Delegation in management is the process of assigning tasks, responsibilities, and authority to others in order to accomplish a goal or objective. It involves the transfer of decision-making authority from one person to another, along with the accompanying resources and support.
Delegation is an important aspect of management because it allows managers to focus on more important tasks and objectives, while also providing opportunities for employees to develop their skills and take on more responsibility. It also helps to ensure that tasks are completed efficiently and effectively.
When delegating, a manager must be clear about what tasks and responsibilities should be delegated, as well as the desired outcome or goal. The manager should also provide the necessary resources and support, and clearly communicate expectations and deadlines. It is also important to provide feedback and support during the delegation process.
Effective delegation can lead to improved productivity and efficiency, increased employee motivation and engagement, and better decision-making. However, it is important to note that delegation should be done in a way that is appropriate for the individual being delegated to and the task at hand, and that the manager remains ultimately accountable for the outcome.
Elements of Delegation
There are several key elements of delegation which are as follows:
The manager must have the authority to delegate tasks and assign responsibilities to the employees. The manager should have the power generated by his position or hierarchy to assign duties and responsibilities to lower levels of employees. In delegation, management has the power to make decisions regarding the resources and allocation of resources; this is authority.
The responsible individual must be willing and able to accept the responsibilities and tasks assigned to them. He/she should be responsible towards the assigned tasks. Superior assigns the duty to subordinates and subordinates have the responsibility of delivering the assignment.
The subordinate is accountable for the successful completion of the tasks. Such subordinate will be held responsible for any mistakes or failures. He/she is accountable towards the manager for efficiently and effectively completing the task delegated by the manager.
Accountability is the base for any delegation. There must be someone towards whom the assignment is accountable.
Effective communication between the manager and the person delegated to is crucial for the success of delegation. This includes clearly defining the tasks and objectives, establishing deadlines, and providing any necessary resources or support.
A poorly communicated assignment could cost a lot to the company. Poor communication of roles and responsibility could mislead the objective. Also, a well communicated delegation also acts as a control factor for the company. Communication defines the boundaries of operation in delegation.
The manager should provide regular feedback and support to the delegated person. This ensures that the tasks will complete and address any issues or concerns that may arise.
Delegation empowers people to take decisions and actions. It helps to build their confidence and encourages them to take ownership of their work.
Objectives of Delegation
The objectives of delegation in management include following:
- Accomplishing specific tasks or objectives: By assigning responsibilities and tasks to others, managers can focus on more important tasks and ensure that the organization’s goals and objectives are met.
- Developing the skills and abilities of employees: It can help to develop the skills and abilities of employees by giving them the opportunity to take on new responsibilities and learn new tasks. It provides the opportunities for advancement to the employees and helps them to nurture their skills and capabilities.
- Building a more effective and efficient organization: Delegation can help to build a more effective and efficient organization by allowing managers to focus on more important tasks, while lower-level employees take on more responsibilities and make decisions.
- Empowering employees: Delegation can empower employees by giving them more autonomy and control over their work, which can lead to increased job satisfaction and motivation.
- Facilitating succession planning: By delegating tasks and responsibilities to employees, managers can identify and prepare potential successors for key positions within the organization.
Benefits of Delegation
The benefits of delegation in management are given below:
By delegating tasks and responsibilities to others, managers can focus on more important tasks and improve overall productivity. Similarly, the employees can increase their productivity by using the power delegated by the upper level to perform the tasks.
Delegation can lead to increased efficiency by allowing lower-level employees to make decisions and take actions without having to wait for approval from higher-level managers. As a result, they can perform their work smoothly without any disturbances.
Improved Employee Motivation and Engagement
By giving employees more autonomy and control over their work, delegation can lead to increased job satisfaction and motivation. Employees get motivated to perform their work because they have the necessary power to perform that work.
Enhanced Employee Development
Delegation can help to develop the skills and abilities of employees by giving them the opportunity to take on new responsibilities and learn new tasks. They can explore their skills and talents and challenge themselves to take on more challenging projects or tasks.
Delegation can lead to better decision-making by allowing employees at all levels of the organization to contribute their ideas and perspectives. Employees can provide their opinions and views to the higher level management to make any decisions.
Shortcomings of Delegation
There are several shortcomings of delegation for a manager, including:
Lack of Control
Management may lose control at some level when delegated. After delegation, the subordinate has the authority over the assigned responsibility. Hence, management do not have complete control and are prone to uncertainty and potential mistakes.
If the manager does not clearly communicate the tasks and expectations, or if the person being delegated to does not understand or follow through on the instructions, delegation can fail.
Lack of Accountability
If the manager does not hold the person being delegated to accountable for the outcome, the delegation may not be successful.
Loss of Expertise
If the manager delegates tasks that they are particularly skilled at, the organization may lose that expertise, which can lead to negative consequences.
Risk of over Delegation
Over delegation can lead to confusion and lack of control, as well as employees may feel overwhelmed by the tasks they are assigned.
Delegation can be time-consuming, as it requires the manager to spend time training, supervising, and monitoring the person to whom the task is delegated.
Resistance to Change
Employees may be resistant to new responsibilities, especially if they are not comfortable with the task or do not have the necessary skills or knowledge to complete it.
Conflicts of Interest
When delegating, it’s important to consider conflicts of interest. There may be resistance to delegation if the person being delegated to has different goals or interests than the manager.