional confidence in your team, increase productivity, and show staff you value them by placing an emphasis on development and demonstrating how to improve while they are in training.
Here’s how to motivate your staff to complete assigned duties successfully regularly:
- Give regular comments highlighting what workers did well and areas for development.
- Comparing their outcomes to the previous work assigned will show progress.
- Celebrate a delivery that was successful by highlighting the work that individual employees accomplished well.
Importance of delegation
Workflow is changing as a result of lean business models
Leaders using lean business models do more with fewer resources and hours. They are overburdened with responsibilities in their current positions and, despite multitasking, find it difficult to manage everything on their own and yet achieve deadlines and quality standards.
Millennials anticipate greater delegation and trust from their leaders
The challenges, trust, and autonomy appeal to millennials. When team members are given important assignments by leaders, it conveys a stronger message: “I trust you to fulfill this task. I have faith in your ability. You are free to exercise your creativity. High-quality outcomes, reliable metrics, and highly motivated team members are the results.
The dynamics of work and home have shifted
Due to shifting roles in their marriages and families, business executives both men and women, are juggling more obligations than ever before. In many houses in the past, one spouse worked and the other one stayed at home, allowing the working spouse to devote their entire attention to their job. As a result of sharing parenting and housework duties as well as outside employment, many marriages nowadays include partners who are busier than ever. The balance between work and life is achieved through delegation.
The capacity of managers to empower employees serves as a benchmark
The days of receiving raises and promotions solely based on tenure are long gone. Business executives are more concerned than ever with employee engagement and retention, which means they judge their managers on their capacity to inspire and motivate their teams. Today’s workplace is less likely to reward managers who cling rigidly to their “own work,” underutilize their team members and burn the candle at both ends (and burn out in the process). Further information on this subject is provided by Carlos Garcia-Pont in his Forbes.com article, “Delegation and How to be a Better, Happier Manager.”
Delegation cultivates leadership
It’s becoming increasingly crucial for leaders to “develop their own” supervisors, managers, and future leaders as the labor market gets more competitive (it’s essentially an employee market). Delegation enables team members to develop their leadership abilities, discover new business facets, and put their knowledge and abilities to the test in a secure setting. Giving leaders the space they need to develop naturally lowers the organization’s recruitment and onboarding costs and aids in a smooth transition.
By dividing their workload, delegation gives managers breathing room. Managers can focus their attention on assignments with a higher priority as a result. Additionally, a respite from routine tasks enables the investigation of novel concepts.
We provide staff with new duties with the use of delegation. This enables individuals to work in a field that is distinct from their boring normal work, which helps them learn new skills and unearth hidden talents. Delegation enables workers to grow by allowing them to broaden their scope of responsibility. Effectively, it improves their prospects for the future and produces future managers.
Employee Motivating Factors
Superiors entrust capable subordinates with the responsibilities that have been allocated to them through the delegation process. This has numerous psychological advantages in addition to helping talent grow. This is due to the subordinate’s confidence and self-esteem growing as a result of the faith and trust shown in him, which eventually motivates him to work more.
Assistance with Growth
As previously noted, delegation gives workers the chance to grow and effectively prepares them to become better managers and decision-makers. This further assists an organization’s expansion process because it already has a qualified workforce on hand.
It is establishing a superior-subordinate relationship through delegation. It also directly relates to the scope and distribution of authority. This is so because reporting relationships are established by authority.