Making Delegation Work For You

Making Delegation Work For You

In today’s competitive business environment and ever-increasing focus upon doing things as effectively as possible we need to make sure that both our staff are rising to these challenges as well as ourselves.

In the dark ages of assembly lines and mass control through dictat and order the process of involving and actually working with staff was just not needed as the production quota ruled all. People were ruled over, that was the way it was and those not liking it could, well, leave to put it bluntly.

Staff arrived at the door and an invisible electric beam removed any conscious thoughts or involvement at the door and the beam switched them back on when they left at the end of the day. Management was power.

Today this is a flawed and non-productive means by which to survive as an organisation and is not related in any real way to organisations that seek to grow and develop. Particularly weak management today would have the following views on delegation;

  • I have limited time to do anything in my job role.
  • I’m paid more than my staff so therefore I am infinitely more valuable and respected than those below me. I also make a significantly more important contribution to the organisation than those whom I manage.
  • I will make sure that my staff always do the parts of my job that I don’t want to do because I can then spend time on the things I want to do.
  • I will only delegate the task and nothing more. The task is the task as I have defined it and I will be watching all of the time to make sure it gets done.

However pre-historic this sounds I guarantee there will be some managers where you work who both think and act like this. AND they think it is perfectly normal to do so.

Please give my regards to Brontosaurus when you are in the canteen when you next see him.

A dose of current reality

Modern delegation must be different if it is going to result in benefits. Delegation must be aimed at achieving other outcomes and definitely not those listed above; it has to be about far more than just lightening the burden on my shoulders and shuffling off some old rubbish tasks I can’t be bothered to look at doing!

Delegation in the modern organisation should be about;

  • Developing the skills of the staff in our teams at little or no cost
  • Mentoring and Coaching employees to increase their effectiveness and efficiency
  • Making better use of productive time
  • Giving an opportunity to develop skills so that when a promotion opportunity appears staff have the skills, knowledge and confidence to make a sensible and realistic application rather than just stabbing in the dark and becoming demotivated at the result
  • Increasing employee commitment and engagement

If delegation works well the right staff stay with the organisation and grow with it. The true test for ma would be being pushed, challenged and driven (all in the nicest possible way!) by staff eager to take on new tasks that push at conventional wisdom and accepted practice by offering a fresh, new perspective upon working practices.

This happens because I take time to consider carefully who gets delegated which tasks and not because I want to dump things onto people.

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