MANAGING THE RISK INVOLVED IN DELEGATION
Yes, there is risk…of failure, of conflicts, of missed deadlines, of mis-matched delegates. You must be aware of the risk involved and take steps to minimize the exposure. Make your delegation decisions based on probability and facts, not assumptions. Know what is to be expected in advance of assigning a staff member to the project. Remember this: the best prediction of future success is past performance. What the prospective delegate has accomplished in the past sets expectations for what you can expect. Anticipate problem areas and conflicts. Your experience will provide insight. Setup contingency plans to deal with the conflicts and shortages that do occur, to help minimize the risk. Remove or reassign employees that make serious mistakes or who have inappropriate attitudes.
There is no reward without some risk, but you must insure that the risk is minimal. It’s your neck stretched the farthest.
Once a task is assigned, you must be willing to back away and allow the delegate to do their job. Micro-management does nothing but frustrate people, causing them to feel inadequate and inferior. If you don’t feel like the employee has the ability or qualifications to accomplish the task, then don’t give it to them to begin with.
Take care not to involve yourself in the completion of the task unless the situation becomes critical in some way, such as deadlines or mission critical operations. Allow the delegate to have enough room to do his or her job.
Encourage problem solving and solutions; avoid becoming the ‘fixer’. Empower them to get the assignment finished. What good does it do to delegate a job, then stay so involved that your time is sacrificed anyway?
Keep meetings to a minimum, only enough for concept and accountability. Express confidence in them and their capabilities, encourage innovation, reward excellence.