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Delegation is one of the toughest things for a new manager.
Most likely the new manager was promoted because they were good at their job ... perhaps they were a high performing sales person and they got the sales managers job. Their ability to do the work quickly and efficiently gives them a tendency to want to "do it themselves" because it is faster and more efficient than delegating to someone who might just do a lousy job!
The problem however is that until that new manager can use their expertise to leverage the effectiveness of numerous people who work for them, they are a bottleneck.
It is a great way to add extra stress to a new manager's life ... they end up doing all the work while their staff get more and more frustrated!
A manager's role is to guide, support and mentor their people ... by working at improving them and helping them to be successful.
A good manager does not do the work themselves!
Once the new manager begins to delegate they will quickly learn another new manager frustration ... how do you keep track of delegated tasks?
The temptation is to delegate the work and expect it to be done. Therefore the next "trigger" will be when the work is done. Unfortunately when that work is not done in a timely manner the new manager can find themselves, long after the important date, wondering what happened!!!
So ... the manager MUST keep track of delegated work in some fashion.
Technically savvy managers might have systems and tools that they can use ... but I am a believer in the KISS principle.
When you delegate work to an employee have them document what they are going to do and by when and (a) send you an email to that effect and (b) send you a calendar invite for their deadline day.
This puts the onus back on the employee, provides a means to ensure the work is done on time and relieves the manager of developing a complex system for tracking delegated work.
It does not make delegation easy but it does help.
1. Managers need to manage ... not "do".
2. Managers need to work hard to ensure the success of their staff ... through mentoring, advising, helping but NOT doing it themselves.
3. Managers need to give their staff autonomy.
4. Managers need a means to track delegated work ... but it is best to delegate the tracking to their staff too! Make them keep you informed and make them track performance against plan.
5. Managers have accountability for the performance of their people, the people have individual accountability for their own performance. Between both, it should ensure success ... but life is never easy!
Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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