Many managers find the task of delegation cumbersome, as it requires tact and effective planning. Vinnie Bhadra
PICTURE THE FOLLOWING TWO SCENARIOS:
Scene 1: The team leader delegates various tasks to his/her team as per the book and tries to oversee the smooth functioning of the team goal.
Result: Without a correct and tested analysis of the teams’ potential and every team member’s interest, delegation of work, authority or responsibility will be a testing area.
Scene 2: The team leader delegates various tasks amongst his/her team after carefully scrutinising and understanding the team and its potential.
Result: The team is destined to achieve the common goal as well as create a set of ‘happy employees’, as there was consideration given to the process of delegation, which most of the times is taken for granted.
It is humanely not possible for a manager to do all the work and this is where delegation can play a vital role. After a point in time, effective delegation also becomes a part of the team leader’s key result area (KRA).
“A team leader needs to recognise the true capabilities of his/her team members. In this day and age, it is essential to delegate the right amount of responsibility to each member since businesses can no longer be a one-man/woman show. Markets are becoming vast, which further are compelling leaders to effectively delegate the workload,” says Sunder Aaron, business head, a leading MNC.
As important is delegation, it is also important to strike a balance w.r.t the extent of overand under-delegation. The team members need to feel that the leader has enough faith in them to finish the job, but at the same time, should keep in mind that they have to be answerable for the role assigned to them. Experts feel that the ‘striking balance’ part in this delegation game is easier said than done.
“Over-delegation on the part of the team leader can be because of a reluctance to take the overall responsibility for a project; an aversion to take risks, thus prompting him/her to ‘transfer’ the responsibility, which is essentially the boss’ onto team members, regardless of their strengths and capabilities. Under-delegation, on the other hand, could be because the team leader suffers from a sense of insecurity stemming from a perception that some members of his/her team, given half a chance, might prove themselves better than him/her work-wise,” says Sudhakar Vishwanath, corporate counsel, Arctern.
“Delegation can be a double edged sword for many entrepreneurs and small business owners. Many recognise that we are limited by the number of hours that we have in a day and therefore, need a support team that allows us to achieve continued growth and success,” says Govind Rammurthy, CEO and MD eScan.
When we talk about delegation, the term micromanagement also springs up, as they are the two sides of the same coin. “I think it’s hypocritical; it detracts from employees’ impression of the boss and is symptomatic of insecure management. Micromanagement could also mean that you have not hired the right people since you are forced to get involved in each step of ideation, planning and execution. A team leader who micro-manages his/her team is missing out on the big picture i.e. the end result but instead chooses to stress about the process,” adds Aaron.
HERE ARE A FEW EFFECTIVE WAYS THROUGH WHICH DELEGATION CAN BE PURSUED:
1 Identify strengths: Identify the potential of the members in your team and analyse which one of them will be able to contribute towards what function.
2 Identify who is genuinely interested in learning and acquiring new tasks: At times when delegation happens, some employees view it as excessive work while some welcome the responsibility.
3 Let go and trust after training: Once you have instructed your team and delegated each one their share of the pie; as the team leader, you have to let go and trust them to do their job effectively.
4 Be willing to accept constructive feedback: In case a team member suggests some changes about a particular task to you, take the review seriously.
5 Realize there will be a learning curve: As a team leader, you have to know that all members of your team will be able to assimilate all the responsibility the way you want them to.