Last month we looked at some of the typical reasons managers do not delegate and discussed the steps for success. Here are the 5 steps to successful delegation in more detail. First, let’s look at 6 typical rules:
1. Describe the task
2. Outline expected results
3. Discuss resources
4. Confirm understanding
5. Solicit ideas
6. Establish methods of working and reporting
Below are the 5 Phases and what they entail:
PHASE 1 – PREPARATION:
Specify for yourself the goals of the delegation, what needs to be done, and by whom.
A. Specify the job to be delegated:
• Results expected;
• Materials resources, and information needed;
• Relevant policies and procedures to be considered;
• Time frame for project; and
• Others involved in project (suppliers, others doing parts of the work, and so forth).
B. Decide to whom the task will be delegated:
• Consider subordinates’ abilities, knowledge, interests, experience, attitudes, confidence, developmental goals, and so forth;
• Consider subordinates’ current workloads; and
• Consider the types of tasks and/or projects that subordinates are currently working on.
PHASE 2 – PLANNING:
The subordinate who is chosen is briefed on the project to be completed and is asked to formulate a plan of action. A lengthier follow-up meeting is scheduled.
A. Explain the reasons for delegating to this person.
B. Describe the project clearly (results expected and so forth), including how the project fits into the larger scheme of things. Ask the subordinate to prepare a plan of how the job could be accomplished and to specify what obstacles he or she anticipates as well as ways to avoid or deal with these obstacles.
C. Establish a meeting time to discuss the subordinate’s ideas and determine how long the meeting will last.
D. Arrange for the meeting to take place in a non-threatening location.
PHASE 3 – DISCUSSION:
Review the project objectives with the subordinate and discuss ideas on how he or she plans to proceed, what obstacles he or she anticipates, and how these obstacles can be avoided or dealt with.
A. Discuss the subordinate’s plan of action and ways of overcoming potential obstacles.
B. Specify the resources that will be made available and make any necessary introductions to others who will be involved in the project.
C. Tell the subordinate how much authority you will give him or her.
D. Discuss how much follow-up to expect; establish checkpoints.
E. Emphasize the subordinate’s responsibility for the outcomes.
PHASE 4 – AUDIT:
Monitor the progress of the delegation; making adjustments in response to unforeseen problems.
A. Make sure that needed materials, resources, and so forth are available to the subordinate.
B. Discuss problems and progress at designated checkpoints and/or as needed.
C. Offer encouragement; do not revoke the delegation or begin to perform certain elements of the task yourself.
PHASE 5 – APPRECIATION:
Accept the completed project and acknowledge the subordinate’s efforts.
A. Do not accept unfinished, inaccurate, unprofessional, or off-target work.
B. Show an interest in the results; reward the subordinate for achievements.
C. Accept your own accountability. Do not blame the subordinate for less-than-satisfying results for which you may be responsible.
D. Review the delegation process and what has been learned.
Mike Cieri, MSIR, is Vice President of Mardac Consultants and been in the Human Resource Management field for over 20 years. During this time he has held a variety of management positions, including several years on the executive management team of a large corporation as Vice President of Human Resources and Safety, as well as Vice President of Operations.
Mike has a Masters degree in Industrial Relations & Human Resources from the University of Oregon, is a Certified Safety Director, and a national speaker. He has a coaching certificate from The Coaches Training Institute, San Rafael, California and a Practioner’s Certificate in Neuro-Linguistic Programming from the NLP Institute of Oregon, as well as a certified MBTI trainer through CAPT. Mike also is an adjunct professor at Oregon State University in the college of business.