Delegation is the method of giving decision-making authority to lower-level employees. For the process to be successful, a worker must be able to obtain the resources and cooperation needed for successful completion of the delegated task. Empowerment of the workforce and task delegation is closely interrelated. Empowerment occurs when upper-level employees share power with lower-level employees. This involves providing the training, tools and management support that employees need to accomplish a task.
Thus, the employee has both the authority and the means to accomplish the work. Even though authority can be delegated, responsibility cannot; the person who delegates a task is held responsible for its success in the end. Thus the assigned worker is liable for meeting the goals and objectives of the assignment (Camp 2006). Using successful delegation benefits management and subordinates within the organization. Possibly the most significant advantage for the company is a higher quality of work.
At my workplace, delegation can improve quality of work by permitting the employees who have direct knowledge of the laws, regulations and procedures governing the administration of public assistance grants and programs and of interviewing and record keeping techniques to make decisions and complete tasks. Employees may do their work better because they may feel a personal liability for the ending result, even though responsibility ultimately rests with the person who made the delegation. Motivation should also be enhanced as delegation enriches the worker’s job by expanding the types of tasks that are involved in it (Camp 2006).
“Effective delegation leverages the manager’s energy and talent and those of his or her subordinates. It allows managers to accomplish much more than they would be able to do on their own. Conversely, lack of delegation, or ineffective delegation, sharply reduces what a manager can achieve. The manager also saves one of his or her most valuable assets, “time” by giving some of his or her responsibility to somebody else.
He or she is then free to devote energy to important, higher-level activities such as planning, setting objectives, and monitoring performance” (Bateman and Snell 2007). Empowered delegation can increase the coordination and integration of work by funneling information and final accountability through a single source (Whitten &ump; Cameron, 2007, p. 467).
Managers who delegate effectively also receive several personal benefits; most importantly, they have more time to do their own jobs when they assign tasks to others. Working in management can be chaotic and hectic at times, so time is very precious. The use of delegation gives management freedom to focus on managerial tasks such as planning, organizing and control. Managers can also benefit from the skill development of lower-level employees. With a more highly skilled workforce, they have more flexibility in making assignments and are more efficient decision makers.
“Managers who develop their workforce are also likely to have high personal power with their staff and to be highly valued by their organization” (Camp 2006). Effective delegation is actually crucial for effective succession. The main task of a manager in a prosperous organization is ultimately to develop a successor. When this happens, everyone within the organization can progress to higher things. “As a giver of delegated tasks you must ensure delegation happens properly.
Just as significantly, as the recipient of delegated tasks, you have the opportunity to ‘manage upwards’ and suggest improvements to the delegation process and understanding – especially if your boss could use the help” (Chatman 2008). Three behaviors to be practiced by a manager to enhance their skills in “Delegating and Empowering” are: Good Communicator
Knowing what you want accomplished may seem clear in your head, but if you try to explain it to someone else and are met with a blank expression, you know there is a problem. Being able to clearly and succinctly describe what you want done is extremely important. If you can’t relate your vision to your team, you won’t all be working towards the same goal. The ability to communicate with people at all levels is a very important skill managers need to possess. Project leadership calls for clear communication about goals, responsibility, performance, expectations and feedback.
There is a great deal of value placed on openness and directness. The manager is also the team’s link to the larger organization. The leader must have the ability to effectively negotiate and use persuasion when necessary to ensure the success of the team and project. Through effective communication, project leaders support individual and team achievements by creating explicit guidelines for accomplishing results and for the career advancement of team members.
Training new members and creating a productive work environment all depend on healthy lines of communication. Whether that stems from an open door policy to your office, or making it a point to talk to your staff on a daily basis, making yourself available to discuss interoffice issues is vital. Your team will learn to trust and depend on you, and will be less hesitant to work harder. Ability to Inspire
An effective manager is often described as having a vision of where to go and the ability to articulate it. Visionaries thrive on change and being able to draw new boundaries. It was once said that a leader is someone who “lifts us up, gives us a reason for being and gives the vision and spirit to change.” Visionary leaders enable people to feel they have a real stake in the project. They empower people to experience the vision on their own. According to Bennis “They offer people opportunities to create their own vision, to explore what the vision will mean to their jobs and lives, and to envision their future as part of the vision for the organization.” (Bennis, 1997). Being Organized
Organization is an obvious characteristic of a manager, but it manifests itself in a variety of ways, including in an ability to stay focused on the big picture and to prioritize competing responsibilities. “In most projects, there are so many things that have to get done that it’s hard to stay on top of everything and in control of everything,” says Kondo. “Being able to prioritize work for your team is a critical aspect of what a manager has to do with respect to delegating and empowering.” Conclusion
In conclusion, allowing management to dedicate more time to important decision-making tasks while lower-level employees carry out assignments means that assignments are done in a more well-organized and lucrative manner. Additionally, as employees develop and progress in their own line of work, their skills to contribute to the company enhances also. Throughout the delegation process, management and employees must work together and communicate about the project. The manager should know the ideas at the beginning and inquire about progress or problems at periodic meetings and review sessions.
Thus, even though the employee executes the task, management is available and currently aware of what’s going on. Many projects and issues are complex; therefore, managers will be pressed for times to address issues in a timely manner. The manager does not have to do it alone. The manager can delegate work. An effective manager does not mind delegating, for it can maximize the organization success, empower employees, and increase productivity.
When a manager can delegate effectively it demonstrate leadership, and it maximizes the manager success. Without delegation and the empowerment that must accompany it, no organization and no manager can enjoy long-term success” (Whitten &ump; Cameron, 2007, p. 467). Management within an organization that wants to find out how to successfully delegate should keep this quote in mind: “If you are not delegating, you are merely doing things; but the more you delegate, the more you are truly building and managing an organization” (Bateman and Snell 2007). References:
Bateman, Thomas S. and Snell, Scott A. Management: Leading and Collaborating in a Competitive World, Seventh Edition. The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2007 pages 266-269
Camp, Richard R. (2006). Delegation: Benefits of Delegation, Drawbacks of Delegation, Planning, Process. Retrieved from http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/management/De-Ele/Delegation.html February 20, 2008
Chatman, Alan (2008). Effective Delegating Authority Skills, Tasks and the Process of Effective Delegation. Retrieved from http://www.businessballs.com/delegation.htm February 21, 2008
Chatman, Alan (2008). Goal planning – Personal Aims, Targets, Goals, Visions, and Life-Changes – Making Things Happen. Retrieved from http://www.businessballs.com/goal_planning.htm February 21, 2008 Bennis, W., 1997. “Learning to Lead,” Addison-Wesley, MA.