4 obstacles to effective delegation

by on October 23, 2012 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network

There’s an African saying: “Sending a child to do a task is like doing it yourself — twice.”

We’re not saying employees are children. But the saying is apt about the perils of delegation, a technique that can boost productivity if it’s properly handled — or harm it otherwise.

Here are four obstacles to successful delegation and some ways to overcome them.

    1. Failing to explain why. People won’t be motivated to do the task if they don’t know why you assigned it to them.Suggestion: Keep people in the loop. When people know your reasons, they’ll understand better what’s at stake in the task. And when people know the stakes, they’re often more motivated.
    2. Delegating something requiring extensive training. Sometimes managers ask subordinates to do too much, too fast. Usually this results from time pressure. While some people may be able to figure out a complex task on their own, often people need more training.Suggestion: If delegating difficult tasks, make sure that employees have the training they need to succeed.
  1. Don’t have the resources. Make sure people have the “beans, bullets and bandages” to get the job done. The last thing you need is them coming back to you with requests.Suggestion: Develop a budget and appoint resources beforehand.
  2. 4. Failing to follow up because you don’t have enough time. You may not have time to keep checking on the worker.Solution: Try double delegation. You could ask another worker or the person’s mentor to monitor their progress.

Sources: White paper, “One Shall Not Delegate What They Themselves Cannot Perform,” by Sanjeev Himachali.

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