The fun about delegating

In this article, I wish to address one of the most effective management technique, which is also one of the most poorly used: delegation.

First, just a few facts
Delegation is in the very essence of management, since a whole team of people have to do the job. This group has been hired for a very simple reason: one person cannot do the job.
In order to make the teamwork towards the goal and work as one entity, management jobs have been created. Their role is not to do the job but to get the job done. And all the trouble lies in this subtle nuance.

What does make delegation work?
You have hired people to do a job, and that is for this very purpose that you have to supervise them.
You have hired them because there are competent; so do not worry of having them do what you have hired them to do. If you doubt their competence, why did you hire them?
You have lots to supervise and to attend to, so define clearly who does what and who is accountable for as well as by when the job goals must be met. Delegating will save you precious time.
Be very specific about what you expect form your staff.
Give feedback and ask for feedback, when you communicate, be brief and to the point. Your staff expects you to do that. And remember that communicating effectively is not the same as talking/socializing too much.
Be present and walk in on a regular basis. Better many short contacts during which you will immediately hear the most important information than long periods of no contact interrupted by long formal meetings.
When you do this properly, as a manager you will feel fulfilled, you will be happy to go to work, as very likely your team will perform quite well. On the other side, your staff will feel appreciated, will have confident and will take more initiative that will benefit your company and will be loyal.

So what does go wrong with the delegation sport?
What situation do you get when the manager does not delegate properly?
The manager spends more time being involved in his staff’s daily activities. The result is staff frustration and lower motivation. Nobody likes having someone looking over his or her shoulder all the time.
The results of such behaviour are many. The most typical are an overworked manager who loses his ability to look at the big picture, wasting his time in things that would be done anyway (remember? he hired competent people) and getting more and more pressure from his own supervisor, as he is having more and more difficulties to meet the deadlines.
Competent people are not interested in working in a messy environment nor are they interested in having the feeling that their boss does not trust them fully. This will result in higher turnover, which will even increase the workload of the overworked manager.
The main cause of bad delegation is fairly simple: an insecure manager who does not trust others.

Copyright 2009 The Happy Future Group Consulting Ltd.

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