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Delegation: Article 1 of 3


The most powerful resource you have available to you is the people who work for you, and one of the best ways of getting results out of them is through delegation.

EFFECTIVE DELEGATION TAKES TIME - but the advantages far outweigh the time it takes.

1. It releases valuable time for you, as a manager, to concentrate on the objectives that you are being paid to achieve - objectives which could enhance your career prospects.

2. It enables you to assess your priorities and key result areas.

3. The company benefits financially as the task is being completed at the right cost, i.e. by the person who's being paid to carry it out, not their managers.

4. Staff benefit by being given more responsibility and an opportunity to grow.

5. Managers can use delegation as a training tool, to develop their employees business skills.

6. Customers will benefit from being served by a more efficient organisation.

So delegate as often as possible, depending on your level in the organisation.

As a senior executive as little as 1% of your time should be spent doing and 99% managing (planning, organising, controlling and providing leadership). As a first-line supervisor a more realistic mix might be 60% doing and 40% managing.

As work comes down through the organisation to you, consider first is there any reason for not delegating it? And then to whom you should delegate it.

To whom should I delegate?

Only to people who report directly to you.

Managers who fail to delegate via their immediate junior managers run the risk of losing their respect by undermining their responsibilities and making them feel inadequate. However, explain to your subordinate managers that you expect work to be carried out at the most junior level possible. Don't necessarily expect your managers themselves to do the work that you delegate to them.

Only to an individual, never to a group.

It is virtually impossible to hold a group accountable.

Never to the same person every time.

The danger is that as managers fail to trust people to carry out tasks as well as they can themselves, they only delegate to the most capable person in the team. They then choose the same person to carry out the task each time they delegate, creating ill-feeling from the others and a sense of elitism in the favoured team member.

The capabilities of other employees should not be underestimated ! Whilst it may be true that delegating a task which is beyond a certain person's capabilities can have a highly de-motivating effect on that individual, through encouragement and training this individual should eventually learn the skills necessary to carry out more demanding tasks in the future. Consequently, a larger percentage of staff will be trained to a higher level.

Never allow a member of staff to delegate upwards to you.

Don't allow yourself to get bogged down with low-level tasks. When people bring you a problem make sure they also bring answers.
For more information on delegation, please visit our website at Go to 'Library', scroll down to the 'Managing People' section, click on 'delegation', and there you should find a number of links to other relevant material.

You can find more notes on effective delegation in the Skilgate Library under "Delegation".


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