personal attention

January 7, 2010

Delegation Is A Critical Role – For Every Manager

As a manager, it’s useful to understand what delegation is and how valuable it can be for you.

In fact, any business is usually run by managers operating at various levels who all need to delegate authority and tasks to their team members, so that they themselves can handle more relevant activities.

Some tasks are delegated as a matter of routine, while others are so important that managers decide these kinds of tasks more suitable for their personal attention and hence will not be delegated.

It is therefore important to ensure that you know which tasks are appropriate for delegation and those which should not be.

For many managers, delegating work and authority seems to be nothing more than a means of exercising free will in handing down tasks and responsibilities to others, who must then complete the task assigned to them and be accountable for the outcomes.

However, in its truest sense, delegating tasks and authority is not really an exercise of free will; it is meant to be a means whereby a manager can alleviate heavy workload and additional responsibilities that they cannot do on their own. By delegating some work and authority to others, it allows you to free your time and focus on doing more important work.

Nor is delegating authority and work is such a simple thing; for those who have never delegated before, chances are that they can make it difficult for themselves – because they do not know what is really required of them to get bit right.

To successfully delegate, you will need to have certain skills, patience, confidence and some courage too. With these attributes can should be able to delegate successfully.

Another question that you will need to answer is just how will you benefit by delegating work or authority! Effective delegation means picking the right person to do the right task – choosing a responsible person who can be given certain amount of authority to get things done.

However, even after delegating work/authority your job will not end there because you are, after all, going to be held responsible for the outcome for that you have delegated. You will always need to ensure that the work delegated is performed according to your high standards.

As a matter of fact, many companies view delegating tasks to be a means of developing an employee’s capabilities. When you delegate you will be giving an employee more responsibility, which in turn can act as a motivating force for them to complete the task in the manner you require.

After delegating activities, you will then need to look at the work done by the employee and use their performance as a yardstick with which to measure their effectiveness.

Someone who performs their delegated work well and shoulders responsibility in a desired manner can be developed further, perhaps leading to later promotion, while an employee that fails to produce desired results may be best left at their existing level.

The bottom line is that managers can use delegation as a means to resolve short-term activities, where they themselves need support. In fact, by delegating it is possible to create enough time to personally deal with more important tasks, improving effectiveness, whilst being more efficient in your work, whilst developing your people too.

A good manager who delegates, will be able to manage better and those entrusting new and interesting tasks will be more motivated and committed to their work – and an amazing win-win that works for all.

Filed under Blog, Building the Future, Developing Your People, Managing Me by Martin

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