One of the many qualities that make a good manager is delegation. However, what makes a great manager is that she also knows when to delegate and when not to. It does happen that while empowering your subordinates, you give away too much at one time. There are many problems that arise when you have no control over what is going on in the organization. It takes a lot of efforts to keep track of who is working on what process in the team. And the end result is often a mismatched product that doesn’t comply with the original thought process.
Signs that you are delegating more than necessary:
Being out of the loop:
Ever get the feeling your team does not keep you informed about their progress? This could be because they no longer have to seek your permission before completing their tasks. These would also not include any contribution from you at all.
You need to be aware of what your subordinates are working on. You are the one who assign responsibilities so it helps to understand who has time available to take up the next bit of work.
And most importantly, delegating does not mean ‘not monitoring’. While the task is being carried out by your team members, it makes sense to keep track of their progress.
When you delegate a responsibility it is necessary to convey the expected due date. If your subordinates do not have a timeline, they may take their own sweet time to complete that task. Do not expect people to read your mind and meet your expectations. It is your fault that you haven’t clearly communicated with them.
You need to make sure that these people understand the urgency of getting these tasks completed on time. Otherwise they will focus on items that rank higher on their priority list.
A clear mismatch between expectations and outcome:
Employees need not be micromanaged and certainly do not need any spoon feeding. However, they do require certain instructions or guidelines to get the job done in the required manner. In the absence of this information, there is going to be an obvious gap between the expected product and actual outcome.
Talk about what you expect to get accomplished and what the final product should ideally look like. You are not dumping your work on your employees but delegating it. So they need to be on the same page as you when they visualize this outcome.
Not meeting goals:
In your bid to become an efficient manager, do not delegate more than what is necessary. Understand that there are some tasks that still need to be performed at a managerial level.
When you allocate more than enough responsibilities, it becomes difficult for your employees to handle them. They end up completing only a few of them and these too may not reflect their best work or decisions. Plus, they may not have the desired experience or capability to think like a manager in some cases.
Thus, you will find that your team or department is not meeting their goals more frequently. And the top management will first question you for the reason behind these failures.
Once it becomes clear that there is a disconnect between you and the team, do not hesitate to make those changes. Too often have managers refrained from making any changes as they fear breaking the status quo. This is an opportunity to make things right.
It is also important to talk about responsibilities that should strictly not be delegated:
Mission, Vision and Core values of the company:
Never delegate tasks that require employees to set the mission, vision and core values of the company. These need to be set by the top management as they define the company. The rest need to understand what they are, how to best apply them in their activities, and how to guide their actions in the right directions as dictated by these values.
While it is recommended to have a recruitment agency do the legwork for you, always ensure the final decision for approval lies with you. Any outsider may not be able to determine whether the candidates are a good fit for the work culture of your company. You are the best judge in this case. You need to make sure that the new recruits will be able to adjust to their new environment at the earliest. If they do not seem like a good fit, then irrespective of what the outsourcing agency says, you can decide against hiring them.
Recognition and Motivation:
Recognition is one of the most powerful performance enhancers in the workplace. And without motivation employees will find it hard to give their best to the company. Both recognition and motivation needs to come from the leadership of the organization. Employees appreciate that their managers are taking notice of their achievements and are actively encouraging them to do their best.
Maintaining discipline in the workplace:
You may not find it pleasant to discipline an errant employee but this is a responsibility that you cannot hand over to your subordinates i.e. his or her peers. It sends out a wrong message that you are not up to the task and it also undermines your authority to an extent. If it is absolutely necessary, then it should be you who handles such employees.
So the next time you decide to delegate some responsibilities, make sure that you follow these suggestions.