Managers and supervisors often resist delegating responsibility for several reasons: lack of trust in employees’ capabilities; fear of failure and of things going awry; and insecurity about losing their position.
If done in the correct manner, delegation can be a powerful tool for developing HR, empowering employees and achieving organisational success, while taking pressure off the manager. However, it does not mean you can sit back and relax.
To delegate effectively, the following ‘rules’ must be abided by:
- Choose the right person for the right job – at the right time. Before delegating, ensure that the employee in question has the requisite skills, experience and knowledge, and is willing to take on the responsibility. Remember not to overburden him/her.
- Be clear about the end result. Expectations and job requirements must be clearly communicated.
- Highlight the benefits of extra responsibilities. Specify the personal benefits of taking on responsibility to the employee. These include polishing skill sets, building relationships within the organisation and the chance to prove abilities prior to a performance appraisal.
- Avoid micromanagement. Once you have delegated, give your employees the space to find their way. Remember, they are supposed to take on responsibility and learn to troubleshoot, so give them a chance to do that. Remember to be patient with them as they approach new tasks.
- Review and give feedback. Meet with employees at regular intervals to review their progress and encourage them by providing feedback and constructive criticism.
Remember, when you delegate the smaller tasks not only will you be developing HR within the organisation, you will also have the chance to prove your own mettle when you tackle more challenging tasks.
— Zeeshan Lakhpaty
The writer is a professional corporate trainer. firstname.lastname@example.org.
First published in the Careers Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on October 30, 2011.