In a layman's language, delegation can be defined as division and distribution of work and power in an organization, by a manager, amongst the subordinates, so that the organizational work can be done effectively and in time.
Usually, delegation involves telling each of the subordinates about the outcomes expected from the tasks assigned to them and then leave the decision making to them as to how that particular work should be done so that the desired results can be obtained.
Delegation is a key management skill, which is used by a manager when he is overloaded with work and it is impossible for him to give full justice to it on his own.
Importance of Effective Delegation
As the work is divided and each employee is told in advance what is expected of him, he is able to give his best to the work at hand. Moreover, the work is given to the employees according to their capability, skills and ability. This helps in maintaining the quality of the work.
On the other hand, the subordinates are given freedom to complete the tasks in a manner they deem is the best and this enhances their creativity and motivation. All these things are very positive as far as learning and growth of the employees is concerned.
Delegation is important for a manager so that he can focus and utilize the extra time on his hands on other important tasks such as planning, making strategies, analyzing the market and the way work is done in the office, etc.
Effective delegation promotes stability in an organization. When subordinates are delegated work, they learn how to do the tasks, not only on the basis of the written codes and procedures, but also using a bit of their own imagination. This makes them learn and develop many new skills, which gradually helps to shape them into future managers and leaders.
How to Delegate?
There are certain steps of delegation, which should be followed, if all these mentioned benefits of delegation are to be enjoyed by an organization. Firstly, the tasks that have to be performed should be defined very clearly along with the expectations.
Secondly, the persons who have to do these tasks should be chosen very wisely. Only those who have the skills and ability to do the job well, should be selected. Thirdly, the chosen employees should be trained appropriately. They should be provided with all kinds of resources and support needed to do the job.
Timelines and deadlines for the task at hand should be set and finally, the subordinates should be given constant feedback on how they are faring so that they can make the necessary changes and improvements. You may further go to how to delegate effectively.
At the end of it all, a manager should remember that the onus of the job still lies on him. So, he should make sure that the work is done well and within the stipulated time frame.
In a nutshell, delegation is an important tool for individual as well as organizational development, provided it is used properly. It boosts the confidence of employees, enhances productivity and promotes organizational stability. Looking at these benefits and to enjoy the success that comes with delegating work, managers should aim to make wise use of it.