Delegation is a skill that every effective leader must learn. Nobody can do it all themselves – that’s why we surround ourselves with teams. Good leaders understand the value of delegation but great leaders understand the right way to do delegation. When tasking someone to do something (i.e. delegation) that person is given the accountability for delivering that task. What is often neglected is providing that person the authority to make decisions that will help them be successful with the delegated task. Here are three very tangible benefits that can be realized from practicing effective delegation.
Confidence and Trust
When giving someone an important job that is normally reserved for yourself, you are inherently putting faith in that individual (or team) to be as successful as you were in that task. To firstly delegate something to someone else inherently tells that person that you are trusting them to do the job right. By signalling that trust, it will naturally inspire confidence in that individual. This is one of the building blocks for high-performing teams is a group of confident (not cocky) individuals who feel empowered to do their best.
I’ve heard two schools of thought on the impacts of morale when it comes to delegation. When done improperly it can actually have a negative effect on morale – it’s perceived as a manager throwing a job at someone that he/she does not want to do themselves. When employees perceive delegation this way, it can have a negative impact on morale. That’s why it is so important that delegation be done properly. Communicate with your delegates, let them know why this job is falling to them (and be honest and open about the reasons) and let them know that they have your support to help them along.
Career and professional development is one of the most inexpensive yet valuable benefits an organization can offer its employees. By having individuals do the job of the person above them in the org chart it helps with career development on two fronts: 1) It starts preparing that individual to understand what is involved with taking on a role above them and; 2) It provides organizational depth – by having more than one person who is able to take on a critical task (ex. month end forecasting) it reduces the reliance on one person and removes the threat of that person leaving the organization in a bad place if they are unable to fulfil those duties.
Delegation is an undervalued leadership trait. It takes practice and understanding in order to get it right and realize the benefits I’ve talked about here. But by practicing effective delegation, your organization will absolutely grow stronger and deeper.
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