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Art of Delegation

Art of Delegation

Before embarking on the subject let us find out what delegation is and how the process occurs in an organization.

What is Delegation: A manager or a superior cannot think of doing all the jobs by himself. It becomes therefore necessary to delegate some of the jobs to his subordinates to ease the pressure and assign the required authority to carry on with those tasks. This downward pushing of authority is called delegation of authority.

Delegation of Authority in an Organization

Art of Delegation

Delegation takes place when one person gives another person the right to perform work on his behalf and in his name. It is the process of entrusting part of the work by the superior to his subordinates.

PROCESS OF DELEGATION

1.       Step one is Assigning Responsibility: The superior directs the subordinate to perform a task with due assistance and training.

2.       Step two is Granting Authority: To accomplish the task some authority has to be given to the subordinate to procure the essential resources from the organization like materials, equipment, labor etc.,

3.       Step three is Creating Accountability: The subordinate is expected to accomplish the task within the stipulated time period and report to the manager regarding the acquisition, use and replacement of resources.

ADVANTAGES OF DELEGATION

  •   It reduces the work pressure of the manager
  •   Leads to better decisions
  •   Speeds up decision making
  •   It improves the morale of the employees
  •   Creates a feeling of mutual trust between the superior and subordinates
  •   Helps to create a formal organization structure

BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVE DELEGATION

  1.  Fear of being exposed: Some superiors fear that their weaknesses might be exposed
  2.  Difficulty in briefing the actual requirement- depends on the quick wit of the employees
  3.  Lack of confidence in subordinates
  4.  Fear of loss of power
  5. “I am OK you are OK “ attitude of the managers

PRINCIPLES OF DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY

  •   Principle of Delegation by Results Expected: The authority assigned to the subordinates should be sufficient enough to ensure their ability to accomplish the results expected.
  •   Principle of Absoluteness of Responsibility: One has to understand that responsibility can never be delegated and that the superiors are responsible for the activities of their employees and the performance of the employees has to be absolute towards their superior’s expectations.
  •   Principle of Parity for Authority and Responsibility: There should be a perfect balance between assigned authority and responsibility. One cannot be held responsible for a task where he has limited authority and too much of authority with too little responsibility can prove to be dangerous.
  •   Principle of Unity of Command: If there is a single superior to listen to, conflicts will be greatly reduced and it will be easy for the subordinate to have a personal rapport with the superior.
  •   Authority Level Principle: A manager who has the authority to make certain decisions must necessarily use his discretion and should not try to overlook or pass it on to the top management.
  •   Principle of Functional Definition: The objectives, tasks, responsibility and authority must be clearly stated to the individuals involved to facilitate improved performance to accomplish enterprise objectives.

Managers fail because of poor delegation. Their personal attitude comes to the forefront which makes things quite difficult.

  •   Lack of receptiveness: Some managers are not open to ideas and suggestions from the other end
  •   Willingness to let go: A superior must have the willingness to delegate authority for positions which he had left long ago.
  •   Willingness to trust subordinates: A trustful attitude makes the proceedings smooth
  •  Willingness to establish and use broad controls: The superior must establish some standards to which the objectives or tasks can be compared to and control mechanisms must be installed for evaluation purposes. Feedback from subordinates is the most important criterion that determines the effective functioning of the organization.

HOW TO MAKE DELEGATION EFFECTIVE?

  •   Right person for the right job
  •   Give sufficient authority
  •   Free flow of information
  •   Establish proper controls
  •   Reward the subordinates
  •   Make the nature and scope of the tasks clear
  •   Make the subordinate understand the limits of his authority
  •   Create a climate of mutual trust and goodwill
  •   Let there be no overlaps and splits in delegation

A manager has to make sure if the subordinate is worthy of delegating the authority and if he is found faltering the manager has the full right to recover the delegated authority and entrust the responsibility to another person who satisfies the demand or expectation.

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