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Human Resources Management - Employee Empowerment & Seperations

Delegation as a tool for employee development - Employee Empowerment & Seperations

   Posted On :  13.06.2018 09:48 pm

Delegation means conferring, entrusting or allocating a particular assignment to a person based on realistic assessment of the latter’s abilities and motivation.

Delegation as a tool for employee development
Delegation means conferring, entrusting or allocating a particular assignment to a person based on realistic assessment of the latter’s abilities and motivation. It is not merely passing off any job, but to let some one take over the control of what a manager continues to be responsible for. Delegation is said to have taken place when a superior gives a subordinate the discretion to make decisions and the responsibility for completion of specific activities. Authority, responsibility and accountability are considered as the three limbs of effective delegation that should be matching and on par in magnitude with each other. Delegation could simultaneously be enabling, energizing as well as empowering to people.

Theoretical Foundations of Delegation

The classical principle of delegation states that decisions should be made at the lowest organization level.. Management By Exception (MBE) involves delegation. It hints at Frederick W Taylor’s exception principle, which stated that managers should control by giving major attention mainly to the exceptional cases and situations. Larry Greiner’s model of life cycle of an organization includes a period in which the growth happens through delegation after a highly directive top management evokes resentment and cry for autonomy among the rank and file employees in the organization.

The life cycle theory of leadership developed by Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard focuses on the maturity of the followers as a contingency variable affecting the style of leadership and the possibility of delegation by a leader. According to this viewpoint, the extent to which a leader adopts a delegating style, which involves low degrees of consideration for task as well as for people, depends on both the job maturity and psychological maturity of the members of any work group. The maturity is gauged by the extent to which they are both able and willing to be accountable for their responsibility towards task performance and require little guidance and direction. Degree of delegation could be gradually increased to suit the progress of an employee.

A manager who delegates authority does not permanently dispose of it, but continues to share the responsibility for completion of the task. Delegated authority therefore can always be regained. Delegation could be general or specific, in oral or written form. Delegation is essential for proper performances, as no person can perform all the work by himself. Besides reducing the burden of higher-level managers and thereby enabling them to concentrate on more important matters, delegation improves quality of decisions, by moving the decision-making closest to the scene of activity.

Delegation improves motivation, initiative and creativity and also helps out in the development of managers in the junior echelons of organizations by exposing them adequately towards complex decision-making. Whatever might be the beneficial outcomes of delegating, there are common barriers to delegation. Reluctance to part with power and over-confidence of the supervisors and a belief that no one else can do the task better than them, are a few of the barriers at the level of the delegating administrator. It takes courage to delegate because delegation does not absolve one from the ultimate responsibility. Often it is seen that responsibility is feared as much as authority is sought after.
At the recipient’s level, the barriers could be due to inequitable distribution of work and the resultant overburden, or fear of failure, fear of premature display of inadequacies of oneself, lack or trust in the motives behind delegation, or merely a lack of motivation or perceived incompetence on the part of the person who has to fulfill the requirements in terms of the delegated tasks. According to Mishra, M.N. (2001), “delegation would be successful where a wide range of people are involved, where the work provides intrinsic job satisfaction, the work group members accept the management’s objectives, the employee-employer relations are harmonious, consistency and coordination are prevalent, and where technology permits individual autonomy and subordinates welcome responsibility.”

Delegation would be possible only if the higher authority possesses willingness to trust the subordinates and to allow them to make mistakes and learn from the process. If a manager clearly delegates authority to undertake a well-defined task, a properly trained subordinate can get it done with a minimum of the supervisor’s time, attention and involvement. In the context of delegation, managers need to accept that there are several ways to complete a job and that their own ways of solving them are not necessarily those that their subordinates would choose. Superiors could be induced to delegate more by making them part of the team’s performance rather than their own. Where there is a system of appraisal of the superiors by the subordinates, a parameter for appraisal should the formers’ inclination to help the latter through delegation and empowerment.
The practice of empowering and delegation poses a challenge to managers and employees alike and demands close attention to the terms of their working relationships. Delegation has to be preceded by careful planning about what tasks could be delegated and in what sequence. Decisions on who should get the assignment should be based on their workload and competence. People should be given sufficient resources for carrying out the delegated task. Once delegation begins, the everyday jobs of the junior employees should be monitored and assisted, till a confidence level is built reasonably between the person in charge and the subordinate.
Tags : Human Resources Management - Employee Empowerment & Seperations
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