Delegation: When to Delegate, Who to Delegate to

By: Kate Hufstetler

There are some very simple guides for delegation.

Most people delegate based on not wanting to do something. They simply walk out to their secretary or the closest sub-ordinate and ask them to do/finish the project. These people use delegation as a means to schlep off unwanted work.

Almost all work within any organization is important. That does not mean that all work with in an organization is A) fun to do or B) exciting to do or C) challenging or D) any particular person's favorite thing to do.

So when can you / should you consider using delegation? Well the obvious is when the pile of work has grown to large to be accomplished accurately and in a timely manner. However, you may also want to use delegation at other times.

  • When stress has gotten to a level beyond manageability.

  • When you repeatedly stall or avoid specific duties.

  • When you know other people could do a specific task much faster & far more proficiently than you will manage to complete it.

  • finally, you may also choose to use delegation simply as a tool of motivation for employees that show potential for advancement.

Sometimes delegation ends up like an old fashioned day of bartering: "If you do 'XYZ' ; I will take care of 'ABC'. With this type of arrangement both parties may be much happier with their work performance and productivity that day / week.

Now-- Who to delegate to: Well instead of walking out your office door and finding the first person that must take orders from you-- try thinking this through for the benefit of both the company and your own reputation. Try this order--

  • Those who have the talent & the time

  • Those who have the talent but no time-- (you might barter with them)

  • Those who have the comprehensive ability to be trained & have the time

  • Those who have the comprehensive ability to be trained but do not have the time (again tradeoffs might work)

---STOP--

After this would come yourself again (this is what we are trying to eliminate)

After this would come no skill but plenty of time ( this is NOT helpful nor prudential)

After this would come no skill and no time (again-- do NOT do this)

For efficiency and quality-- try delegating in this order. Look around and think these categories through. Surely you have people within your establishment who fit these categories. And if not-- get to the HR dept and see what can be done.

Until next time--- all the best,

Kate

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