This is a guest blog post from our partner, Joanne Flynn, Founder of Phoenix Strategic Performance.
Getting employees more productive is often associated with delegation. So let’s take a journey into ‘delegation land’. As managers, we often outline what the person needs to do, tell them to do it, and naively call it delegation.
The Complex Challenges of the Delegation Process
The art of delegation is one of the most difficult and complex tasks a manager can perform. It is the most critical managerial task for the organization and yet it eludes most managers. Why? Because it is a multi-step process, that requires assessment, execution on the part of two people, accountability and the genuine investment of time. But, the most common manager response to delegating is, ‘I can do it faster myself’. Haven’t we all said that? So in reality, under the delegation banner, we have true delegation, over delegation, under delegation, micro delegation and dumping. Let’s focus on the last category – dumping!
There is an important distinction between true delegation and the others. The problem arises when the manager assumes that by just telling the employee to do something, delegation has occurred and, the employee is fully accountable. This could not be further from the truth. In reality, dumping has taken place.
Here are 4 critical challenges the manager must initiate to avoid dumping and develop the management skill of delegating: