What makes a great leader in the business world? People may make the mistake of equating quality management with a person’s ability to take on any task that hits his or her desk. While this is true to a certain extent, an individual’s aptitude for delegating is just as important as his or her capacity for managing responsibilities alone.
The art of delegation, however, does not come overnight and should be a focus of staff training and development programs in order to ensure its proper implementation. In addition to benefiting the company, a strong ability to delegate says a lot of about the individual and his or her professional capabilities. Here are a few additional qualities that a good delegator possesses:
Before delegating any projects or smaller tasks, a good leader must sit down and determine how to allocate responsibilities. If the role is particularly demanding, management may consider spreading work out among a group of employees, although designating a group leader is still advisable. For individual tasks, the same amount of consideration should be given to deciding which worker is best suited, both skills- and personality-wise. Take into account how the employee has responded to responsibilities in the past, and what qualities make them a good match for the role.
This step is crucial in delegating responsibilities as it proves that a leader takes the time to understand the staff well enough to determine which workers would serve the project and company best. It can also mitigate the possibility of worker-based error affecting the outcome of the responsibility in the long run. HR Morning recommends considering several questions in choosing the proper staff member to whom to delegate a task. Take into account not only how this person serves the role, but also what he or she has to gain from the responsibility in terms of professional growth.
One of the true tests of delegation is that of a leader’s ability to express the role and all that it entails. Failure to do so can lead to misunderstandings that result in improperly completed jobs that can jeopardize professional relationships and have a negative financial impact as well. In addition to speaking personally, outline necessary checkpoints via email correspondence, so that the worker has a hard copy that he or she can consult along the way.
Throughout the tasks’ progression, management should maintain open communication and hold meetings to ensure that the delegated worker is staying on schedule and meeting important milestones. If stages are not being accomplished as they should, look for potential causes and respond to them appropriately. Employing effective business communication skills can prevent major problems from arising and minimize the possibility of significant issues occurring later in the process.
The way that management treats employees obviously has a huge impact on corporate culture. A business in which leadership refuses to delegate responsibilities indicates a lack of trust toward the staff members. On the other hand, employers who involve workers in significant tasks promote a more collaborative corporate environment.
In addition to showing that they value their workers, leaders who give employees increased responsibility display a concern for their professional development. Workers who feel included and important are more likely to take their tasks seriously and show commitment to the company. They may also develop an interest or show talent in an area that may not have been uncovered were they only ever focused on the same areas.
Delegating tasks doesn’t take the responsibility of their proper completion out of managers’ hands. Rather, it’s important that each project is fulfilled to the same degree of professionalism as would be expected if upper-level staff was taking them on. When a problem arises or it becomes apparent that a worker is not producing results that are up to standards, management is still responsible for ensuring that it gets back on track successfully.
If the problem is external to the worker, a leader should make them aware of this fact before stepping in. They should examine the issue and consider ways to get the task back on track. This may mean taking on some of the responsibilities personally, or bringing in additional help to support the originally delegated worker.
When the problem originates from a mistake or oversight on the behalf of the employee, it may be tempting to focus on blaming them, but more important in the moment is rerouting the derailed project. It may be necessary to completely remove the worker from the task and handle it alone, or guide him or her more directly throughout completion. After the end of the task, conduct leadership training and review with them the reasons that things went wrong, whether related to a personal shortcoming or accident, and how to mitigate such occurrences going forward.