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You Can Delegate Authority, but Not Responsibility

You Can Delegate Authority, but Not Responsibility
You can Delegate Authority, but not Responsibility. Responsibility of a Manager: A corporate manager is accorded with the huge responsibility of leading his subordinates in the right direction, by giving proper insights on the tasks to be accomplished. The success rate depends on how well he delegates his authority down the line to get things done. The art of delegation results not only in down sizing his work pressure but also in the empowerment of subordinates, that elevates them to a higher plane of understanding and achievement. An Excerpt from The Art of Delegation: Developing This Essential Managerial Skill Delegation helps you handover the authority of certain tasks to capable team members so that you free up your time to work on more pressing issues. But you still remain responsible to get those completed in proper way. Hence it is essential to have a status check or communication with the team member on regular basis. Accountability of Subordinates: The subordinates, when entrusted with the responsibilities of performing a task by themselves and the necessary authority to make decisions within the area of their assigned duties, are obliged to perform. The necessary assistance and training for the new assignment has to be planned for, by the manager to make them perform as per the expected standards. The thing is right people should be chosen for the entrusted job. They should possess the zeal and enthusiasm to deliver the desired output. Some people perform beyond expectations and they should be rewarded with additional responsibilities. Whatever the case may be, it is a wise thing to delegate simple assignments at the initial stage, and proceed with more challenging jobs depending upon the caliber of the incumbent. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S GUIDE TO DELEGATION Clear and Clever Delegation: Clear and clever delegation facilitates to build a formal organization structure, where the subordinates are trained well and they look up to the manager for direction and guidance. Although the authority is delegated, the manager is held accountable and answerable to the management for the performance output or the end result. Some managers hesitate to delegate, just for the reason that their weaknesses might get exposed. Some don’t have confidence in their subordinates. Some even fear that they might lose their power if the subordinate is very shrewd and exceeds the expectations. Managers fail because of poor delegation; the reasons being personal attitude of managers in delegating authority. Let us understand some of the basic principles to be adhered to while delegating: The authority delegated to subordinates should be adequate enough to ensure their ability to accomplish the expected results. Authority can be delegated but responsibility can never be delegated. Responsibility of subordinates is “performance” and that of managers is “responsibility for the action of their subordinates”. One cannot be held responsible for a task if he has only limited authority. There need to be a balance between authority and responsibility. The presence of a single superior will invoke greater feeling of personal responsibility among the subordinates. Lack of receptiveness on the superior’s part will incur greater loss in terms of performance and efficiency. Instead, a manager should develop a trustful attitude towards his subordinates and should have the patience to explain the policies, objectives and guidelines and give sufficient authority to perform a duty. HOW WELL EMPLOYEES KNOW ABOUT YOUR ORGANIZATION? Although initially the efforts taken to train a subordinate is time consuming, the more empowered he becomes, less is your time taken to accomplish the enterprise objectives. The superior must be able to create a climate of mutual trust and goodwill, to make delegations effective in the light of expected...
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Self Appraisal

Self Appraisal
Self Appraisal-Amuse Yourself What is  Self Appraisal: Self evaluation process involved in determining the level of self efficacy . By and large, corporate companies go for a one tier system of appraisal-where the supervisor generates a confidential report about his subordinates as and when required. This serves as a basis for the management to decide on increments or promotion for the respective candidate. But the question is, is this system fool proof? Definitely not. There are certain lapses that deserve mention and the management has to design suitable appraisal formats to improve or strengthen the weak areas. Some areas where the appraisal process can take a deviation: A biased report given by the appraiser due to various reasons Perception of appraiser may be wrong The appraiser sees the appraisee through his ideas and not from the management’s view point, which may lead to clash of ideas where the appraisee is made the victim Flaws in the design of the appraisal process where the top management may not come to know the real need of the appraisee Appraisees sometimes don’t identify themselves with the organization and its objectives Appraisees may not know what kind of behavior traits is expected of them by the management So it is imperative on the part of the management to introduce self appraisal process in its agenda, where the appraisee himself becomes the appraiser. This helps the organization to accomplish its overall objectives in a short time through a high performance system. This kind of appraisal by ‘oneself’ makes each and every employee to clearly understand where he stands against the expected scale of behavior. Two-tier system as we may call it will help in the following manner: Participative approach infuses a sense of belongingness amongst the workforce Potential of the appraisee can be brought out The real problem of the employees is known Higher level of approach or interest to know or evaluate one’s own behavior is seen. Basically, organizations must examine their assumptions about human behavior and come to a common belief about people. If they believe people are basically “bad” management might go for hiring “watch-out-look-out” supervisors, rigid disciplinary regulations, and separate facilities such as parking, dining and rest rooms. All these clearly spell out the existence of distinction between the management and workforce. If the organization comes to a common agreement that people are basically “good”, entirely the approach will be different. Every worker becomes a manager and uniform treatment is given to both the employees and managers of higher cadre. Essentially in my opinion, no organization or work society will succeed without visionaries and uniform treatment that is consistent with basic principles and ethics. It has to be understood that work attitudes and values are ultimately a company’s best competitive advantage. Note: Larsen & Toubro – Engineering major Larsen & Toubro has developed a competency matrix which lists 73 competencies-that vary across managerial levels-to measure performance and gauge developmental needs of its employees. National Panasonic – The Japanese white-goods major has developed a performance-assessment system driven by Key Result Areas (KRAs). KRAs describe performance goals-business, functional, and behavioural ones-with defined time-frames and are decided jointly by the employee and his manager at the beginning of the...
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Levels of Organization

Levels of Organization
Levels of Organization An organization is a network consisting of people interacting to accomplish the enterprise objectives. The inter relationship is always complex as groups tend to develop conflicts and difference of opinion among themselves and in between. Hence the structure of an organization should be designed to clarify who is to do what task and who is responsible for what results and to furnish decision-making devoid of uncertainty. Organization implies to Recognizing and classifying the required activities Grouping of activities in order to achieve the objectives Appointing a manager and assigning him with the necessary authority to lead each group The provision for co-ordination vertically and horizontally “Organization is the establishment of authority and relationships with provision for coordination between them, both vertically and horizontally in the enterprise structure,” According to Koontz. FORMAL ORGANISATION It implies a formalized intentional structure of roles or positions. Formal organization must be flexible. ·         The formal structure is laid down by the top management ·         The levels are designed on the basis of specialization ·         Purely task oriented and not people oriented ·         Rules are very stringent and everyone is expected to follow them without fail INFORMAL ORGANISATION A network of personal and social relations arising spontaneously as people associate with one another and not restricted by the formal rules or structure. One important aspect of organizing is the establishment of department. Department designates a distinct area, division, or branch of an organization over which a manager has authority for the performance of specified activities. ·         Spontaneous in nature ·         More people oriented ·         Based on religion, culture, common problems faced by the workforce etc., ·         Membership is voluntary and the same person can be a member of many groups. ORGANISATION LEVELS AND SPAN OF MANAGEMENT Why there is a need to organize? To co-ordinate the activities of the people involved in the organization’s functions for which there needs to be certain levels established to facilitate the co-operation effective. There are two types of spans, 1. Wide span 2. Narrow span WIDE SPAN: Wide span of management has fewer organizational levels with more number of sub-ordinates reporting to a superior. Though it proves advantageous for the superior as delegation becomes part of the process and hence work is shared, care must be taken in selecting the right people for completion of tasks and clear policies must be made to avoid confusion. There is this tendency of overloaded superiors to become decision bottlenecks and there exists the danger of superior’s loss of control too. This kind of management needs exceptionally qualified managers to lead the respective groups. NARROW SPAN: Narrow span of management involves many organizational levels with fewer number of employees reporting to a superior. This facilitates close supervision, close control and fast communication between superiors and subordinates. On the contrary, superiors tend to get too involved in subordinates’ work and this kind of management incurs higher costs due to many levels in the organization and there is excessive distance between the lowest and top most levels. FACTORS DETERMINING AN EFFECTIVE SPAN: 1. Training of Subordinates: Well trained subordinates save much time and energy of the superiors and training has to be a continuous process as the technological policies and procedures are subjected to change periodically. 2. Clarity of Delegation of Authority: Clarity implies direction and guidance from the manager’s end to the subordinate. A manager has the responsibility of clearly explaining the task and the methods involved to complete the task in a suitable manner to his subordinates. In cases of machine handling, “On the Job Training” becomes inevitable. If not, the work will not be completed as per the schedule due to lack of clarity. 3. Clarity of Plans: In a production environment, the workers have to be apprised about the plans...
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Performance Appraisal

Performance Appraisal
Performance Appraisal Performance Appraisal is considered to be the most significant and indispensable tool for an organization. It is a measure of the employees’ performance levels in terms of the specific job’s requirement. It is a process employed for the purpose of placement, selection for promotions, providing financial rewards and other actions which require differential treatment among the members of a group. Purpose of Performance Appraisal Douglas McGregor says “Formal appraisal plans are designed to meet three needs, one of the organization’s and the other two of the individual namely, Performance appraisal methods facilitate systematic judgments to decide on the salary increases, transfers, demotions or terminations. They serve as a yard stick for an employee as to where he stands in the performance rating queue in the eyes of management and how he needs to adapt or improve himself regarding behavior, attitude, skills or job knowledge. They are used as a means to train and counsel each and every employee by the respective superiors. Performance appraisal can also be termed as Merit rating Behavioral assessment Employee evaluation Personnel review Progress report Staff assessment Service rating. According to Levinson, it definitely provides adequate feedback to each individual for his performance and also serves as a means for changing behavior. Prime Objectives of Performance Appraisal: Helps to maintain man power inventory of an organization which includes quantity and quality, to identify the training needs and aspirations of the work force. To determine increments and provide a reliable index in promotions and transfers to positions of greater responsibility. To improve individual as well as group development by determining the performance standard and motivating the employees to perform well. Providing support to employees who are not able to focus and to bring them back into the groove. The Process of Evaluation: Establishment of performance standards. Communicating the same to employees. Aquiring information through personal observation and statistical reports from the respective departments. Appraising and judging the future potential growth and advancement. Identifying the deviation between the actual and standard performance levels. Discussion with the employee for subsequent improvement or corrective action. Appraisal Summary: 1.    Personnel Background covering the following details are collected Age Family background Marital status Children Education Specialization and degrees Office held Work history Social accomplishments Honors and awards Professional or trade organization membership Publications Special limitations Family problems Hobbies and recreational activities 2.    Nature of Work: Job performance and personal qualification Technical performance Level of motivation in current position Intelligence as reflected on the job Emotional stability Leadership skills 3.    Overall Performance Rating: Recommended action Knowledge Skill Attitude Methods of Performance Appraisal: Traditional methods:  These rely  upon evaluating an individual’s creativity, intelligence, drive, dependability, leadership potential, initiative and organizing capability which are more of personal  in nature. Modern methods: These include ranking method, graphic rating scales, forced choice description method, critical incident and 360 degree evaluation methods. The 360 degree appraisal method is employed in big corporate companies where the individual’s overall performance is appraised by his colleagues, boss, customers, suppliers and stake holders. Management by objectives, management by exception , self appraisal and human asset accounting are other methods used for appraisal. Problems that may arise during performance appraisal: Halo Effect: It is a tendency to let the assessment of an individual’s any one trait to influence the evaluation of that person on other specific traits. The Central Tendency problem: It assigns average rating to all the employees in order to avoid commitment. Similarity error: This occurs when the evaluator evaluates other persons based on ‘self perception’, that is if he perceives himself to be adventurous or daring he may evaluate others looking for that same trait which he possesses. How to make appraisal successful? The superior must be well trained and a composed person to judge without...
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Art of Delegation

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 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  Fear of being exposed: Some superiors fear that their weaknesses might be exposed  Difficulty in briefing the actual requirement- depends on the quick wit of the employees  Lack of confidence in subordinates  Fear of loss of power “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...
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