When you need to do more with less, delegating is critical

If you are reluctant to delegate, the time has come to change your management style.  Most work environments will be required to make do with current resources and, in many cases, will need to do more with less.  In a cost-cutting, make-do environment, stop doing and start delegating.  The silver lining is that you will allow employees to develop resilience, reduce turnover and improve productivity.

It works like this

Humans want and need to learn new things.   Delegating new tasks that stretch their abilities allows them to hone their decision making skills, adapt their approaches, deal with frustration (and perhaps failure) and, most importantly, develop resilience.  In many of my focus group discussions, the one thing that people want more of is the opportunity to take on new challenges.  They don’t want to be told they need to move to another branch, department or another organization.

What is your role

As a manager, your role is to ensure that your area of responsibility achieves its assigned organizational goals.  You are not able to do this alone.  If you are candid, you may admit to yourself that there are times when you could delegate but choose not to.  This may be because you do not wish to relinquish control or you fear that no one else can do something as well as you can.  Or, you may feel that to bring someone up to speed requires time and energy that you do not have to expend.  In fact, there may be structural reasons, such as high turnover, that will prevent effective delegation.  In any event, if you are not delegating, you will need to find ways to do so.

First things first

In your leadership role, the discussion starts with you.  You are where the rubber hits the road, and you will need to move decisively to discourage doom and gloom.  Your first steps must be to:

  1. Communicate candidly about what you know.
  2. Offer and ask for support.
  3. Openly create a plan of action to delegate and redistribute work.

You will find that taking decisive action to capture every skill available to you will allow you and your employees to face upcoming challenges with greater certainty and allow for unrealized potential, and perhaps even genius, to emerge.

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About leaderwalk

Diane Thompson is principal of Thompson Performance Consulting and is a practitioner in the field of organization development and design. Diane has 25 years of management experience in private and public organizations and is a keen observer and student of organizational dynamics and the factors that impact high performance. Diane's direct experience as a manager and her body of knowledge from her MA, Human Systems Intervention, converge to support clients and leaders with transition and change.
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