Delegation in Management - Why Leaders Need To Delegate and Why They Don't

Delegation in management is a must-have tool in today's businesses. Many of us struggle with or won't do it. Here are some of the reasons why we don't delegate but should.
Delegation in Management - Why Leaders Need To Delegate and Why They Don't
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What is Delegation?

Delegation in management is where a leader or a manager will pass on the responsibility for completing a task or a series of tasks to one of their team members. In order for this process to work, the manager should delegate the task correctly. If it isn't delegated correctly, the task won't get done or won't be done to the correct standard.

Delegation is becoming a skill ever more needed by Managers in organisations of the 21st Century. It has always been an essential part of leading and managing staff. This is why courses such as our Delegation Skills Training Course are becoming more and more popular. Delegation in management is a must if leaders and managers want to get all of their tasks completed and the overall team goals, targets and objectives acheived.

Why Delegation is Important?

Setting objectives and tasks is a key management tool to help us make sure that our employees know what they are expected to do and to allow both us and them to review their progress against the tasks they have been set. Objectives are vital both in terms of setting targets as part of performance management programmes and also in delegating day to day tasks that need to be completed.

Good delegation saves you time, develops your people and motivates them. Poor delegation will cause you frustration, de-motivates and confuses the other person, and fails to achieve the task or purpose itself.

Managers should use delegation should for 2 reasons

  • As a time-saving mechanism to allow you to focus more on developing the team
  • As a development method to provide the team members with new skills.

What Stops Managers From Delegating?

However, things seem to stop us as leaders and managers from delegating to our team:

  • Time Pressures Mean You Can Do It Quicker - And you probably could, but this also means you are not developing other people who could do it in future for you. Invest the time to develop someone to do the task and free up your time for the future.
  • Lack of Confidence in The Team Members - Ask yourself, is this because someone has let you down in the past? If so, time to let it go. Maybe the reason you have a lack of confidence is that no one has demonstrated the skills to do the task - but have you provided them with the skills?
  • Over Supervision - Delegation can go badly wrong if you try to micro-manage the person to who you have delegated the task. Have trust, you chose them for a reason.
  • Team Member Lacks Confidence - Don't give them a task that they can't do. Pick smaller things at first and build from there. Giving them something to do that they can't do will destroy their confidence.
  • They Might Do It Better Than Me - Maybe they will, but what would be better - having a good job done or a fantastic job done. Isn't that what Leadership is all about - picking the right people for the job?
  • You Like Doing the Task Yourself - As a Leader, you have many tasks to do, you can't pick and choose which you do and which you don't. Your focus needs to be on Managing the Task and Developing the Team and Individuals.

There are many other reasons why managers and leaders don't delegate, but these are some really good examples.

Delegation is a must if a manager or leader is to have the time to carry out everything they need to do and get results.

Why Does Delegation Fail?

In our delegation skills course, a key topic of conversation is based on previous examples of delegation in management. The main theme of these conversations tends to be where a manager or leader has delegated in the past, but they didn't get what they wanted or the task was not done at all. They describe this as a failure of delegation in management.

There are many reasons why delegation in management fails. Here are some examples:

  • Delegating the wrong tasks - a key realisation in delegation skills training is that you cannot delegate everything. Managers need to pick the right tasks to delegate to get the maximum return from the process
  • Delegating to the wrong person - though needs to be given to the person to who you delegate to. You can't just delegate to someone because they have spare time capacity. Delegation needs to be based on the person having the right skills and experience
  • Poor delegation conversation - not spending enough time to delegate effectively. If the conversation isn't good enough, your task won't be completed
  • Unclear goal our outcome - not being clear as you what you want as an output
  • Too much control - telling the person who is the task is being delegated to how to do it. We need to let the person work with us on the way to do the task. They need to feel a part of the process and not just be told what to do

The Benefits of Delegation in Management

When a manager or leader delegates, they should see some clear benefits of doing so. These benefits should be felt by both the manager or leader and the team member that has been delegated to:

Benefits of Delegation to the Manager

The benefits to the leader or manager of delegation in management are:

  • Provides more time for you to concentrate on other things. The time saved should not be squandered. The time you gain back should be used for individual or team development to further increase the performance, productivity and output of your team
  • Provides motivation to the team. Showing that you trust the teams with tasks provides a much needed motivational boost
  • Broader skill set in the team. If the team are given more opportunities to learn new things, the more the team will be able to do. This means the leader or manager can rely on the team to do more and more tasks

Benefits of Delegation to the Team

The benefits to the team and team members of delegation in management are:

  • Opportunities to develop. By learning more new tasks, team members become primed for promotion due to their increased skillset
  • More variety in their work. Lots of people are motivated by variation. Delegation gives them this sense that they are not just doing the same thing over and over
  • Feel trusted. When team members are delegated to they feel trusted. This trust is returned in loyalty and increased performance.

Delegation Skills Training Course

We cover all of these tips and more on delegation in management in our Delegation Skills Training Course. We deliver our delegation skills training course as an online training course and an in-person training course. You can also find a short course on delegation called Effective Delegation on Snappy Skills.


David Lumley22-03-2020

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