The definition of management is getting work done through people. The ability to manage efficiently and effectively is therefore dependent one’s ability to delegate. The success of any individual occupying a managerial position is measured not by what the individual is able to produce but by what his/her team produces. This can be effected through delegation.
Delegation proves itself to be superior approach since it allows management to have the time for carrying out its primary functions that is, planning, organising, directing, controlling and coordinating.
Delegation is the entrusting of one’s powers or functions to another complete tasks. It is more than assigning work as it makes the subordinate accountable for results. It involves giving the subordinate the latitude to decide on the means to achieve the objective set. While specific responsibilities are passed on to the subordinate, the delegator always has the ultimate responsibility for the task’s completion. Delegation also implies that the subordinate is given the commensurate authority to be able to carry out the task.
At an organisational level, lack of delegation results in inefficiency and waste of opportunities. Inadequate direction of effort and lower levels of effectiveness leading to lower motivation and general malcontent.
One may assess whether delegation is being effectively experienced. If your answer is yes to the following, then more likely than not, delegation is being well handled.
Has your workload prevented you from taking regular holidays?
Do you leave your work unfinished?
Do you take work home most nights and weekends?
Do you seem to have more work than your subordinates?
Are crises and problems more common in your job than opportunities?
Do you like to keep your hand in your old job?
Do you issue orders very frequently?
Do subordinates refuse to make any decision without consulting you?
Do subordinates act according to the letter rather that the spirit of assignment?
Do you feel that your subordinates would not work at all if you did not push them?
Do subordinates rarely come to you with new ideas or new ways of doing their job?
Are decisions, even minor ones, usually made at high levels of management?
Does the organisation have a low ratio of secretaries/assistants to managers?
Are methods emphasised over results?
Is criticism more common than praise?
Is the organisation slow to react to change?
Are managers expected to chip in on detailed works?
What to delegate?
There are many tasks that can be delegated effectively and efficiently. These include tasks which fall into the following categories: