Nov 26, 2016
“Your most important task as a leader is to teach people how to think and ask the right questions so that the world doesn’t go to hell if you take a day off,” - Jeffrey Pfeffer; an American business theorist and the Thomas D.
Delegation is an art of management leadership in which managers or supervisors delegates’ responsibilities and authorities to another person to carry out specific task/job. It is one of the most important skills for managers to handle their projects efficiently & smoothly by proper unitization of manpower competencies within the team. In numerous ways delegation can benefit managers such as reducing extra working hours, increasing work-life balance, increasing subordinates’ competencies & motivation etc.
Unfortunately, delegation is the less focused practice by most of the managers in organizations. There are some excuses behind managers having less tendency to delegate which are already identified by various research. One is “Self-Enhancement Bias” as explained by Pfeffer. He said there are some perfectionists who feel it is easier to do everything themselves or that their work is better than that of others. It happens when managers or supervisors has less confidence on a team.
Some managers feel that they will lose their importance to top management on subject matter if they start delegating. Some have the fear that their subordinates will get more competent and may suppress them in future.These misconceptions of managers are more in many local companies because of the lack of insights & training on this particular topic. But the main role of a manager is not to do everything on his/her own but to manage his/her team in such a way that will give him/her the optimum output from the team with proper utilization of competencies & time.The expectation of top-management from managers is not only to give the required performance but also the long-term strategic expectation of creating leadership pipeline.
Once a manager has good knowledge & understanding of his subordinates’ competencies; then he/she can make a plan to delegate the right task to the right person and create some extra time for self to focus on more strategic tasks. They can also identify the competency or skill gap of subordinates and can design a development plan through mentoring & training.
When delegating; managers should facilitate their team mates with mutual idea sharing despite dictating them on everything. As Pfeffer said “It’s not about making the decisions for them. Develop their critical thinking skills so they become better at intervening in their own situations. Give your employees space. If you want people to learn, you have to allow them to make mistakes and figure out how to correct them,”
Delegation makes subordinates feel challenged, motivated and helps to learn taking ownership of self-responsibilities. It helps better utilization of manpower and time. But once the process of delegation starts, it is very important to have a close monitoring of output and errors in the cycle. Any improvement scopes or correction scopes identified should be solved as fast as possible.A manager who did not yet start the practice of delegation is yet to explore the benefits of delegation. Once the manager will start delegating with proper process, misconceptions regarding delegation will be eradicated.So, let’s start Delegating without any waste of time.
Shahriar Rohmotullah, Managing Director, Shahriarology Facilitation Ltd. He is a Professional Member of BOLD and Associate Member of BSHRM.
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