Often managers don’t delegate because they hold one or more of these beliefs. Do any sound familiar?
“If you want the job done right, you have to do it yourself.”
“They don’t know how, and it’s not my job to train them.”
“They don’t want extra responsibilities.”
“They’ve already got too much to do.”
“It’s my job to do the thinking. It’s their job to do the work.”
“They will get the recognition instead of me.”
“If they do too much, I might be seen as dispensable.”
“If they do it wrong, it will reflect badly on me.”
“They might make mistakes that will harm the company.”
Does it seem like the risk is too great?
12 Reasons Delegating Is Worth the Risk.
- You can manage your time better and increase your efficiency.
- You will stop being inundated with irrelevant details.
- You get out of the mode of going from crisis to crisis.
- You have more time to think strategically and plan for the future.
- You have more time to concentrate on the work that is really important.
- Your team has an opportunity to develop skills and knowledge and increase their effectiveness.
- You improve the quality of decisions because they are being made by those you have the most information and closer to the situation.
- You are seen as more effective because your team is more effective.
- You show your team that you have trust and confidence in them, which positively affects their attitudes, interpersonal relationships, and performance.
- You increase their commitment to the task, to the team and to the company.
- You create a pool of talent who can take over whenever needed.
- You are more likely to be promoted because it will be easier to fill your position.
Ready to delegate? Here’s how to minimize the risk.
Guidelines to Determine What to Delegate.
1. Have a discussion with your direct report about their view of their skills, interests, and current workload and take that into account. Allow them to have a say in determining what and when tasks are delegated to them.
2. Support their development by delegating activities that might be part of their future responsibilities.
3. Do not delegate performance evaluations, disciplinary actions, confidential tasks, tasks specifically assigned to you, and sensitive situations.
4. Delegate to the lowest level at which the task can be successfully accomplished. Do not bypass your direct report, but give him or her the authority to delegate the task.
Steps to Delegate Effectively.
1. Ensure expectations are clear.
Be specific, clear, and complete about the task, goals, responsibilities, constraints, what a good job looks like and how performance will be evaluated. Clarify at the beginning the amount and type of supervision you will provide and how the progress will be monitored.
2. Grant authority.
Grant the authority needed to do the job. Let all who will be affected know about the delegation.
3. Provide needed support and resources.
Provide all information that is available and relevant; pass on other information as it becomes available. Give public credit when they succeed, but deal with mistakes discretely.
4. Get out of the way.
Do not interfere or take the delegation back unless it is clear that corrective action is necessary. Do not supervise too closely. “Post-delegation hovering” is demoralizing and will interfere with their commitment and effectiveness.
5. Don’t accept “upward delegation.”
Make it a policy that if someone brings a problem to you, they must also bring proposed solutions. Don’t become the person who solves their problems or you will end up taking on their work.
6. Maintain accountability.
It should be clear that your direct report has the responsibility for seeing the job well done. But remember that the ultimate accountability remains with you.
7. Delegate consistently.
Make delegation a regular practice, not just when you are overloaded or when tasks are unpleasant.