Friday, 27 April 2012

Delegation and Career Success Part 2

Developing Willing Employees

Effective management requires an ongoing process selecting people that can be trained to take on more stretching tasks. If you are familiar with Blanchard’s Situational Leadership II the method by which you do this will become obvious. By first giving small amounts of authority to complete basic tasks and then by monitoring their progress and making corrections where necessary, is a great way to start.

It is also important to look your group's workload as a whole. The delegation of tasks will affect the whole group and it is wise to find out how work is now allocated and how much time is available for each member to do new, developmental tasks. It's a good idea to involve your entire group in the process. All of us are somewhat motivated by a sense of equity and an equitable distribution of both workload and learning opportunities is essential.

For delegation to meet both work and development goals managers need to:
Delegate assignments that a team member needs to strengthen areas of weakness.
Delegate a variety of activities broaden and add interest to the recipient’s job.
Delegate activities that will, if carried out effectively, lead to advancement of the individual/s being delegated to.

Remember you may need to delegate in a chain effect. What I mean here is A takes over say two or three of your tasks and B takes over two or three of A’s task’s. You will need to keep a watchful eye on both A and B.

The Four Stages of Delegating

The Blanchard Situational Leadership (or Hershey & Blanchard) model is I believe the best approach. Although the model is used as a “Leadership Model” it still provides a great basis for assessing “what and how much” to delegate to employees. The categories they use are often misconstrued as generalisations about an individuals overall competence. It must be remembered that the categories need to be task specific. This means that employees can be at development level 1 (D1) in one task and perhaps D4 in another. I have changed the level descriptions below from the original model to better reflect the delegation discussion.

D1:  Staff member is both unwilling and unable to take responsibility for performing a task.
D2:  Staff member is unable however they are willing to do a job task.  
D3:  Staff member is able however unwilling to perform a task.
D4:  Staff member is willing and fully competent to do what is asked of them.

More on delegation and management at and if no one is delegating and developing you perhaps it's time to dust of your resume.

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