At the very core of delegation is accountability. You set expectations, but if no one is held accountable for their actions, then performance, quality and delivery can all suffer. Each person has to know exactly what their specific area of responsibility is, leaving nothing to guesswork. You should confirm the structure you provide in writing in each and every case, leaving nothing to the imagination. Those instances where one employee feels misused or slighted, or even that they are not treated fairly usually are a consequence of ambiguity. When you assign more than one person to an area of responsibility, or to a shared task, be sure to also let them share the accountability for the project. Working together provides rewards, but you need to make sure that one party doesn’t take advantage of the other. Establish a culture that rewards success and avoids blame, and be sure to setup effective monitoring and communication.
There is a difference between empowerment and abandonment. To ensure progress and success, you need to monitor the tasks that you delegate.
- Inexperienced staff may need some special attention, closer monitoring, at least at the beginning of the project
- Use mentors to help the new people or inexperienced on the team
- Tact and sensibility go a long way when monitoring, to make sure that people are encouraged and empowered, not micro-managed
- Empower them to make decisions that affect their jobs and the methods involved the process
- Give them accolades and rewards on the spot, as you see positive activities occur – what is rewarded gets repeated
- Ask the person involved if they feel up to the task – don’t just assume that they are prepared
- Set up systems:
- Access to software, systems
- Written reports
- Your accessibility
- Assume that every process can be improved, and teach them to challenge the process
- Work with staff to set deadlines and interim milestones