The Key to Successful Delegation

To enable someone else to do the job for you, you must
ensure that:

* they know what you want
* they have the authority to achieve it
* they know how to do it

These all depend upon communicating clearly the nature of
the task, the extent of their discretion, and the sources
of relevant information and knowledge

Choosing the Right Tasks to Delegate..

To reduce the risk a manager should select the tasks to
be delegated carefully.

Tasks that should be considered first include:

* routine tasks where progress is measurable
* tasks that can be planned clearly well in advance
* tasks that could be done more effectively by someone
with specialist skills

Delegate complete jobs. It is much more satisfying to
work on a single task than on many fragments of the task.

You should be very careful when delegating tasks, which
have been delegated to you. The person delegating the task
has already reduced their direct control and may be very
reluctant to reduce it further.

Don’t delegate only unpleasant tasks.

In order to bring out the best in your subordinates you
should offer them a mix of tasks. Conversely, don’t keep
all the unpleasant tasks for yourself. It is important
not to hold back all the jobs that you personally dislike,
considering it unfair to give these to others.

– and, of course, the best person!

It is also important that you select the right people to
do the task. Ask yourself what skills can they bring to
bear on the task. Will this task require the acquisition
of new skills. What level of support will be required to
enable them to so the job? Try and select people who have
expressed an interest in tackling the kind of task you are delegating to them

Ensure you set aside sufficient time

Make sure that you set aside sufficient time to actually
specify delegated tasks and go through them with the
relevant members of staff. Ensure that tasks are not
delegated at the last minute, each member of staff have
their own responsibilities into which they must find the
time for the delegated work. Work delegated at the last
minute may not be done properly, if at all.

Explain why the job is done, and what results are expected

When you delegate a job, explain how it fits into the
overall picture of what you are trying to achieve.

Ensure that you communicate effectively:

* the results that are needed
* the importance of the job
* the constraints within which it should be carried out
* the deadlines for completion

It is important to stress the results – not necessarily
the methods – although this will depend on the stage of
development of the individual or team to whom you are

Offer the appropriate level of support

We have seen from our examination of situational leadership
that the appropriate level of support – and direction will
vary depending on the situation. Make sure, however, that
the person or team you are delegating to know that you are
there to support them – should they require help.

Delegation does not mean abdication of responsibility..

Agree the necessary follow-up

It is important that you agree some check points to
ensure progress of the task in hand is maintained –
and that the right results are achieved. If there are
reporting requirements – make those clear to the person
you are delegating the task to. Fix the appropriate
review points given the level of experience and expertise
of the individual or team…

But don’t over-control

The appropriate level of control is key – if results are
to be achieved successfully and the job done to the right
standard. But over-control can de-motivate – and can
lead to poor results – it’s all a matter of getting the
right balance..