Archive for the ‘Delegating’ Category

Delegation: Improves Employee Satisfaction

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Want to increase employee satisfaction? Then consider delegation as an important tool!

delegationDelegation is a clear act of trust, if handled effectively. That show of trust is also a show of support. And sometimes showing an employee you support him can turn poor relationship into a better one, and a good relationship into a great one.

Often it is mistrust that separates us from one another. But entire communities can be transformed when we let down our defenses and show a little faith in one another. The same can be true in leading employees – and delegation can provide an excellent opportunity.

But how do you get started, particularly with someone in which you have limited confidence? As author and self-help guru Stephen Covey says, start from a point of agreement. With an employee, this can be one strength you both agree the employee demonstrates.

Select a limited task or decision that calls for that strength and delegate it to that employee. Then build from there, recognizing and rewarding the employee each time a new task is completed to your expectations.

What you can do:  Practice delegation and over time you’ll find that it can be the catalyst for reversing poor employee relationships and increasing team morale overall.

Delegation is an excellent way to develop better employee relationships.

By Stephanie McFarland, APR, and Robert Dittmer, APR,

151 Quick Ideas for Delegating and Decision Making

Delegation: A Management Style

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

A closer look at management and delegation

delegationBecause management sets the example and sculpts the work environment, it is important to take a look around you – to your management peers to the right and left of you, and to those above and below you.

Do those to the left and the right model delegation? Are they open to delegating to one another, and to one another’s staff members? This is known as sideways delegation, and its completely acceptable where management works as teams, rather than in department silos.

Also consider if managers below you are encouraged to delegate as well, and if upper management rewards good delegation practices? If the answer is yes to either of these, it is very

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likely you can be confident that your management will support you in your effort to delegate work.

But don’t stop there. Take a look around at the men and women in your management ranks. Does your company send different signals about delegation to men versus women, and vice versa? In some organizations male managers are expected to delegate, but female managers are the recipients of delegated work from their male counterparts. But the reverse can also be true, in which male managers can be criticized by female superiors for delegating work.

What you can do: If your company’s management culture supports delegation through encouragement, recognition and equality, then read on and get to delegating. But if you see some gaps or imbalances in how your management views delegation, read on and consider carefully how to proceed.

Your company’s management sets the tone for delegation. Do your homework and find the right formula for

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delegating, one that will work in your unique company culture.

By Stephanie McFarland, APR, and Robert Dittmer, APR,

151 Quick Ideas for Delegating and Decision Making


Delegation: Authority vs. Responsibility

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Authority and responsibility are similar yet different. And when it comes to delegation, you need to know where to draw the line. DelegationAuthority is what your organization has bestowed upon you to get the job done. You give direction, and those placed under your authority are obligated to follow as part of their employment. But authority can also include responsibilities such as signing off on budget expenditures, hiring additional staff or contract help, or approving a project to move forward. You may delegate some of your authority, such as if you’re on vacation or out of the office on business. For example, you may delegate staff management to an employee that you trust to make decisions as you would when you’re away from the office. Delegating authority means you’re handing over a whole set of responsibilities encompassed within a specified level of authority. This authority may be delegated on a long- or short-term basis. But delegation of responsibilities is more about assigning accountability for given tasks, often without the benefit of authority. For example, you may ask an employee to attend a weekly meeting on your behalf, but reserve your authority to make any commitments

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as a result of the meeting. What You Can Do: Before delegating, make sure you know the difference between what is authority and what is responsibility. Whether you delegate authority or responsibility, you’re ultimately accountable for the success or failure of the outcomes. By Stephanie McFarland, APR, and Robert Dittmer, APR, 151 Quick Ideas for Delegating and Decision Making  

Delegation: Develop Coaching Skills

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

To delegate effectively, you’ll need well-developed coaching skills. But what is a

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Delegation = CoachingA coach in the workplace is just like a coach on the court. She assess her team’s individual skills and how they work together as a group, determines who is the best fit for completing specifics tasks and making relevant decisions. But that’s just the beginning.

To coach – and delegate — effectively, you’ll need to be clear on what you expect when your employee undertakes a project or decision, and review practices and procedures that will help them be successful along the way. You’ll even want to review possible problem scenarios and how the employee should handle those. And, finally, you’ll want to observe and give corrective input along the way to keep the employee on track.

And don’t skip this final step of giving corrective input. It may be uncomfortable to provide constructive criticism, but it’s absolutely necessary. But, as basketball coaching great John Wooden says: “A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.” When corrective input is given with the clear intent to help someone succeed, it is also a demonstration of good coaching skills.

What You Can Do: Remember this! Coaching requires tremendous forethought and interpersonal skills, but the outcome of both is effective delegation.

Coaching is all about setting your employees up to succeed before they hit the court, and while they’re playing the game.

By Stephanie McFarland, APR, and Robert Dittmer, APR,

151 Quick Ideas for Delegating and Decision Making


Delegation: Value Employees

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

In effective management, success depends on the ability to get results through people. But to get the best results, you have to unite your employees. Delegation is on tool to consider.

Decision MakingDelegation provides an excellent opportunity to harness employees’ talents, expertise, interests and enthusiasm to achieve a common goal. In short, delegation is a group thing.

But delegation is about much more than just dolling out assignments and responsibilities. You have to understand that all people — including your employees — want to feel a sense of purpose, to be valued, and all want to be part of something bigger than themselves.

Delegation can fulfill each of these needs when you assign project tasks and responsibilities based on team members’ varying expertise and talents. This shows you trust them, you want their involvement, and recognize what they each have to offer. It also sends the same message to others on the team, and outside of the team.

When you demonstrate your employees are valued, and appreciate their individual skills and strengths, you will increase their overall commitment to whatever it is you’re working to achieve.

What You Can Do:  Delegation is all about inclusion, and aligning employees to a common goal. Tap into what motivates and drives them, and play to the touch points of each employee. If you do this, you’ll not only have mastered delegation, but you’ll likely transform your team to all-around stellar performers.

Helen Keller once said, “Alone we achieve little, but together we can achieve much.”

Delegation is a group thing.

By Stephanie McFarland, APR, and Robert Dittmer, APR,

151 Quick Ideas for Delegating and Decision Making


Delegation: Know Your Management Style

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Effective delegation requires you understand your own management approach. Do you know your management style? If not, find out.

delegationSome management styles are more conducive to delegating than others. But also be prepared to adjust your management style depending on the employee to which you’re delegating.

For example, is your management style authoritarian, meaning you determine the who, what, when and how of the work, with little prior input from employees? This is known as a tell-assertive style of management in which there is little employee participation in the decision-making phase of the task.

Or is your style more of that of a team leader, meaning you gather input from staff and encourage them to participate in the decision-making process? This is a more ask-assertive style of management.

Good leaders learn to vary their management styles, and thus delegating approaches, based on the employee’s level of experience, knowledge, teamwork skills, and readiness to accept your supervision.

Employees with high levels of experience and knowledge, who work well with others and readily accept their supervision will work more effectively under a team-leader management style. And they are a prime group to which you can delegate tasks and decisions.

However, employees with limited experience and knowledge, or who have difficulty working in a team or accepting supervision are more effectively managed through a tell-assertive style. They need closer supervision and direction. You will need to carefully consider what tasks to delegate to this group, and may delay delegating any decision-making responsibilities until teamwork and acceptance of supervision improve.

What You Should Do:  Know your management style and be prepared to adjust it when delegating to employees with differing levels of experience, knowledge, teamwork skills and acceptance of supervision.

Good leaders vary their management and delegation styles based on their employees’ experiences.

By Stephanie McFarland, APR, and Robert Dittmer, APR,

151 Quick Ideas for Delegating and Decision Making


Delegation: Teach a Man to Fish

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

If you’ve always thought of delegation as just a way to help you get more done, then here is an opportunity to expand your thinking.

delegationDelegation provides you with the opportunity to practice servant leadership, which is using your authority and responsibility to serve those who work for you. You see, delegation is not just about serving your needs as the manager – it is also about growing your employees personally and professionally. Good leaders learn this quickly in their careers.

When you give employees an active role, you give them an opportunity to learn, and learning gives them life-long skills and a foundation of experience upon which they can continue to build their careers. In essence, you can use delegation to teach them to fish for a lifetime.

But you don’t have to be a philanthropist to embrace the advantages of servant-leadership. Teaching your employees to fish, through delegation, is an investment that will deliver success to your organization both in the short and long term.

What they learn through delegation can be applied to bring greater efficiencies and effectiveness to the job, and elevates the employee’s experience from which you can continue to build. In marketing, this is known as the efficiency curve, in which the organization increases profits because employees use their learning to make more product or deliver better

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services at lower and lower operational costs over time.

What You Can Do: Using delegation to teach your employees to fish is a win-win situation all the way around.Take a servant-leadership approach to delegation, using it as an opportunity to teach your employees to fish for themselves professionally and personally.

By Stephanie McFarland, APR, and Robert Dittmer, APR,

151 Quick Ideas for Delegating and Decision Making