KEYS TO EFFECTIVE DELEGATION
Effective delegation is ultimately predicated on ensuring that a company’s workforce is sufficiently talented and motivated to take on the responsibilities that are delegated to them. New entrepreneurs often have difficulty figuring out what king of workers to hire. If the wrong people are hired, they require more training and supervision, which invites nanomanagement.
Sound hiring practices and adequate training are thus universally regarded as major factors in establishing a healthy system of delegation. Once those aspects have been addressed, there are other considerations that can be studied as well.These include:
Establish a positive work environment where employees are not paralyzed by fear of failure or dismissive of tasks that they think is beneath them. Owners and managers need to emphasize tools of motivation and communication to nourish employee enthusiasm.
Plan for Delegation
A company that is armed with a strong, clear vision of its future – is far more likely to be successful than the business that does not plan ahead.
Business owners and managers need to objectively examine which tasks that they have previously taken care of can be delegated to others. Reserve for yourself those tasks that require the experience, skill, and training which only you possess.
Selection of Appropriate Employees for New Responsibilities
As every personnel manager knows, some members of the workforce are better suited to take on new responsibilities than others. When reviewing potential candidates to take on additional responsibilities, business owners should consider level of employee motivation, skill sets, level of allegiance to the company, and emotional maturity.
Detailed manuals of policies can go far toward eliminating the uncertainties that hamstring some delegation efforts.
Prepare for Bumps in the Road
Even the best planned delegation efforts can go awry, leading to the short-term productivity/profitability losses. Indeed, risk is an inherent element of the delegation process, and some errors or misjudgments may occur as workers adjust to their responsibilities. Employees need to be reassured that the manager will be there to offer assistance or clarification, and that mistakes during the learning period are to be expected. Mistakes should be viewed as opportunities to teach, not punish.
Delegation of tasks and responsibilities is far more likely to be successful if the employees have the knowledge necessary to fulfill their duties. The fact that no one has the skills to complete a task you are handling doesn’t mean you should avoid delegation. It means you should train. While building the skills of an employee require an investment of time, that investment will pay off.
Be clear and concise when delegating. Right from the beginning you must clarify what decisions you are delegating and what you are reserving for yourself. Delegating fails when the person to whom you have delegated a task fails to perform it or makes a decision beyond the scope of authority granted.
Conversely, delegation can also fail if the business owner hands off a responsibility, but does not give his or her employee the necessary level of authority to execute their responsibility. If you overlook this, you may cause the person delegated to suffer frustration and stress because he or she was given an assignment yet not given the authority and power needed to accomplish it properly.
Provide Advisory Role
Business owners should make sure that they keep lines of communication open at all times after delegating responsibilities. Employee questions and uncertainties about their new responsibilities are perfectly natural, so owners should make themselves available for questions and maintain a nonjudgmental and helpful stance.
Ultimately, business owners need to recognize that delegation can help a business grow and prosper, and that good employees, when used intelligently, can be a significant advantage in the marketplace. The manager who wants to learn to delegate more should remember this distinction. If you are not delegating, you are merely doing things; the more you delegate, the more you are truly building and managing an organization.