Delegation is one of the finer arts of good management. Yet the number of supposedly successful managers who struggle with this premise is staggering. Managers who don’t delegate can be at a distinct disadvantage in the employment marketplace. And the organizations those managers represent may be missing out on both goodwill and profit.
One of the main reasons delegation becomes a problem is the fact that so many managers view it as a binary choice: to either give up their responsibilities altogether or to hold onto them. But delegation is a nuanced proposition that can be adopted to varying degrees.
Delegation is not about palming off responsibilities; it is about empowering the best and brightest people to actively contribute to the success of an organization. Managers who fail to grasp the concept of delegation – and execute it successfully – will usually fail to maximize their potential. And there are several reasons why.
They fail to build a culture of open and honest communication
A good manager will ask colleagues and peers for advice when necessary. Moreover, successful managers know who to approach for specific issues. A lack of delegation within an organization can breed mistrust and protectionism, and such an environment will make it very difficult for a manager to fully harness the talents of his or her team.
They can’t make the time to focus on planning and organizing
A key role of any manager is to see the bigger picture and plan accordingly. If a manager is wasting time on micro-managing both people and operations, there will often be insufficient time for planning ahead and strategic thinking. Delegating key tasks can free up a manager’s precious time – which is always crucial to the success of any organization.
They often spread themselves too thinly
Managers who fail to delegate will not have sufficient time to devote to each of their primary responsibilities. Moreover, they will not be able to spend quality, one-to-one time with their staff. These issues could lead to demotivated teams and a lack of productivity.
They can’t fully develop the potential of their subordinates
A great manager will always make time to develop, coach and mentor the individuals in their team. Any team is only ever as good as the people within it. But if a manager doesn’t delegate effectively, making this time can be almost impossible. Devoting quality time to key individuals in a team is usually a prerequisite to commercial and operational success, so freeing up time to ensure it happens is essential. Managers who don’t delegate will rarely be able to develop a succession plan that’s ready to go at short
They can’t improve and fully develop as managers
In order to develop and improve, managers often need the input and feedback of others. Managers who don’t delegate effectively may never learn from their employees, colleagues and peers. Delegating tasks and responsibilities is often a great way for managers to learn new approaches and working methods.
They can’t nurture creativity within a team
Quite often, it will take a simple idea from a member of the team to improve a process within an organization. The ability to think creatively, however, is not always available to employees who haven’t been empowered through delegation. A manager who delegates certain responsibilities to the right individuals will often be able to tap into a rich pool of ideas – thus improving an organization and driving success.
They can’t build morale
In order to feel truly motivated and valued in the workplace, employees often need to feel they have a stake in the organization’s success. If employees aren’t able to invest their own ideas and thought processes into the overall operation, they may never feel an emotional tie to it. Successful managers realize that the delegation of key duties, responsibilities and accountabilities has a direct impact on morale.
It is not the job of any manager to do or oversee everything within an organization; it is their job to ensure that everything gets done. Moreover, a great manager will do everything reasonably practicable to ensure that their employees are happy and motivated at all times.
Through the effective and strategic delegation of key tasks, managers should be able to free up enough of their time for strategic planning and organization. And with a happy workforce and a clear strategic plan in place, a manager can maximize the chances of commercial and operational success.