Delegation – Are you scared?
The term that can create shivers and fear in the minds of many…Often delegation is a horrendous hand-off see image above of work to another person and then the manager feels like something was accomplished BUT the person delegated too feels used and confused. Plus, if follow-up occurs it is haphazard, reactionary and punitive. Forcing the manager and employee into a “Gotchya!” scenario, where each is to blame for the poor outcome.
When delegation is used for good it is a powerful I would argue the most powerful system for employee performance and growth that we have in our tool kit.
A well delegated task assignment / goal and work plan should create leverage of work and output greater than 1 to 1…when used as a flex and development tool a manager can use delegation to create a 10 to 1 even a 1000 to 1 shift in output and completion of work on-time, within budget and quality specifications. This is how large scale organizational work gets done, through well organized and planned delegation of tasks that are properly matched to the level-of-work of the person being delegated too.
Delegation Solution - Setting the foundation of what’s expected
You, the manager respond to the questions below thinking about the task to be delegated.
- What do you expect the employee to be able to do?
- Is that realistic based upon their abilities, time and knowledge?
- You have defined the delegated expectation, how will you know that they are completing it within the expected QQTR goals?
- On a scale of 0 – 10 with 10 being absolute and 0 being the opposite what is your current level of confidence that the delegated task can be completed? What would a 9 look like on that scale?
- What can you / have you already done to ensure that the person is going to be successful in completing the task?
- If you woke up tomorrow morning and they magically were done with the task you delegated, what would be the 1st concrete / tangible sign that you would notice to have you realize that the task is done without them telling you?
- Knowing this persons work when have they completed similar tasks and had success? When else? When else? How did you know?
- Based upon your responses to these questions, what is the best path for you to take in delegating the tasks to this person?
- When can you go-and-see how they are progressing?
When you have set the foundation and are sure that the delegation is appropriate and you are able to see how this delegation assignment is meant to increase your managerial-leadership leverage AND develop the employee WHILE freeing up time for the discretionary areas of judgment…then the solution to effective delegation happens.
What do you think?
michael cardus is create-learning