|The Art of Effective Delegation
If you are reading the newsletter, then you have already taken a step towards staying “Ahead of the game”. People like yourselves have likely already proven themselves as “Producers”. But if you are a producer who can delegate effectively, then your accomplishments far exceed your efforts, because those you foster will also be producers for you, exponentially increasing your output.
Most managers may think this obvious; of course you have been delegating tasks for years. However, let’s focus on effective delegation that focuses on results instead of methods. This kind of delegation allows people to choose the method of accomplishing the task you have delegated to them, and makes them responsible for the results.
This initially takes more time, but is well worth the investment. By developing mutual understanding in the following areas, you will be able to foster stewardship delegation versus task delegation. Let’s review those areas:
Desired Results—Start by creating a mutual understanding of what needs to be accomplished. Be clear, and focus on what needs to be accomplished, versus how it is going to happen.
Guidelines—Identify parameters and possible pitfalls; are there mistakes you have made that you can share? Are there resources that are off limits in this situation? Share these with your subordinate, so he or she doesn’t waste time and energy going down a “failure” path.
Resources—Identify the human, technical, financial or organizational resources that are available.
Accountability—What are the standards of performance? Don’t leave the set-up meeting without conveying a performance expectation.
What will bring out the best in your staff? Fostering trust. Trust is the highest form of motivation. This takes time and training, but is well worth the investment. Stewardship Delegation, as it is called by Stephen Covey, in his landmark classic, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, will ultimately result in much more work getting done.
Effective Stewardship Delegation will result in much higher returns, and naturally combats Gofer Delegation that requires management of methods as well as results. If you spend your time managing staff in this way, your time will be spent doing all of the process and results management. How many people can you manage in this way? Not very many. Investing in Stewardship Delegation will have positive results for everyone.
|The Situation Room: Mixed Results
Your fiscal year is coming to an end. Last year around this time you challenged your workforce to implement several new programs, step up their measurable service rating through increased positive responses in client surveys, and provided three tiers of goals to measure fiscal success.
Your marketplace had been arching, so it was no surprise that you reached all three levels of your goals – however you dwarfed even the highest tier, adding nearly 15% on top of what you thought would be difficult to reach.
The biggest surprise was in the customer service surveys, where you went from a respectable 91% up to a staggering 98.5% satisfaction rating in regards to your frontline service workers. Each of the other managed components for whom a satisfaction rating is compiled, supervisors, sales staff, and IT support stayed nearly identical to the numbers from previous years. However there was a noticeable decrease in satisfaction rating numbers from the product repair department where they dropped from 87% to 79%. The director of the department blamed the drop on a new part that failed consistently, leading to customer frustration, although there was nothing directly in the survey from clients supporting that claim.
You want to recognize everyone in the organization for helping you to exceed goals, and will deal with the possibility of faulty components as a contributor to the low rating for the repairs department. However you want to give special credit to the customer service department at your annual meeting for their increase. How can you best leverage their success to inspire other departments without making the repairs department feel worse for being the only division to see a slide – especially one that may not have been completely their doing?