What is delegation? Delegation is assigning authority to another person to carry out specific tasks. This occurs typically in a manager assigning work to a subordinate. Many benefits come with delegation. However, one has to do it properly to reap those rewards. Risk is always involved in delegation since you entrust someone else to do the work on your behalf. If they mess up, you’re still the one who is ultimately accountable to whoever assigned you the task/work. So how and why should you delegate?
Assigning work to subordinates frees you up to do other work. Assign tasks that are of a lower priority. This is similar to having an extra set of hands to help you out, and you can quickly tick off all the day’s tasks on your to-do list for the day. The delegation also allows the most qualified person to make the decisions. For example, let’s say you’re the IT department manager and your boss tells you to make some major changes to your company’s website. However, you specialize in hardware, which is your area of expertise. Fortunately, one of your subordinates is a web developer. It would be best to delegate this task to your subordinate since they are the most qualified individual.
Delegation also empowers employees and builds their trust in you. It shows that you believe in them and allows them to expand their skill set by working on new assignments. Moreover, delegation will enable managers to get another qualified person’s perspective on issues.
Here is a summary of the delegation process. Initially, the superior allocates tasks to the employee, giving them access to the resources they require to do the job and setting a time limit. The subordinate is then granted authority by the superior to perform the tasks needed. They do not have to keep coming back to seek permission to do certain things that typically require approval first. The employee is also assigned the responsibilities needed to complete this task. A manager cannot fully delegate responsibility since they still have to account for the work produced by their subordinate(s). Finally, the manager has to create accountability at the end of the process. Employees’ work must meet the expected standards.
Delegation comes with certain risks. Subordinates may not produce quality work, or they may fail to meet the deadline, making managers hesitant to delegate. This is one risk that a manager cannot entirely avoid. On the other hand, managers may delegate tasks that suit their personal needs but not the companies’ needs. This could be detrimental to a company’s progress. Measures must be put in place to ensure that subordinates are not taken advantage of by their superiors.
Delegation is essential, and hopefully, this quick guide was helpful. Managers, both low and high level, will significantly benefit from learning how to delegate well.
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