I learned the art of delegation by assigning important but not very urgent tasks to my junior staff while working in a towing service firm. Ever since then, I fell in love with the effectiveness of delegation, as it creates so much time for me to focus on other important tasks.
In management, delegation is one of the most important tasks. Your success in the management of your tasks may come down to your ability to delegate authority and responsibility. In any organization, managers are not expected to do all the work. They have numerous functions in management on which to focus.
This guide looks at the concept of delegation, its principles, effectiveness, and importance.
Principles of Effective Delegation
Delegation is function managers have to excel at. Effective delegation results in the smooth functioning and success of an organization. Principles of the effective delegation include;
Defining the Function
Before you can effectively delegate authority, as a manager, you should clearly define the scope and extent of the tasks to the subordinate. The subordinate needs to be aware of the tasks to be performed, activities to be overseen, and the relationship with other jobs.
Defining the Results
Before authority can be delegated, a manager should discuss with his subordinates the results and expectations from the task. This allows the subordinate to understand the standard of work and level of expectation needed.
Balancing Authority with Responsibility
There should be absolute parity between the responsibility and the authority delegated to the subordinate, to ensure effective delegation. If there is no authority, one will not be able to carry out tasks. Delegation of authority without any responsibility to carry out tasks makes the subordinate irresponsible and ineffective.
Absoluteness of Responsibility
Even after delegating authority to subordinates, a manager must remain responsible for their work as well as performance to his superiors. Subordinates are fully responsible for their work to their supervisors.
Defining the Limits of Authority
Managers must ensure subordinates have well-defined authority. This is done to avoid any overlapping, to enable subordinates to carry out work effectively. If there is work outside the scope of authority, subordinates should refer his work to their supervisor.
Delegation is important because you cant and should not do everything by yourself. With delegation, you empower your team, build trust, and assist with professional development. As a leader, when you delegate, you set yourself to identify who is best suited to tackle your tasks and projects.
Delegation can be very important in lightening your workload, to give you time to focus on other important tasks. People working for you will certainly acquire and develop new skills, and this prepares them for more responsibilities in the future.
While the benefits of delegating are plentiful, most managers fail to delegate effectively. This is because some people assume delegating tasks is just passing off work to someone else. Others think they can do it better and thus become reluctant to delegate work. Others are nervous about letting go. It is important to accept you can’t do everything by yourself. A little help will make you more efficient, more effective, and a better manager.