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Delegating Effectively
At the close of this session, you will be able to:
• Define delegation
• Some Key Terms
• State reasons for delegating
• List key steps for successful delegation
• Discuss what can be and cannot be delegated
• List levels of delegation and examples of each
• Discuss reasons delegation fails

• Delegation is the process of assigning
responsibilities to subordinates and clearly
communication expected outcomes and
timeframe for completion. It must be
accompanied by the commitment of
subordinates to complete the tasks or projects.

• The process of transferring the responsibility for a
specific task to another member and
empowering that individual to accomplish the
task effectively.

Key Terms
• Giving Orders/instructions– involves telling an
employee in your team WHAT, HOW and by
WHEN to accomplish a specific task.

• Delegating– involves telling an employee in
your team WHAT NEEDS to be achieved and
BY WHEN. However, you do not specifically
define HOW TO DO IT.
Key Terms contd ..
• Responsibility: The obligation to perform
assigned activities..
• Authority: The right to perform a task or give
orders to someone else.
• Empowerment: Delegation of decision making
authority and responsibility
• Accountability: Although supervisors can hold
employees responsible for the assignments they
delegated to them, supervisors ultimately remain
accountable for the employees‘ performance.

Benefits of delegation

To the organization
– Improved morale of employees
– Increased reaction speed/Reduced lead times
– Creates a pool of people who can be promoted to
supervisory /manager level
– Often better decisions, as an opportunity is created
for different solutions to be tried out
– May decrease staff turnover
– Innovaiton

Benefits of delegation

To the manager (who delegates)
– Creates time to concentrate on main job aspects
– Easier to manage
– Reduced stress levels
– Enhanced performance of employees through
increased job satisfaction and a general feeling of
being important
– Contingency plan

Benefits of delegation

To the employee (who is delegated to)
–Improved motivation
–Enhanced self-image
–Improved job satisfaction
–Building confidence
–Career path development

Key Steps for Successful Delegation
For successful delegation, managers need to:
1. Define the task – Confirm that the task is suitable for
delegating. Does it meet the criteria for successful
2. Select the individual – What are the reasons for selecting this
employee? As part of the selection process, determine how
he or she will benefit and how you will benefit.
3. Assess ability and training needs – Does the person
identified have the skill sets required to be successful? Can
he or she grasp what needs to be done? If not, you cannot

Key Steps for Successful Delegation
4. Explain why – It is important to put the task or responsibility
into context and explain the reason it is being delegated. Talk
about why the employee is given this task and where it fits in
the overall scheme of things.
5. State required results – What is the deliverable expected to
look like? What must be achieved and when? How will the
task be measured? It is important that the employee knows
upfront how you will determine his or her level or degree of
6. Identify required resources– Discuss and agree on resources
required to get the job done. All relevant resources should
be taken into consideration, including staffing, physical
space, equipment, materials, inventory, storage and other
related activities and services.

Key Steps for Successful Delegation
7. Agree on a schedule – Establish action plan milestones and
review dates for routine progress evaluation and feedback.
Failure to agree on such a schedule in advance will cause the
review process to be viewed as interference or a lack of trust
instead of management practice.
8. Support and communicate – As part of the communication
and support process, alert the employee to any unusual
matters of politics or protocol within the organization of
which he or she should be cognizant. Inform your own
manager and your peers of a new assignment to a direct
report if the task assigned is one of high visibility and warrants
this level of support and introduction.
Key Steps for Successful Delegation
9. Provide feedback on results – Providing timely feedback on
results is essential. The employee assigned the project should
be recognized and applauded for successes. By the same
token, failures must also be analyzed so that the reason(s)
can be turned into opportunities for learning and risk
10.Repeat the process – This step involves repeating the cycle
but with a renewed sense of vigor and commitment. Each
time a project is completed, the manager should attempt to
engage the employee in a task that is incrementally more
challenging than the previous one.

Source: Adapted, in part, from Manager’s Toolkit, Harvard
Business Essentials, Guidelines for Effective Delegating, p. 67.
What to delegate
Managers may delegate whenever they need something
done by their employees and it is appropriate for their
employees to complete the task or project.

Consider for delegation:
– Any activity you used to do before being promoted to
management--if you have an employee reporting to you who can
do this activity now.

– Tasks in which your employees have more experience than you.

– Making decisions on matters that are especially important to
your employees, such as rest and meal periods or corporate
team-building activities and meetings.

• What tasks am I doing that need not be done
at all?
• What am I doing that could be done by
someone else?
• What tasks am I doing that
can only be done by me?
• Prime tasks for delegation.
What to delegate
Delegation and Empowerment
Delegation requires:
• Defined expectations
• Communication
• Coaching
• Monitoring
• Feedback
• Trust
Empowerment requires:
• Shared values
• Shared power
• Defined boundaries
• Communication
• Feedback
• Recognition
• Trust

Major reasons for failures
• Random
• Only the unpleasant jobs
• Not enough information /Communication
• Overloading
• Without authority
• Want things done your way
• Without a periodic review
• Lack of recognition

Roadblocks to Delegation
• I can do it better myself
• I can’t trust my committee workers
• I don’t have time to involve others
• I can’t delegate something I don’t know how
to do myself
• I can’t bring myself to delegating busy work
• I can’t delegate to my friends
• Everyone is already busy.

Why Do People Resist Delegation?
• Don’t know how
• Fear of criticism
• Lack confidence
• Don’t understand
• Don’t have the time
• Don’t like doing it.
Things to consider when delegating:
Qualifications of subordinate
Necessity of employee commitment
Expansion of employee capabilities
Evidence of shared values and
Sufficient time for delegation
Levels of Delegation
Examples of levels of delegation from lowest
to highest

• Wait to be told what to do – least delegation &
• Ask what to do – delegation & empowerment is
• Recommend then take action – more delegation &
empowerment over time and content
• Act, then report immediately
• Initiate action and report routinely – highest level of
delegation & empowerment

Levels of Delegation and Examples
Examples of levels of delegation from
lowest to highest are:
• “Do only exactly what I tell you to do” or “Wait for me to give you instructions.”
• “Check into this and tell me what you find, and then I’ll make a decision” or
“Look into this and give me your ideas or recommendations, and we’ll make a
decision together.”
• “Decide what needs to be done and give me your decision and plan to go ahead
unless I object.”
• “Decide what needs to be done and do it, and just let me know of your decision
and the results.”
• “You decide and do what needs to be done. You do not need to check back with
me on this.”
• “Decide what to do and manage the situation. It is your responsibility from now

Guidelines for Effective Delegation
• Begin with the end in mind
• Delegate broadly
• Allow participation in delegation
• Work toward parity between authority and
• Work within the organizational structure
Guidelines for Effective Delegation
• Provide adequate support
• Focus accountability on results
• Delegate consistently
• Avoid upward delegation
• Clarify consequences of tasks, especially
rewards(Reliability , Faireness, Openness )