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Do The Math

When managers are resistant to delegating, I like to do an exercise with them. Particularly if their reason for resisting is that it takes other people longer to do the task (or it will take longer to explain than it would to do it) - both horrible reasons.

First, I find out if the task is done more than once. Usually it is. Then I ask how long it takes them to do it, versus how long it would take them to explain and have the employee do it.

Then we calculate how much the manager makes per hour and how much the employee makes per hour. This lets us see the cost.

For example, the manager does a report every other week for staff meetings. It takes 1 hour to produce. If the manager delegated it to an employee, it would take 3 hours the first time, 2 hours the second and then 1 hour every time after that. 

It costs the company:

  • $1300/year for the manager to do it ($50 X 26)

  • $1015/year for the employee to do it ($35 X 29)

In essence, by the manager not delegating, this is costing the company $285/year. This doesn’t even consider that the manager could be doing something else with the saved time. 

That may not sound like much, but if this occurs for several tasks and lots of managers do this, in can quickly add up.

If for no other reason, delegate because it is your fiduciary duty for the company.

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