The ins and outs of effective workplace delegation

Post by Capsim
September 30, 2015

The success of a business relies not on the work of an individual, but the efforts of an entire team. A key component for any successful team leader is the ability to delegate. By dividing up work-related tasks between team members, goals are achieved more efficiently.

“Only 28% of companies offered training on delegation.”

Yet according to a 2007 study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity, only 28 percent of companies offered training on proper delegation. That proves more organizations need to take the time to reevaluate delegation techniques to better serve their overall goals.

Common Roadblocks
If delegation is so important why do many leaders fail to delegate in the first place:

  • Lack of confidence: Some supervisors might not believe in their staff’s ability. However, delegation bolsters confidence by letting capable employees prove themselves.
  • Impatience: Managers routinely don’t want to explain complex tasks and believe doing them on their own is faster. Explanations can take time and effort, but this can be seen as an investment in the skill set of team members.
  • Insecurity: Supervisors may avoid delegation to protect their roles in a company. As it turns out, delegation is all about dispersing work so that everyone is more unified and integrated.

Delegation is also important for students involved in business simulations. Not only will they work more efficiently, but swapping things like departmental decision-making gives each student exposure to various parts of the business.

Knowing when to delegate
Delegation can be successful at almost any level of any company. However, famed business consultant Peter F. Drucker noted that there were a few instances when delegation should not occur, according to TribeHR. These areas primarily involve any executive actions, or those tasks that should be the sole responsibility of the manager or team leader. They include:

  • Communication and motivation
  • Creating the specific teams.
  • Objective setting for each subsequent group.
  • Holding routine check-ins with the team or the review process in general.

Another way to look at delegation is through the 70 percent rule, Inc. magazine reported. That is, if an employee can perform a task at least 70 percent as well as his or her manager, then that job should be delegated.

How to correctly delegate
As effective of a tool as it is, delegation is also something of an art. Proper implementation means making a few important considerations:

  • Define specific goals: Each employee has to know exactly what constitutes successful completion of the task.
  • Choosing the right person: The team leader should choose the individual best suited for the task. Play to the individual’s strengths and potential for better results and growth.
  • Deliver motivation: Regardless of how they excel at their respective tasks, employees need motivation from time to time. This keeps them not only working efficiently, but also offers a means to stay connected with the larger team.
  • Develop a review process: It’s vital that leaders and team members meet one-on-one with some frequency. This is a time to work through problems, reevaluate effectiveness in the employee’s role and see if any further task delegation needs to happen.

At Capsim, we can’t ignore the importance of delegation when students are working as a team through one of our simulations. Many instructors stress the importance of assigning tasks and departments to specific team members just like the modern workplace.

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