Why you Have the Wrong Idea About Delegating
Leaders should focus on delegation as a means for developing their team, engaging members in long-term company success, achieving more loyalty and effectiveness, and increasing overall job satisfaction.
From Hassle to Asset
Delegating can be a hassle. Trust me, I get it. It feels like it takes more time to explain how to do something than it would to just do it yourself. Not to mention when a task eventually does get done, it’s never quite how you would have chosen to do it on your own. So why waste your time?
You’ve heard this spiel before, so you already know that efficiency in a team means getting as much done as possible at the lowest levels possible so that everyone can maximize their effectiveness. In fact, 78% of personnel in major corporations feel like their boss, manager, or supervisor should delegate more effectively for this very reason.
But we’re not writing this to tell you what you already know. Instead, we’d like to argue that delegating for time management and efficiency is only a small part of the “delegation pie.” We think leaders should focus on delegation as a means for developing their team, engaging members in long-term company success, achieving more loyalty and effectiveness, and increasing overall job satisfaction.
A More Valuable Investment
You weren’t put in a leadership position to “just make sure stuff gets done.” You were put there to maximize your team’s capabilities by helping guide each team member to becoming a more valuable investment to your company.
Yes, this includes getting things done in the most effective ways possible, but it also means equipping each team member with skills and tools that elevate the overall performance of your team.
Change can be difficult. Involving employees in decisions that affect them results in more team ownership and commitment to providing successful implementation.
Companies encounter change all the time, whether it’s big changes like new chief leadership officers or small changes such as pivoting the focus of a project. An effective leader doesn’t drag their employees through change; instead, he walks with his team members through the development.
The most successful way to create a positive change dynamic, according to change management training experts, is to involve your team in the change rather than springing it on them. Team members often feel dehumanized when they are expected to blindly accept change regardless of how they feel about it. By involving your employees in the process of key decisions, you’re not only mitigating resistance, but you’re also increasing the likelihood of success by enahncing their buy-in for successful implementation of the change.
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In a poll by BNET, now part of CBS MoneyWatch, 29% of participants stated that they were most motivated by doing something meaningful at work, while only 25% were motivated by money.
Despite common belief, not everybody is only doing their work for a paycheck. It’s human nature to want to grow, develop, and to see their efforts have an impact, no matter how small. By delegating tasks to team members that give them more responsibility within the company, you are showing that you care about their professional development which, in return, gives your employees more job satisfaction. Which leads us to our next point…
A team that feels that their manager trusts them and that the company is interested in their professional goals and progression, will be more satisfied in their work. This translates to the employee being less likely to leave the organization. A manager who makes a point of regularly challenging his or her team members (while following the 6 rules for effective performance coaching) and who helps them build skills in order to participate in more meaningful aspects of the company will experience decreased turnover within their team.
A more skillful team also contributes to the overall success strategy of a company by providing a pipeline of talented employees to assist in future goals.
Better Time Management
And, yes, delegating means you will have more time to lead your team and more effectively handle important or strategic work. When you delegate in a way that increases the responsitibility and roles of your team members, you’re opening up an opportunity to expand your time for planning, big-picture thinking, and other high-level roles.
Take a moment to think about your employees’ levels of development and how much responsibility the are willing and capable to take on. By delegating work to them over time, your eployees will have the opportunity to continually develop their skills and knowledge, which makes them a more valuable investment to your team and the company.
The overall goal of delegation isn’t to have direct-reports complete low-level tasks to save you time. It’s to simultaneously maximize your capacity to complete high-level strategy and big-picuture thinking that will advance the success of the company while also improving the performance of your team.
The ability to evolve the mindset of the members of your company to delegate for multiplying high-level thinkers and improving the overall performance of your team means you’re grooming and accelerating your company’s capability to achieve growing goals.
Delegating for your own longer-term time management and team efficiency is really just a piece of the “delegation pie.” When you focus your delegation as a means for developing your team, engaging members in long-term company success, achieving more loyalty and effectiveness, and increasing overall job satisfaction, that’s when you’ll win the very most.
About the Author
Founder and CEO
Patrick effectively coaches leaders at all levels and across a number of industries with a pragmatic, consultative approach. Previously, he was vice president with Right Management and held other senior OD and development positions in manufacturing and the professional services Industries. He holds an M.S. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Lamar University.
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