Organising & Delegating in the Workplace Essay
Organising & Delegating in the Workplace
1.1 The importance of making effective and efficient use of people’s knowledge skills while planning the team’s work to achieve objectives is explained
Organising is the managerial function of arranging people and resources to work towards a goal. In order to achieve objectives in an effective and efficient manner it is important to have a good knowledge of the team’s skills. Issues such as lack of motivation in the team or lack of confidence could mean the objective is failed and at the same time enthusiastic, motivated and given responsibility for their work team, can reach the targets and aims and objectives. Overall meeting the objectives of the company could be at risk and cannot be met if the wrong person is chosen. Organising is about planning for a situation; it’s about working together to achieve one goal. To organise I need to ensure that the people I manage and lead are the making the best use of their skills to do that specific task. In Hull Libraries I have to plan for specific times of the year. I know for example that the school holidays are a busy time in Hull Libraries. It is important for the right member of staff to be matched with their own knowledge and skills to the task in hand. An example of a task that is needed specifically in the holidays may be a craft sessions.
Now I know that certain members of staff do not excel in art and craft sessions. It would not be fair to put a member of staff that did not feel confident and have the correct skills on this task. It would affect their confidence and their motivation. I instead put a member of staff, for example Karen, as the lead for this task. Karen loves arts and crafts, enjoys working with children and is good at these sessions. This means that the children will enjoy it and the parents will feel that the received a good level of customer service. When holding sessions in the past we have had very positive feedback for these sessions. In Hull Libraries if a member of staff is allocated to the wrong area of work then this may have a direct impact on members of the public. Objectives may not be met on time and/or to the standard which they should be.
This will not receive the level of customer service that they deserve or expect which can lead to complaints being raised and an unhappy member of the public. This reflects badly on Hull Library service which we do not want. This may also effect a member of staffs level of motivation and dedication. When this time of year comes we also have a ‘relief’ list of staff. Should we need more members of staff on the counter to cover activities as mentioned above, we can call these staff in on a relief basis to help with the demand. Covering busy periods at the library is quite easy. As a supervisor am I not always on the rota to be on the counter, I am sometimes planned to be in my office. Should demand increase I can go onto the counter to serve customers as and when needed.
1.2 One technique is used to identify the appropriate activity for a person
To identify the appropriate member of staff for the correct activity I have used a skills matrix spread sheet (appendix 1). A skills matrix is a table that displays people’s proficiency with certain skills and knowledge. You can link this to the task in hand.
Recently in Hull Libraries we have started to hold appointments for Blue Badge assessments, as well as this we also have a summer programme of activities to hold for children and the day to day running of the library. To plan and allocate the correct work to the correct person I have looked at each member of staff and rated their skills needed for the task between 1 and 10. From the skills matric I can also see training gaps and also areas for mentoring. I can see that Karen would be good at mentoring Julie and Anne for children’s activities as they do not have as higher skills, knowledge and confidence as Karen. I can see that it would not be appropriate to put Jacki or Sue on Blue Badge appointments as they have not yet had the appropriate training. This would not be fair on either the member of staff or the member of the public.
The service provided would not be to the higher quality that Hull Libraries wants it to be. For the task in appendix one I can see that it would be good to have Karen running the children’s craft sessions, Julie holding the Blue Badge Appointments, Sue helping members of the public with I.T and Jacki and Anne serving the customers on a regular basis. Anne is also trained with the delivery of Bus passes and Rail Cards so she can issue these should a member of the public attend the library for one. A skills matrix can also be used to identify training needs. I can see that Jacki and Sue need training for Blue Badges. Should the skills matrix have been for a different subject then I would be again ale to identify training needs for other people.
1.3 How human resource planning can be used to assure output and quality is explained
Human resource planning is how companies can determine and analyse the requirement of, and supply of if need be, a workforce in order to achieve the organisation’s goals and objectives. HR planning predicts what will affect the availability and requirement of employees in the future. If a company also has too many staff HR planning for the future is key when it may come to making redundancies in a company.
Hr planning also takes into account staff that on annual leave, sickness and maternity. This may result in temporary staff being brought in to support core staff. Hull Libraries do have a list of ‘relief’ casual staff who are able to come in should this situation arise. Part of HR planning is the training of members of staff. Training ensures that the right amount of staff have the correct skills and knowledge to provide the customer with the level of service they expect.
For workplaces like factories this is slightly easier to predict as they have output of raw materials. They can predict how many items a certain line can make in an hour and plan staffing around orders and the amount of materials needed. Many factories can use formulas to generate their anticipated work load and work force. Many companies for examples can predict that an order has been placed for 100 items. Each member of staff can produce 10 items a day but they only have two days to turn the order around. This means that they will need 5 members of staff minimum to meet the requirement. This is a small example of what companies can predict. Large companies can predict when orders for 1000’s of items are placed.
For Hull Libraries it is slightly harder as we do not have key figures as output. The output for Hull Libraries is customer service to the customer. What the customer expects and what the customers gets. If Hull Libraries were short staffed and still managed to serve customers they would not receive the same quality and time they expect. Conversely, if Hull Libraries were short staffed and ensured that the customer was taken care of and received the level of customer service they expect then not enough customers will be able to be served. Either way, complaints are likely so HR planning is really important.
Recently though with the changes that have been happening we have been able to plan staffing with output figures in mind. We know that each library has approximately 30 Blue Badge appointments each week, each taking one hour. This means we have been able to plan staffing to cover the 30 hours of appointments each week. In a couple of cases this has resulted in staff being moved from other libraries and in the long term plan it is going to result in new staff being recruited.
Delegating to achieve workplace objectives
2.1 One example of delegation and one example of empowerment in the workplace is given
“Delegation involves giving a member of your team the responsibility for part of your job and the authority to carry it out, but you retain overall control and accountability.” (Williams, 2006)
Delegation is an important management skill. Good delegation saves you time, develops your staff and motivates. Poor delegation will cause frustration, demotivation and failure to achieve the task. Effective delegation is crucial for management and leadership succession. Delegation is giving responsibility ensuring that the member of staff knows what is required of them and the standard that is expected. The overall control is retained by me as a manager. This means that the task will still be supported and also the task will not fall behind time constraints. Some tasks are ideal for delegation but some should never be delegated. Tasks that should never be delegated include confidential matters, disciplinary action, appraisals and counselling staff. Jobs that can be delegated include jobs which are routine, jobs where an individual member of staff be able to do the task to a better standard than myself and jobs of which are low to medium priority. As a manager I have delegated tasks to members of staff on many occasions. Each month I have a full team meeting and devise a rota of jobs that can be delegated to staff.
These are jobs that are a core part of library duties but are not vital jobs for me as a line manager to complete. Some of the jobs may take time when I can be working on higher priority jobs. One of the jobs which I have delegated in the library is the display work. I have delegated this job to Karen. This includes the general posters in the library and then creating the display work in the library including the children’s library. The reason I have delegated this task is for a number of reasons. The job is not a high priority task so I may have another task which need doing first, Karen is really good at producing display work and Karen has a passion for art and really enjoys producing displays. I am not as skilled and do not have knowledge of art and crafts to produce the displays to the calibre of what Karen can. By delegating this task to Karen she has excelled at the job in hand and it has motivated her in her work. Empowerment is a management practice of sharing information, rewards, and power with employees so that they can take initiative and make decisions to solve problems and improve service and performance.
Empowerment is based on the idea that giving employees skills, resources, authority, motivation, as well holding them responsible and accountable for outcomes of their actions, will contribute to their motivation. Each month during a team meeting I ask the staff if they had any ideas that they would like to put forward to improve their skills or to improve the customer’s experience of the library. If the ideas seemed a positive one and one we would be able to go ahead with I would speak to my line manager to have the idea authorised ready for implementation. If the idea was authorised I would then speak to the member of staff who had the idea and let them lead on this. One of the ideas that came from one of these meeting was from Sue, one of my members of staff. She had noticed a rise in people coming to the library to use the computers to search for jobs, create CV’s and general help with setting up e-mails and using computers. An idea she put forward was to start a ‘work club’ at Greenwood Library. The session would be held on a weekly basis where members of the public could drop in and have advise on the topics mentioned earlier. The management agreed this was a great idea. I then let Sue take the lead on this project as it was her idea. She really enjoyed taking the lead on it and her motivation increased.
2.2 One barrier to delegation and one mechanism to support delegation is identified
Delegation is a very important management technique; it brings benefits to team members and team leaders. At times there can be barriers to delegation from team members and from team leaders.
Some of the barriers from a team leader/supervisors point of view may be; I can do it better myself, my members of staff are just not capable enough, it takes too much time to explain what I want to be done, if it goes wrong I’ll still be accountable, delegation reduces my own authority, I’ll be shown up if they do too good a job, my staff prefer that I make the decisions and team members want to avoid responsibility. Some of the barriers that staff may feel is I do not understand what I am needing to do, I do not feel skilled enough to do the task asked of me and it’s not in my job description.
The most important mechanism is to support your staff throughout the delegation process. Explaining the task in detail and with time to the member of staff is key. Explaining how important the task is and why the task is necessary. Always reiterating to your member of staff that you are there for them should they need any help is important as they will feel supported. Once the task has been completed give the member of staff praise and recognition for the task in which they have completed. It is them vital to pass credit to the member of staff. The will encourage them for future tasks and will improve motivation.
2.3 One technique that could be used to monitor the outcomes of delegation in the workplace is explained
Monitoring tasks when delegation has taken place is vital. By monitoring it means the manager stays in overall control and be able to spot potential problems at an early stage. If this occurs the member of staff can then be guided and makes any changes necessary to get back on track. It is important when work is delegated that from the start objectives, time scales and key points are arranged. This is important so that whilst monitoring the delegation you can benchmark them against agreed targets.
There are many ways you can monitor the progress and outcome of delegation. This can be by way of meetings with staff, statistical reports, observing the member of staff and gather information from others to name but a few.
One I personally prefer is to have regular 1:1 meetings with the member of staff involved in the task. These can be regular informal discussions with the member of staff where I can ask the member of staff how they feel the task is going and if they need any further advice/support. If they need any further resources to complete the task this can be discussed. We can also look at the objectives and see if they are being met. It also gives me a chance to congratulate and praise the member of staff for completing/working towards completing the task. This gives the member of staff a sense of achievement and will increase motivation. Once the task is completed I will have a final meeting with the member of staff to discuss how the task went and what things we can do different in the future. Should it result in a task that may be ongoing I will carry on the meetings to make sure we are making best use of resources.
2.4 The effectiveness of feedback, recognition and reward techniques in the workplace is reviewed.
Feedback and recognition is an imperative part of the delegation process. Its gives the manager a chance to speak to the member of staff involved in the task and helps the member of staff to learn from the experience. This may be for a positive part of the task or possibly a negative part. Feedback encourages staff to develop their skills and knowledge for the future. Giving feedback is also a key part of being a manager. Feedback and recognition can help a member of staff to feel motivated and part of the team. The will feel more confident in future tasks and can be willing to help other members of the team. Some companies have reward schemes to encourage members of staff. This may be variable pay, bonuses, profit sharing and stock options. A business can choose to reward individual or group contributions or a combination of the two.
Group-based reward systems are based on a measurement of team performance, with individual rewards received on the basis of this performance. These systems can encourage individual efforts; they also tend to reward underperforming employees along with average and above-average employees. A reward program which recognises individual achievements in addition to team performance can provide extra incentive for employees. It can increase motivation and improve staffs work rate on a regular basis. All of the techniques above help staff to be more motivated in the workplace and encourages them for future tasks. It is a vital cog in the wheel for a business or company. Without the final part staff may feel demotivated and will not be as willing to tasks further tasks on in the future.
Williams, K (2006). Introducing Management. 3rd ed. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann Appendices