Anthea Turner, British media personality rightly said, “The first rule of management is delegation. Don’t try and do everything yourself because you can’t.” Delegation is one of the most important things any leader has to learn to achieve goals. Delegation is not as simple as assigning some task to someone. But there is more to it than that. Delegation is a development tool to improve the performance of your people to deliver better results and to develop their knowledge, skills and competencies. Moreover, it provides people motivation, authority and autonomy. However, some of the managers are comfortable doing things themselves rather than delegating task to their team members. Delegation is an art. You have to learn it through experience and exposure. It requires courage, confidence, patience, practice and ability to take risk. According to Eli Broad, entrepreneur, "the inability to delegate is one of the biggest problems I see with managers at all levels.”. So let see below five I-D-E-A-L steps of delegation to develop people and to deliver results.
According to Eli Broad, entrepreneur, "the inability to delegate is one of the biggest problems I see with managers at all levels.”. So let see below five I-D-E-A-L steps of delegation to develop people and to deliver results.
I – Identify right assignments and right person
Correctly said by Jessica Jackley, businesswoman “Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.” Therefore, first step of delegation is to identify task, assignment or project or any activities which are less critical. It doesn’t mean that any trivial job will do, the task has to be interesting, challenging at same time it should provide new learning opportunity for the person otherwise you have to make one. Next thing you have to pick the right person who is qualified, competent and passionate to take up that challenging task and additional responsibilities. Here you need to take little bit of calculated risk and trust your people. Identifying right task and right person are both critical for successful and effective delegation.
D- Discuss objectives, expectations, key actions, timelines, challenges
Second step to delegate task effectively is to discuss objectives and expectations with the selected person. According to Steven Sinofsky former Microsoft executive “When you delegate work to the member of the team, your job is to clearly frame success and describe the objectives.” So for effective delegation you have to discuss the objectives and explain the purpose of delegation, expectation and benefits. Clearly, you need to discuss what are the key actions person has to carry out to achieve desired results. In addition to that you have to proactively anticipates, articulate and indicate issues, challenges, hurdles one may face while carrying out the work. later discuss how you are going to evaluate progress, performance in the stipulated time lines. Provide them instructions, directions, guidance and support on need basis to help person basing on their experience to achieve desired goals and to make sure to prevent any consequences, surprises, losses or damages
E- Evaluate performance and behavior of the person
Third step in delegation is to evaluate the performance, progress and behaviors of the person as per the agreed timelines. Critical evaluation and assessment is very important step in delegation and one must review results against the expectations. It will help you to identify how the employees have performed, the key actions he has demonstrated, checking on quality and quantity of work performed and very importantly whether the agreed timelines were achieved or not. Identify the areas for improvements and to recognize good work and appreciate areas where he met and exceeded expectations. The review will help people identify strengths, areas for improvements and prepare for the path forward for development of team members.
A- Advise periodically and provide feedback
fourth important step in process of delegation is to provide advice. Once you have evaluated performance precisely and identify areas of improvement then you are ready to provide right advice. Provide positive feedback to appreciate the good work and give constructive feedback to improve the performance of individual. Appropriate advice is essential to develop knowledge, skills and competencies of an individual to achieve a high level of performance and transform the behavior. Effective advice can improve performance, productivity, promote continuing professional and personal development, and moreover increase employee’s morale, self-esteem, and foster better interpersonal relationship within team members that can lead to excellence in organization. So, right advice is the key to bring improvement in job performance and right behaviors of individual.
L- look for development areas and opportunity to delegate and develop your team members
Fifth and the Last step of delegation is to look for new areas of development, new opportunities and new assignments every day to develop your team member to become experts. Timothy Firnstahl, a businessman said “Delegating means letting others become the experts and hence the best.” So delegate your team member with exciting and challenging task to gain new experience, new skills to build their capabilities to make them ready for next level jobs. I’m sure you will get amazing results, outstanding performance, excellent working relationships, conducive culture helps in enhancing productivity and preparedness to employees for next level. Delegation is excellent tool for leaders to develop, motivate and retain talent of team members. Craig Groeschel, founder of Life Church, said “When you delegate tasks, you create followers. When you delegate authority, you create leaders.” Therefore, practice delegation and develop people to be great leaders like you
John C. Maxwell rightly remarked “If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn to delegate.”