Irrespective of the position generally people have apprehension to delegate their job, even if they delegate they need activity by activity update. The main reason for this is fear of failure/insecurity. Will it have impact on my career? When job delegated it is also observed in general that pass the blame for failure to subordinate and take credit for success. If a person keeps doing the same activity year after year how is it possible to find career growth? Chances of such person getting promoted to the next level become difficult. Promotion based on experience is old school of thought. Career growth is faster to people who do things differently, multi skilled, take up tough tasks and achieve results. I had a good set of managers who believed in team members capabilities and entrusted responsibility with authority. Let me summarize what these great people practiced to ensure “effective delegation”.
1. Choose the right person for the job- they list down the “must have” qualities and ensure right person selection.
2. Systematic induction of the person into the system: They chalk out well-planned induction program. At the end of induction the newly joined person is familiar with the organization’s values, belief and expectations from the role.
3. Ensured the person knows the boundaries of their respective position, so that he is able to deliver things effectively.
4. They identified a buddy who is available to provide inputs in case of doubt to the newly inducted person.
5. Make the person understand why he should take it up- i.e., answering what is in it for me?
6. They provide confidence to the new person that experiment is allowed, doing mistake is not bundler however repeating the same mistake is not acceptable
7. Set expectations clear with well-defined objectives and measurement criteria. In a way they define the results to be achieved. Example: Ensure the new product is launched on 15th Jan 2014, the person needs to find out how he will make this happen.
8. The benefit of doing a particular task is explained-i.e., to self and to organization.
9. Encourage the person to come up with a clear plan of action and implementation plan to achieve the desired result.
10. They ensure proper review schedules to provide necessary inputs. This also helps to check whether the project is on track.
11. Overall they believe in the person and give freedom to do things with clear authority and responsibility.
12. They attribute the success to the person and recognize them in public and in case of failure provide necessary moral support to learn from the failure.
How to identify which job/s to be delegated?
1. List down the activities you perform on daily basis for a period of 7-10 work days-hourly or half-hourly.
2. Review these activities with indicators like- Do I need to do this activity? Who else can do better this activity if I don’t do it? Can this be delegated? If yes, who is the right person to do it? What support or inputs he needs to perform it same level as I did or better it.
3. Once you analyzed using the above filters identify the task to be performed by you and to be delegated.
4. Organize discussion session with people identified to take up the task and ensure you follow the above 12 principles mentioned above for the delegation to be effective.
5. Repeat this exercise once in 6 months otherwise at least once a year & you will be surprised to note that you have more time to do new things.
Why delegation fails?
1. Micro managing each step-the person does not feel that he has the authority and responsibility to carry-out the task.
2. Trust levels are low –i.e., each one does not trust the other.
3. Does not pass on credit for success always blamed for the failure.
4. Insecurity-person delegated the job feels insecure thinking what else he can do? Similarly the person taken up the job feels insecure as his boss can interject any point of time and take away the credit.
5. If the right person is not chosen for the job.
6. Not providing the required resources & expecting the person to achieve it.
7. If the person is not properly trained and explained the expectations.
8. Activities just getting pushed rather properly delegating it i.e., pushing the activities which you don’t like to do.
When I followed the steps of delegation described above each time the team surprised me with better results and improvising the current service delivery. We all win as a team or not at all, so it is very important to identify the roles and responsibilities of each team member and assign the appropriate role, provide necessary resources to achieve great results.
“Make your job redundant if you want to grow”
“Go ahead and get this job done and contact me if you get stuck or need help anytime”
-Few thoughts of leaders with whom I worked.
The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it." --Theodore Roosevelt
Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity." --General George Smith Patton, Jr.