Do you know how much your delegation skills influence the productivity of your firm? Poor delegation results in under performance, job dissatisfaction, and stress. Effective delegation saves you time, develops and motivates your staff, and creates greater teamwork.
How to improve your delegation skills
- When planning a job, analyse the tasks and decide which tasks to keep and which to delegate.
- Delegate as many of the lower level operational tasks as possible. Appreciate the fact that not all tasks can be delegated. In order to ascertain which tasks to delegate and which tasks not to delegate, consider:
- The complexity of the task.
- The skill level of the “delegatee”.
- The training benefit possibly bestowed upon the “delegatee”.
- The training possibly required to delegate the task effectively.
- The repetitive nature of the task. If it is a task which would be expected to be done again in the future, it could be delegated.
- Conversely, if it is a “one off” task requirement then it may not be worth the time invested in delegating.
- The timeliness of the required task. Is the time required to delegate and complete the task greater than the turnaround time?
- Other conflicting priorities which may be impacted.
When delegating the “delegator” must:
- Ensure that the task is clearly defined. The “delegatee” must have a good understanding of what needs to be achieved, how it is to be achieved and by when.
- Ensure the delegate has the appropriate knowledge to complete the task. If not, check that they know where to go.
- Ensure that you have the “delegatee’s” agreement and commitment to the task. The “delegatee” must assume ownership and accountability.
- The “delegate” should be confident that you are available should the need arise.
- Check progress with the “delegatee”. This may be done via scheduled meeting times. During these sessions, the manager should ask leading questions to assess progress
- Provide feedback. Be positive and encourage delegates so provide solutions.
- Help rectifying problems if and when they arise. Problems will sometimes occur and it is important at these times to analyse the causes of the difficulties so that the situation can be rectified and not repeated in the future.
The “delegatee” must:
- Listen closely, make notes and ensure they understand what is being requested.
- Ascertain the timeframe in which the task should be completed by.
- Ascertain whether they need to report back when the task has been completed.
- Research where appropriate – it is not always necessary to contact partners. The “delegatee” must make their own informed assessment about this.
- Speak-up when barriers are encountered which may prevent the task being completed in a timely manner, and certainly if the task is not going to be completed within the stipulated timeframe.
Accountability is at the heart of effective delegation; it very much is a 2-way street. Responsibilities lie with both the “delegator” and “delegatee”. It’s good to re-enforce the key theme that the firm recognises success and avoids blame for failure.
** Complete This Quick Delegation Self Check **
Do a quick review of your current approach to delegation by assessing yourself with the survey below. Highlight those statements where you rate yourself ‘sometimes’, ‘rarely’ or ‘not at all.’
If you’d like to look at ways to improve your delegation skills, or those of the partners and managers in your firm, you may be interested in our upcoming Online Session ‘The 7 Sins of Delegation’ which will be held on Wednesday 23rd April from 12.30pm AEST.
Click here for further information on this upcoming online session.
Training Beyond Accounting | www.trainingbeyondaccounting.com.au | Ph 1300 883 789
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