Many supervisors worry about delegating work to their employees. Their thought processes go something like this: “I feel that my staff lacks the experience and competence. If one of them messes things up, I am still accountable. My employees are already overworked. They won’t like me if I expect too much of them. Besides, it’s just easier and quicker to do things myself. No one else can do the work as good as I can.” Bottom line: These bosses don’t have the confidence and don’t want to give up control.
The fact is, many employees have untapped capabilities that won’t be revealed unless these employees are given the chance to learn and implement new skills. Training may take time, but over the long term managers will gain back that time and much more. Most importantly, research shows that delegating actually contributes to employee retention.
A key factor to successful delegation is picking the right people to coach. Good employees want to develop their skills and contribute their talents. They look beyond the hard work towards the promise of recognition and career advancement. These ambitious individuals stay motivated because their bosses granted them more responsibility and a chance to build problem-solving and leadership skills.
Effective delegating starts with setting clear expectations and goals. Managers should offer training and make themselves available for questions. They should assign tasks without saying how to complete the assignments. The employees should make decisions, solve unexpected problems and accept a certain level of authority. These employees will build self-esteem and gain motivation by earning positive results and receiving favorable feedback.
When have you successfully delegated an assignment?