Learning to delegate is necessary for good management

By Barbara J. Bowes, Legacy Bowes Group

Think about it: are you becoming concerned there isn’t enough time to recover as you jump from one crisis to the next? Is your email inbox always full? Are you struggling to meet deadlines? Is your staff morale beginning to slip? Is your stress level inching upward and causing you to become edgy and anxious?

If these issues and sleepless nights are wearing you down, then I can safely say that you are probably taking on too many tasks yourself. You are probably not as skilled as you need to be at delegating to your team members. Maybe the issue is that you don’t know how to delegate or are afraid to delegate.

Delegation is a skill that is absolutely necessary for good management. It means getting things done through other people. It is all about planning, time management, professional development and the empowerment of your employees.

Delegation is an excellent time management tool and an effective employee-empowerment device. It is not just about handing off work that you don’t want to do or giving employees trivial jobs with little responsibility or decision making. Delegation is about involving your staff in business goals and objectives. It is all about giving employees more responsibility, more authority, more accountability and more involvement in decision making.

However, delegation is not as simple as people think. When entrusting your authority to others to get a job done, managers often face a challenge. In fact, delegating for the first time can cause personal fear and insecurity. When you delegate, your job is to focus only on results. So it can be hard to let go and allow an employee to follow his/her own process.

Some of what you might fear is the loss of control, a loss of power, failure or becoming invisible and therefore no longer being needed. Many of these feelings are directly tied to personal insecurity and a lack of self-confidence. And don’t think for a moment employees don’t have qualms about accepting a delegated task. Without proper preparation, an employee may see delegation as simply passing on a task the man- ager doesn’t like or a tactic to load the employee up with more work. Worse yet, the employee may see they have new responsibilities but with no authority.

So, how should you go about learning and applying the skill of delegation? First of all, understand if you are too busy and unfocused, then 80 per cent of your effort will generate only 20 per cent of the results needed. On the other hand, 80 per cent of all of your results should be achieved with only 20 per cent of your effort. Therefore, you need to learn to delegate as much as possible.

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Piling Canada is the premier national voice for the Canadian deep foundation construction industry. Each issue is dedicated to providing readers with current and informative editorial, including project updates, company profiles, technological advancements, safety news, environmental information, HR advice, pertinent legal issues and more.