ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why Great Managers Succeed: They Know What and How to Delegate

Updated on June 19, 2014

(#2 in a series)

In my last article I wrote that your real job as manager/supervisor is to get your departmental work done through others, not to do it yourself. You have other, managerial, work to do. Delegation is a critical management skill and the unwillingness or inability to delegate is a leading cause of management failure. By delegating meaningful assignments to workers capable of doing it, you will be developing their skills and freeing up time for you to do your managerial duties.

Delegate All You Can Using Your Technical Background Properly

Having a strong technical or professional background is a real benefit if you use it correctly. It helps you to understand the technical aspects of the work, and to delegate properly by explaining the assignment comprehensively: what is to be done, why it is important, and what the results should look like (your expectations). Furthermore, your technical background enables you to effectively coach throughout the assignment if you are asked for help.

HOWEVER, a strong technical or professional background is a disadvantage if you continue to do the work yourself, if you micromanage after delegating an assignment, or if you insist on having things done only your way. Just because you are capable of doing the work is not an excuse for doing it yourself. Unfortunately, many poor managers don’t understand this.

If you are personally involved in any workflow, be sure to act quickly. If you delay any decisions or any part of the work process, you become the bottleneck. I once had a boss who had to review and approve every market research study proposal. He sat on them so long that, by the time he decided to approve the study, it was almost to late to do the work.

What to Delegate

Delegate anything that is challenging, meaningful, adds responsibility to an employee’s job, or can help develop his or her skills. Try not to do any meaningful work or assignment yourself if someone else in your department can do it, unless it is confidential or intended exclusively for managers. By delegating meaningful work you make the employee’s job more challenging, reduce frustration, resentment or boredom, increase job satisfaction, and help build self-esteem.

How to Delegate

Using your professional or technical knowledge as an advantage, clearly define the assignment, goals, deadlines, and your expectations. Explain why the work is being assigned and why it is important to the company or the customer. Ask how the employee feels about the assignment and discuss whether any new training is needed. Then ask for a commitment. People are more likely to commit to an assignment if they understand its importance and believe in it. Moreover, if they fully understand the assignment, they can be more creative in their approach to getting the work done.

After You Delegate

Once you delegate a project, get out of the way. Make yourself available as a coach and consultant, but avoid micromanaging, which can disrupt the process and cause employee frustration. Do not pull up the roots just to see how things are growing.

After you delegate and explain a major assignment, wait a few days and then ask the employee how things are progressing. Ask if any questions have come up since the project was assigned, and ask about the project timeline. The answers will tell you how well the employee understood the assignment and if anything needs clarification, and it alerts you to signs of anxiety or confusion that could impede the desired results.

What Not to Delegate

Some managerial duties or assignments should not be delegated; you must do them yourself. They include planning, preparing budgets, hiring, enriching jobs, setting goals, conducting performance reviews, staff development and sensitive assignments requested by top management.

Also, don’t give an assignment to someone who is not good at or does not like doing that type of work. Doing so will force people to be mediocre. Put people into positions where they enjoy their work and are good at it.


Steven R. Smith is the author of Managing for Success: Practical Advice for Managers, a concise,150-page guide to help managers and supervisors succeed. It is based on the author’s 42 years of industry experience at 15 different companies. For more information on this book go to: http://www.Successfulmanaging.com.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)