“Effectively delegating to others is perhaps the single
most powerful high-leverage activity there is”-
Stephen R. Covey
“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”
In the current crisis and uncertainty, managers want their employees to understand them perfectly. Entrepreneurs are beginning to think at high speeds and expect the same from employees. But these expectations are not always feasible. Especially if the team is used to working differently.
Shock therapy in the form of hundreds of orders leads to the fact that people are more likely to make mistakes, get nervous and fail to cope with tasks. Even what was done clearly and quickly yesterday can become a bottleneck today. The owner or manager feels that he is not enough for everyone! What should we do to avoid this?
At any time, and especially in times of crisis, the manager needs to remember: "The employee understands and performs the task as he can, and not as he was told."
And in a situation of crisis and uncertainty due to the huge amount of negative information and general stress, he can do less. And not because the person is non-executive, but because now subordinates need more support and explanations.
So what is the essence of delegation in the new realities?
Delegation comes from the Latin "delegare" and means "to transfer", "to entrust". This is the process of transferring part of the functions of a manager to other employees in order to achieve specific business goals. Delegation of authority is used to optimize the personal effectiveness of the manager.
A Gallup study found that the average revenue of Inc.500 companies whose executives had high delegation skills was 33% higher than that of firms whose executives had low delegation.
What can be delegated?
A routine work - to perform small and simple tasks in which the right to choose is given, we invite secretaries. If the head of the department is going to sort emails and answer phone calls, it makes no sense to keep lower-level employees on staff.
A preparatory work - collecting, structuring and processing information, preparing reports and other tasks that contribute to order.
A specialized work - everyone should do what they can do well.
A non-principled questions - there are questions that can be solved without a leader: what method to choose to complete the task, how to present the final result, which contractor to choose for furniture packing.
How to delegate in the new realities?
1. Make sure that you are really understood: in the process of issuing a task, the manager and subordinate should have an understanding that they see the end result in the same way. In a crisis situation, we don’t have time to correct. Therefore, at the time of delegation, ask how the employee sees the execution process, what resources he will use, what he will do if obstacles arise. This is done through leading questions and dialogue.
2. Attention to detail
Anything that can be misunderstood will be misunderstood. Therefore, when setting a task, think about where difficulties may arise. These places require a detailed specification.
Even if you have a very intelligent employee, in a crisis, a person's attention can disperse, he can get lost under the pressure of contradictory information. You have to delegate the task in such detail so that he performs it exactly as you need.
3. Simple training
If during the delegation process you understand that the employee needs additional knowledge, this will lengthen the deadline for completing the task. Perhaps it is worth transferring the task to someone else, but giving the first employee the opportunity to observe, or breaking the task into small subtasks using the competencies of different employees.
Three main mistakes in delegation
Delegate bypassing other managers
Don’t transfer the task to a person who is not your direct subordinate. First you need to coordinate the issue with his immediate supervisor. Then explain the task to the employee personally, because the intermediary may unintentionally distort the information.
Delegate on the go
Often the need to delegate appears when all the deadlines have already "burned out". Then the manager gives the task to the first employee he meets, without having time to prepare instructions for execution. As a result, the employee makes a lot of mistakes, the result is very mediocre.
Delegate back-breaking tasks
Try to adequately assess the capabilities of the employee. It is necessary to transfer complex tasks with great responsibility to qualified specialists who understand the topic no worse or better than the head.
How to learn to delegate in modern realities?
Understand yourself and answer the question: why are you not doing this yet and where can there be difficulties? For example, perfectionism, fear of losing control or authority may require work with a psychologist. Lack of time, fear of making mistakes in an employee are solved through the development of soft skills with a coach.
In my Telegram channel and on the VK page, we discuss delegation skills with experts and entrepreneurs, find the root causes of managerial mistakes, and learn how to be effective.
A crisis is a time of change, a time to learn to delegate in a new way!