This blog is in continuation of my previous blogs on delegation. I have already discussed mental barriers to delegation and how to burst them. I have also discussed the steps to preparing for delegation. In this blog, I will write about how to delegate and monitor progress.
The first step to actual delegation is to set up time with the employee for a face to face meeting. Make sure that there is open communication and the setting is not distracting. You can follow up with meeting with a written communication later.
Step 1: Start by clearly describing the task to be performed by him, it’s scope and how it fits into the big picture. Clearly outline the employee’s responsibilities. Identify other people who would be involved and describe their roles. Discuss feasible deadlines.
Step 2: Establish standards of performance in terms of quality of work, timelines, cost and any other variable. Make the employee clearly accountable for meetings these standards.
Step 3: Define the resources and support which will be available. Ask the employee for any support he would require and if possible, provide that support. This could be in the form of additional resources, special training and coaching or any other support which is practical and feasible.
Step 4: Define the level of authority being delegated. Clearly identify which decisions can be taken without consultation and which decisions need approval from you. For determining this, firstly, identify the employee’s competence in decision making and consider the consequences of wrong decisions.
Step 5: Agree upon a system of reporting progress, parameters for follow up and feedback. Establish how and when you will get involved it expected goals and tasks are not being met. You can use various tools for tracking such as referral folders, a giant wall calendar, meetings, written status report or a project management tracking software.
One key aspect of successful delegation is the ability of the manager to provide support throughout the delegated assignment without taking ownership or authority back. Do not encourage reverse- delegation; if the employee is facing issues, step away from the temptation to step in. Instead, use this opportunity to guide and coach the employee, build trust with him and help him gain self confidence.