"The assignment of authority to another person (normally from a manager to a subordinate) to carry out specific activities. It is the process of distributing and entrusting work to another person..."
Amanda has been managing her team for about 2 years now. It was a bumpy start, but she and her team have settled into a good routine. However, over the last 2 months or so, the workload has picked up and Amanda has gotten more busy. She went to her manager and asked about slowing down the work, but his response was she needs to learn to delegate more. He pointed out that she has a good team and she needs to rely on them more.
Amanda has never been comfortable with delegating much. She delegates some basic tasks, but is hesitant to delegate any new tasks.
Amanda asks her Great Manager coach for help learning to delegate well.
The first thing the Great Manager Coach did was ask Amanda why she doesn't delegate more and why she is uncomfortable with it. She talks about a few different reasons, but they fall into these common manager excuses.
These all sound like valid reasons. Upon further examination, the only good reason out of the 5 is "only I can do this task" - but even that has the flaw. A good way to test this is to use my 2-list Activity (see below). Watch the video to learn why each of these is a bad excuse.
Our Great Manager coach asks Amanda "how do you think delegation can help?" The obvious answer is that it will free Amanda up, but as they talk, she sees many other benefits. Read each tab below to understand the benefits of delegation.
Delegation Makes Economic Sense
According to one study, companies waste up to $50 billion a year due to bad delegation. When you look at the math, you can see how costly poor delegation can be.
The most obvious reason is when the manager doesn't delegate effectively (meaning to the right person with the proper amount of information), it will lead to re-work. The other reason - effective use of company resource.
For example, if you had to buy a new chair for your office. You are presented with 2 options that are identical. The first costs $50, the second costs $100. Which is the financially prudent choice? Obviously the $50 chair.
Now, use that same example for time. Let's say a manager makes $100/hour and an employee makes $50/hour. A task will take 1 hour to complete and can be done equally well by either the manager or the employee. Which is the financially prudent choice?
Now that Amanda understands why she has been hesitant (and why those hesitations shouldn't stop her) and the benefits of delegating, it is time for the Great Manager Coach to go teach her the delegation process.
Click the tabs below to learn the details on each step of the process
Know Why You are Delegating
Many managers I speak with struggle with knowing what to delegate. That comes from not understanding why you are delegating. It all comes down to 2 reasons:
A. You want to develop the skills of someone on your team.
B. You want to use company resources wisely
Time to practice and reflect.
Use the process to delegate a task to someone on your team. As you move through the process, use the reflection questions in Practice/Reflection document to see how you did and work towards improvement.