Delegation is a Conversation

By Mark Orpen, CEO at The Institute of People Development (IPD)

Large managerial roles entail making people work, driving productivity and reducing inefficiencies. Part of making people work is making work for people. Delegation is a key motivator and can and should be taught, and perfected.

Management specialist, Brian Tracy’s seven essential steps to effective management and delegation serve to ensure effective delegation:

  • Pick the right person. Failure in an employee’s execution of a task is largely due to assigning the task to the wrong employee.
  • Match the requirements of the job to the abilities of the person being delegated to.
  • Handle delegation effectively. Ensure that the employee understands what’s required.
  • Delegate the entire job, this is a great source of motivation.
  • Delegate smaller tasks to newer staff members, building confidence and competence.
  • Delegate clear outcomes. Make the desired outcomes, as well as how success or failure will be measured, known.
  • Delegate with participation and discussion.

Delegation is a conversation about reaching the desired outcomes, and an invitation to gain understanding of how to achieve those goals. Managers require soft skills and general management training, enabling them to guide rather than command. This improves relationships between managers and staff, fosters a unified company culture and directs the ongoing productivity of the organisation.