A research conducted by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), states that more than 46% out of the surveyed (332) companies have a “somewhat high” or “high” level of concern about workers’ delegation skills of their employees. The study further revealed these concerns, however, have not resulted in providing delegation training to the employees as out of them, only 28% do so.
Talking about my experience at Ubblu, ‘delegation’ has always been a very pivotal part of the work-structure. Mohit, our CEO, has always been a staunch believer in the practice of delegation of authority as well as responsibility. It included all the aspects of a healthy delegation- insightful and brief descriptions of the tasks, regular follow-ups and briefs, and critical reviews following the completion of the task.
What is Delegation?
Delegation is the process of assigning authority by a senior to a subordinate in order to perform and complete a certain task. However, even after delegation, the senior still remains responsible for the delegated work.
What is the need for delegation?
A CEO of a company or any other person at a higher position of responsibility often feels worked-up and exhausted. There is a physical limit to the hours of work that one can do. Besides that, A CEO might find himself caught up in more tasks that he/she can handle in a given period of time. An organisation can never work efficiently with the lopsided division of work and responsibility. Delegation of authority and responsibility is the most effective tool to ensure that managers/leaders/entrepreneurs don’t burn themselves out while trying to complete all tasks single-handedly.
Why is delegation not popular?
The process of delegation is one that requires efforts from both the mangers and subordinates. The rigidity of team members and managers alike poses as the biggest barrier towards effective delegation.
The most common reasons that managers give themselves not to delegate are-
- No one can do it better than myself
- Explaining the task will take more time than actually doing it
- The team is not capable enough
- I might come across as lazy and incompetent
There are concerns from the team members too:
- I am not experienced enough
- I might not be able to complete the task
- I have enough work of my own
- I might come across as needy and desperate
The 70% Rule of Delegation
“Smart CEOs, on the other hand, use the “70 per cent rule.”Jim Schleckser, CEO Inc. CEO Project, writes
He further adds that if the team member that the CEO would like to assign a specific task is able to do it at least 70 per cent as well as he himself can, then he should delegate it. Yes, the task won’t be done with the same degree of perfection. But there is no place for perfection when it comes to delegation. The upside for the CEO is that he doesn’t need to spend any time on the task–zero.
Elements of Successful Delegation
- Successful delegation cannot be inculcated overnight, it requires proper planning, inclusive communication, close analysis and a productive feedback and reward system.
- The subordinate must be allotted with the sufficient authority to take control of the whole task and must be positively motivated throughout. This will not only get the task completed successfully but will also boost the confidence of the subordinate for future tasks.
- At the time of evaluation of the assigned work, the manager should provide an in-depth review of the work and acknowledge the good work.
Effective delegation should not just be a skill but a way of life for the organisation. It might be a relatively newfound discovery in the field of management but has always yielded successful results in the history of mankind across all organisations alike. Delegation challenges the leader and the team members both. It effectively enables the leader to direct his focus on more relevant tasks and at the same time provides the team members to enhance their skill sets and experience.