Delegation is understood as a fundamental component of any managers’ or leaders’ responsibilities. If utilized successfully, delegation gives genuine advantages to each one included.
Delegation is considered necessary for improving work-life balance and is perhaps the most significant test individuals have in the work environment as well as at home. It empowers us to accomplish more, by performing better and focusing more on what it is that we do expertly and letting the other ‘stuff’ pass on to another person to do.
In simples form, delegation can be defined as the process of assigning any authority to someone else (typically from a supervisor to a subordinate) to perform particular tasks. It is one of the central ideas of management leadership.
The delegation has various advantages. By streamlining your workload, you increment the measure of time available for performing key managerial tasks. It also lets your staff feel more motivated and confident. Also, it decreases the anxiety and stress level over the workforce.
The best part of delegation is its ability to empower subordinates to make crucial decisions, as it is associated with moving the decision-making authority from one hierarchical level to a lower one.
Something contrary to successful delegation is micromanagement- in which a leader, supervisor, or manager gives an excessive amount of inputs, information, suggestions, and audits for the assigned work.
All in all, the right way of doing delegation is acceptable and can save cash and time, plus, it can also help in building the right aptitudes, empowering members, and motivating individuals. But, if delegation is not done correctly, it may create dissatisfaction and turmoil for all the included parties.
This post will take you deep into the world of delegation and help you understand the right ways of using it to optimizing the chances of getting favorable outcomes.
What is Delegation?
A leader is the one who has all the responsibilities of leading a team. The decision-making powers rest with that person, and he/she is held accountable for any happening. If there is a huge team to be managed, this can get tedious and stressful.
To save the leader from this hectic schedule, the concept called delegation has been brought into practice.
Delegation is the act of dividing the work and modules and giving the authorities and the decision-making power to someone else other than the leader. It is crucial in a large organization. This division of work is practiced in many companies for effective business management.
While talking about the importance of delegation, Senior Lecturer, National Institute of Education Dr. Kanthi Wijesinghe says-
Delegation begins when the manager passes on some of his responsibilities to the subordinate. Responsibility is the work assigned to an individual.’
However, it is essential while allotting these obligations to others; these people must be willing and fit to be appointed or delegated to also.
For accomplishing success in the delegation, one of the most critical factors is ‘the delegated readiness.’
Let us now understand why delegation is important-
Delegation is a crucial concept, and one needs to know the pros and cons of it before determining how to delegate your team members.
Researches and studies have shown that delegation is of great use to team leaders. Since the work gets divided into the commission, there is lesser stress on the leader. He/she need not interfere in every process and need to examine and approve the final product brought by the team who was delegated to do a specific task.
Effective delegation does a lot of good not only on the part of the leader but also for the team members. There is more freedom given to them to experiment with new processes and try out methods that might be different from the methods previously used yet promising.
Delegation is no less than a training program for all the team members. They get to sharpen their leadership skills and gain new knowledge and competencies.
It promotes a sense of trust and friendship in the team and the organization. Since there is an equal division of work, there is less stress on everyone. There is a joyous and light environment in the office, which works well for everyone.
The team members and the leaders build a relationship based on trust, respect, and transparency. It boosts their efficiency and gives them better results. The companies or the organizations which apply delegation achieve far more than those who do not.
Here is a video by Marketing91 on Delegation.
Difference between Delegation and Work Direction
Many people get confused between delegating work and allocating work. Allocating work is the same as the work direction. If you are assigning a task to someone, you give all the directions. In the work direction, the instructions are given clearly regarding what is to be done and how it is to be done. There are much lesser freedom and almost no authority to make any decisions.
In delegation, the employees are divided into teams. Each team has a leader who is bestowed with some authority of decision-making and given the responsibilities that are to be fulfilled.
The higher-order management does not get involved in the minutest details of these processes. The delegation consists of the participation and involvement of all the team members.
It establishes amicable bonds among them and also gives them a sense of freedom. The leader can trust these team members explicitly and assign them the required tasks.
Explaining the Process of Delegation
The delegation process is quite simple, yet it needs to be carried out with immense focus and preciseness. Here are the top 4 steps for processing delegation.
1. Assignment of Task
In delegation, the tasks are divided according to the comfort and expertise of the team members.
If there is a correct division of functions, the team members are in a healthy working environment, and this will ensure more efficiency.
2. Assignment of Authority
If there is a division of work yet no division of authority, this creates chaos and more stress to the team members and the leader.
Hence, you need to assign powers to the respective team leaders and then take the final reports from these reports.
3. Creation of Accountability
Accountability is the virtue by which one is responsible for the tasks assigned to them. If there is accountability created, the team members feel guilty and put their best foot forward.
4. Creation of Responsibility
Responsibility is the act of maintaining the trust bestowed upon you by someone. If you create accountability, it enhances the level of trust and amicability in the organization.
Hence, the creation of responsibility is an essential step in the process of delegation.
10 Levels of Delegation
There are ten levels in which delegation takes place. Which level is to be chosen depends on the organization’s size and the hierarchy maintained for the decision-making capacities.
- ‘Wait to be instructed’ and ‘Do exactly what you are told to.’
- ‘Look into the matter and report to me. I’ll decide what is to be done.’
- ‘Look into the matter and let me know everything. We will decide the further plan of action together.’
- ‘Assess the situation and let me know what help you need from me.’
- ‘Give me your analysis of the situation and your recommendations. Then, we will decide together.’
- ‘Decide what is to be done and tell me your decision, but wait for my go-ahead.’
- ‘Make a decision and go ahead with it unless I ask you not to.’
- ‘Decide and take the required action. Submit the report to me with all the details’
- ‘Decide what is to be done and take action. Just let me know the overall results’
- ‘Decide on the necessary action and do the needful. It is your responsibility now.’
How to Delegate For the Best Performance? – Top Delegation Tips
Delegating for the best performance is a great skill, and one needs to master it for the entire delegation. Here are some of the steps that you can take for the official delegation.
1. Identify the best person for the task
The tasks should be delegated according to the expertise of the person. The person best for the job should be assigned suitable responsibilities. It will reduce stress and give accuracy and correctness to work being done.
2. Assess training needs
If any team member who is willing to work in an individual team or on a specific task but does not have the skill set to do so should be trained accordingly. It will enhance the knowledge and competencies of the people.
3. Delegate the whole task module to a single person
It is advisable not to subdivide the task modules. It will scatter the work, and collecting the pieces would be a tough task.
Hence, if you delegate the whole task to a single person, it will give him enough freedom and space to think about the working style and provide the best possible output.
4. Explain the reasons behind the delegation
Every delegation has a specific and valid reason. No one generally tries to oppose the senior management who assigns the task. Still, if the command clears their doubts and explains the delegation’s process and reasons, it creates a good impression on them.
It maintains transparency and helps them work better.
5. Specify the results you prefer
In delegation, there is enough freedom given to the delegates. They can decide the process on their own accord. However, the goals that need to be worked towards should be stated clearly.
If there is any ambiguity in that, the process will be useless and meaningless.
6. Consider the resources that the team would require
Every team requires the right resources for the smooth completion of the tasks assigned to them.
If the allocation of resources is not proper and fair, the respective team leaders will not generate the required output. That is why the leaders should give not only the authority but also the resources to the delegates.
7. Maintain open and healthy communication
The most important aspect of good delegation is communication. If there are any restrictions on this, the team would not be able to put in all their efforts.
On the other hand, if you maintain good bonds of open and healthy communication, there will be more exchange of information and generation of ideas.
8. Appreciate and reward the ones who do a good job
One of the fundamental incentives of any employee is appreciation. If you are admired for the work you have done, it is perfect for anyone.
Hence, if you want to get the best results, you need to keep your team members motivated by giving them rewards, bonuses, and appreciation.
Fears Involved In Delegating
Delegating is not an easy task. It requires the right attitude and aptitude for dividing responsibilities and authorities. There are some fears which people commonly have regarding delegation.
- The leaders might be hesitant to give their team members responsibilities as they fear their decision-making skills.
- They may feel that delegation will take a lot of time, and the quality of work may vary.
- It might lead to the division of credit, and some people may not approve of that.
- Some people feel that delegation might prove that they are incapable of handling the whole task and make all the decisions correctly.
- Sometimes, people do not delegate the tasks owing to their guilt of overburdening their staffs.
- People fear letting go of the tasks they love doing. They feel that there will not be any substantial work left for them.
Despite all these fears, delegation cannot be avoided. Some of the key reasons why you cannot avoid it are given below-
The Cost of Avoiding Delegation
Though delegation takes some effort and time to organize, channelize and prioritize things, but the expense of avoiding it is too extreme.
The supervisor, manager, or leader who doesn’t know how to delegate adeptly won’t just appear to be disordered. They will also spend numerous hours every week, finishing low-priority assignments.
This can bring about over the top hours worked by top leaders and senior managers, plus it will also cause low-moral in the underemployed staff. Because of all this, the fundamental procedure will get hampered somewhere around bottlenecks. Also, there will be a low quality of work and missed deadlines.
All these factors will, for sure, detrimentally affect the long-term performance of the organization.
Therefore, delegation cannot be avoided by the leaders and managers.
Final Thoughts about Delegation!
Delegation is a great concept that is beneficial in any work sphere.
Despite the fears that people have, it has been proved that there are better ways of going about it and achieving success and financial profits.
All the managers, supervisors, and leaders need to master the art of delegation. They have to understand how and when to allocate the responsibilities to other members, as this will empower them in optimizing personal as well as organizational productivity.
How important do you consider delegation for improving leadership? Share your views with us in the comments below.