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Art of Delegation

Delegation is necessity in any organisation, it is impossible for a leader to do all the work alone! Delegation allows for team involvement and a sense of belonging to a group and towards the organisational targets and goals. When we talk of delegation it is imperative that we also mention empowerment, there is a management shift from the traditional boss knows it all to the team is what takes the company further. What is Delegation Every organisation must have a system for transferring or sharing workload and authority downwards incase it is overwhelming, this process of transferring downwards is commonly called delegation. Delegation of authority is a process in which the authority and powers are divided and shared amongst the subordinates. This is how delegation of authority becomes an important tool in organization function. Delegation is a way to appropriately and consistently provide direction to the staff. By delegating properly, you can teach employees new skills and expertise to help them be more productive and instill a sense of self-reliance, improving morale and motivation. As a supervisor, you must assess your staff's current abilities and their potential to accept and complete assignments through established guidelines. You must know how to plan and coordinate a variety of activities and how to monitor progress. Delegation brings into play many management functions planning, organizing, coordinating, motivating, communicating, and leading. Make sure that you delegate the appropriate level of authority to the task.

Why Delegate We shall briefly mention the benefits across each layer of the organisation; Benefits to the leader Delegating allows for the manager to free up time for key issues such as planning, organising, fund raising incase it is a nonprofit organisation and also pursuing non organisational issues. The art of delegating also enables the leader to multiply himself, the more he/she delegates then the delegated work is handled on behalf of the leader. Research has shown that with perfection of delegation, open communication is improved in the work place, trust is build and it empowers the team to do work. Benefits to the team members Members of a team stand to benefit immensely from delegated work passed on to them, it is a perfect stimulus for creativity in the organisation, it motivates the staff and makes them feel part of the organisations. Trust is build with delegation and it is a perfect avenue the organisation can use to train future leaders

Benefits to the organisation The organisation harnesses creativity and creates team enthusiasm through delegation, delegation also promotes increased productivity along with overall efficiency and effectiveness. With these key areas the organisation is bound to grow. Caution With all the benefits of delegation one must be aware that overloading a person can only lead to poor results so delegate moderately, it is also important to note that even as delegation is a good avenue to building new leaders, the organisation must still train members to build their overall capacity. Managers must steer free from only delegating task that they do not want to do. Steps in Delegation 1. Select the task to be delegated and match the proper person Delegation must be thought through by the manager, the tasks to be assigned must be clearly identified and most importantly the persons to whom the tasks are to be delegated must meet the criteria. There are multiple reasons for picking the right person for a task but bear in mind that person must above all else benefit professionally from the task assigned 2. Meet for the initial delegation and motivate Communication is key for any delegation process, the manager must meet the individual and spell out the requirements for this task, this communication should be as open as possible to get the views and concerns of the delegate. Try as much as possible to present tasks from the perspective of the person you are delegating so they have an understanding of what is required of them. 3. Agree on deadlines for the tasks to be done, this is a very crucial step, one should feel that time is open for the tasks. This ensures that effort is put to the task at hand 4. Consider any resources that might be of need to carry out the delegated task, this might be in form of training the individual, other equipment to help with the task or travel requirements, these should be well planned before the tasks are taken up. 5. Maintain supervisory control A manager must note that once tasks have been delegated they should never be abandoned, one must take time to observe, review and coach where necessary. During the transition of supply chain functions from the ministry of health TB program to the central warehousing. The change of roles had to be delegated and constant monitoring was rewuired to ensure that the delegated tasks to the central warehouses were adhered to, any problems solved in close to real time due to the sensitivity of the job at hand. 6. With constant monitoring also comes constant communication to ensure that tasks are understood, it is also a good idea to assess the performance of the member pre, during and post the task completion this allows for better professional growth of the member.

7. As a result of the assessment one must always ensure feedback is given throughout the process, this enables growth of the individual and is key to guiding if the tasks need to re-developed to meet the changing needs. Employee Involvement Model To help guide the organisation in designing a delegation model there are a number of tools on offer, one of the most renown was developed by Tannenbaum and Schidt (1958) and Sadler (1970), the model provides a continuum for increased roles of leadership for the members and decreased roles for the leaders;

Tell: the supervisor makes the decision and announces it to staff. The supervisor provides complete direction. Tell is useful when communicating about safety issues, government regulations and for decisions that neither require nor ask for employee input. Sell: the supervisor makes the decision and then attempts to gain commitment from staff by selling the positive aspects of the decision. Sell is useful when employee commitment is needed, but the decision is not open to employee influence. Consult: the supervisor invites input into a decision while retaining authority to make the final decision herself. The key to a successful consultation is to inform employees, on the front end of the discussion, that their input is needed, but that the supervisor is retaining the authority to make the final decision. This is the level of involvement that can create employee dissatisfaction most readily when this is not clear to the people providing input. Join: the supervisor invites employees to make the decision with the supervisor. The supervisor considers his voice equal in the decision process.

Adding to the Model


To round out the model, I add the following:

Delegate: the supervisor turns the decision over to another party. The key to successful delegation is to always build a feedback loop and a timeline into the process. The supervisor must also share any "preconceived picture" he has of the anticipated outcome of the process.

Increasing the level of employee involvement is situational. The amount of employee involvement depends on: the person's skills and experience, their knowledge of the factors that affect their job and decision making, and the degree to which they understand how their job is connected to other processes within the organization. You can effectively involve employees in decision making about their jobs. These degrees of involvement tell you how.1
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Tannenbaum, R. and Schmidt, W. How to Choose a Leadership Pattern. Harvard Business Review, 1958, 36, 95-101.

Resources:
Adapted from Leader Bills, The University of Kansas and Delegation, Judy Kawamolo

Tannenbaum, R. and Schmidt, W. How to Choose a Leadership Pattern. Harvard Business Review, 1958, 36, 95-101