BUSINESS MANAGEMENT - DELEGATION
This is the 16th of a series of newsletters published on Business Management and Management Skills. Not all topics will apply to your business, but each section will be beneficial to establish company goals and objectives. By reading and studying these newsletter articles, youre taking the first step in achieving your goals.
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Delegation is the giving of something to do to another, explaining his or her own experience in the area, the objectives to be achieved, the resources that are available, and then informing that person that he or she has the authority to perform it. Its not telling them how to do it, or standing over them while they do it. Its the means by which the strengths of others are put to best use. If a manager can admit that some subordinates are superior in some ways to themselves, then they can and must delegate. Failure to delegate leads to failure to properly manage others effectively.
Business managers routinely have more responsibilities than time to carry them out. Too often they make the mistake of thinking no one else can make decisions or handle an important task. Theyre wrong, of course. This attitude does not inspire subordinates to achieve at enhanced levels of performance and hurts the individual managers performance as well.
Follow the flow of authority in issuing instructions to employees. The manager delegates decisions and policies to the department heads and supervisors. They, in turn, instruct and direct the activities of employees under their supervision. If youve selected supervisors based upon their abilities, you must now have confidence in your own decisions and let them do their jobs as best they can. Accept the fact that theyre going to make mistakes, just as you have. If you dont allow them to fail, youll prohibit them from enjoying the benefits of succeeding.
Communicate publicly your confidence in your employees. Dont be afraid of delegating responsibility to others. If youve followed proper hiring methods, you should have confidence in the individuals you choose. Let them know you think they can handle the job but that you are available for consultation if they run into trouble. Monitor the work without appearing to hover over their shoulders. Generally, the jobs that should be delegated include:
Some jobs simply cannot be delegated. If you are uncertain as to which tasks can be delegated and which cannot, review the job description sheets. Those responsibilities listed under your job classification are yours alone. They include planning, supervising, organizing and plotting workflow. They do not include getting the work done.
Delegation does not mean the abdication of responsibility and control. You should continue to provide input in a timely fashion, but only when the need arises. It requires you to take a specific job, train an individual to do the job, and then letting go. Good delegation is a method of measurement of performance - for you and the employee performing the task. If you have ever given the car keys to a teenager, you know how difficult letting go can be!
It goes without saying that good delegation requires clear communication. Spell out the details, deadlines, and objectives, and why the task must be performed in a specific sequence and manner. If those points are understood, the delegation will prove to be successful. Dont ask for rush jobs, unless they are absolutely necessary, and then explain the reasons behind the hurry. Dont cry wolf when there isnt one!
If you experience friction with anyone with whom you come in contact in business (an employee, supplier, customer or competitor), dont express criticism to a third party. Your opinion may be based on a feeling or unconscious discrimination, which may not be appreciated by others. Some people have the mistaken impression that they enhance their reputations by finding fault with others. Remember that an individual is performing a task that has been assigned to them.
When youre delegating, its okay to include your recommendations,
but remember to leave the worker some creative space too. Employees should be able to make some decisions
about how the work is to be handled. Effective delegation is one of the most important managerial
skills. You can improve morale, increase productivity (your own and others), and ease your job stress
if you delegate wisely.
Mike Holts Comment: This newsletter article was extracted from Mike Holts Business Management and Management Skills Workbook. Watch for our next newsletter, and as always, we invite your comments and feedback. Send us your real-life experiences. We value your opinions and participation. Please respond to Barbara at firstname.lastname@example.org And be sure to visit Mike Holts Website at www.mikeholt.com
Copyright © 2002 Mike Holt Enterprises,Inc.