What is delegation?
Delegation is the assignment of responsibility or authority to another person-normally from a manager to a subordinate. An example is when a manager appoints a marketing director or a human resource manager.
During the start-up stage, the business owner almost is in charge of everything in the business: cleaning, bookkeeping, sales, marketing and other things taking place in his business. However, as the business grows, the owner can`t handle everything and needs outside help. He needs to hire employees. To ensure effectiveness in your team, you need to assign various roles to different individuals.
Importance of delegation in business
By allocating work to the team members, the business owner relieves himself of the workload and has time to focus on important issues such as planning, business analysis etc. Delegation makes the employees feel part of the business and having that feeling will make them bring out the best of your potential. Delegation helps the company grow. More positions and departments are created and qualified people are assigned to lead those departments. This
Steps to effective delegation
Employees can’t deliver quality results if the task delegated to them isn’t fully thought out, or if expectations keep changing. Take the time and develop the discipline to map out exactly what you’re asking for. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Once you’ve taken the time to map out exactly what you’re looking for, you need to convey that information to your employees. Be sure to include clear information on timing, budget, and context, and set expectations for communication and updates, including frequency, content, and format.
3. Confirm understanding
One of the most common mistakes made in delegating is assuming that employees understand what you want, rather than making sure that they do. Confirming understanding only takes about 60 seconds, but is the most important determinant of success or failure.
The best way to confirm understanding is to ask your employees to paraphrase the request or assignment in their own words. If you’re not comfortable doing that (many managers feel–often correctly–that it makes them sound like a kindergarten teacher), you should, at the very least, ask questions to make sure employees understand all aspects of what’s required.
4. Confirm commitment
This is another part of the delegation process that most managers skip. They often just assume that employees have accepted the tasks they’ve been given. The most important part of a relay race is the handing of the baton to the next runner. Runners spend a huge amount of time learning this skill. It should be no different in the workplace. Commitment means making sure you’ve successfully handed over the baton.
Confirm that employees are committed to the expected results, and to the process that’s been set out (including the schedule, budget, and tools), and that their overall goals for the task are aligned with yours. Make sure they’re aware of any consequences (for the company and for themselves) that may result if they fail to deliver on the desired outcomes.
5. Avoid “reverse delegating”
Many managers are extremely overworked. Sometimes, this is because their employees are better at delegating than they are: Managers often end up completing tasks they had delegated to others, because those tasks somehow end up back on their plate. I call this “reverse delegating.”
It’s rarely, if ever, necessary for a manager to take back a task that he or she had delegated to someone else. (If this is necessary, it likely means that not enough time was spent on the preparation stage, and that time, resource, or other constraints have led to problems that you did not foresee.)
If an employee reaches an impasse, treat it as a learning opportunity. Coach the employee through it, making sure he or she has the resources and knowledge needed to complete the task. That way, you’ll still be free to focus on other things, and the employee will be better equipped to carry out similar tasks in the future. The bottom line? Don’t take tasks back.
6. Ensure Accountability
Two-way communication is a key part of delegating. Finding out at the completion date that a deliverable hasn’t been completed or has been done unsatisfactorily is the nightmare scenario of delegating. That’s why you need to make sure your employees are accountable for the task.
Accountability is key to the process of delegation: It means employees are regularly communicating with you about the status of the deliverable and the timing of delivery so that there are no surprises at the eleventh hour.
The delegation process becomes faster and more fluid the more you do it. Once you’ve mastered it, it will become a part of your managerial DNA, and you’ll consistently reap outstanding results.
You as the business owner need to work on your business, not in your business. Therefore you need to relieve yourself from day to day operations by delegating work. This will keep you focused on the big picture. This will also give you time to for other important things in your life including family and leisure. Your business is there to serve you and your family, not the other way round.