Improving Delegation and Empowerment
In our third series of ‘Talent Tips’ to assist with the key issues addressed in Executive Coaching Sessions, we look at increasing levels of Delegation and Empowerment. Frequently this is a key development area identified from comments in 360 Feedback Reviews.
Most managers and many leaders, in particular business owners, often feel they can complete a task quicker than if they have to brief a team member to carry out the task. However, effective delegation can assist in freeing up time for leaders to work more effectively and strategically, as well as enabling managers to develop their staff, which leads to increased engagement and higher morale.
Ahead of delegating any task it is worth taking the time to analyse your team according to performance, attitude, likely potential, competence, skill level, experience, interests, development needs and team working ability. Then follow the 10 step process for effective delegation and empowerment:
1. Make a list of current tasks: one marked ‘Keep’, one marked ‘Delegate’. Tasks on the ‘Keep’ list should be essential to you and should also be aligned with the overall strategy
2. Analyse the task to be delegated: Ask yourself how complex it is and how long it may take to complete
3. Ask yourself who may benefit from the opportunity to carry out the task and what other tasks they may like to do
4. Define a SMART objective for the task and make sure timescales fit with the person’s existing workload
5. Agree the level of responsibility for the decision making: total authority to get on with the task or keeping you informed of key stages or issues. Whatever the level of decision making authority always try to give an individual sense of ownership to each task
6. Provide clear direction and objectives: Clarify that it is OK for team members to ask any relevant questions and decide on specific options, or explain that they should check in with you regularly regarding key decisions and progress made.
7. Focus on the objectives and outcomes, not on the way people achieve these, as this can often lead to criticism which many team members will find de-motivating
8. On completion review the outcomes: For the task – has it been achieved or are any revisions required? For the person – what skills have they developed and if they were to do the task again, what would they do differently?
9. Create opportunities for individuals to feel part of the wider team by communicating how each work assignment fits with the vision, strategy and purpose of the organisation