Delegation & Accountability FAQs
What are delegation skills?
Being able to delegate effectively is a core leadership responsibility and a key part of realizing full leadership potential. Delegation skills are the specific competencies leaders need to delegate tasks, responsibilities, assignments, projects, etc.
The skills of delegation include:
- Prioritizing leader activities and tasks to determine what responsibilities the leader needs to keep, what can be delegated to team members, and what can be shared and done jointly.
- Providing well-defined direction, guidance, support, and authority the other person(s) needs to be successful.
- Providing ongoing coaching and follow-up to ensure results are being achieved and standards met.
- Empowering, motivating, and developing others so they can add to the role they play in the organization’s success.
What are the benefits of delegation?
Delegation provides numerous benefits for the leader, the person being delegated to, and the organization. When done well, delegation allows a leader to involve all members of the team in accomplishing important tasks, making their individual contributions more valuable. Other benefits include the following:
- Gives the leader the opportunity to focus on leadership responsibilities rather than specific, time-consuming tasks.
- Provides development and growth opportunities to team members.
- Improves productivity as more work gets accomplished.
- Gives the leader more time to focus on tasks that only he/she can be responsible for.
- Increases employee engagement and fosters a sense of commitment in team members.
- Enables the leader to successfully complete a few critical tasks to a high level of quality rather than doing too many things at a low
- level of quality.
- Improves communication, creates shared understanding, and builds trusting relationships.
What are the challenges of delegation?
Most leaders understand the benefits of delegation, but find it challenging to put into regular practice. The following are the most common challenges that prevent leaders from delegating:
- Leaders don’t know how to delegate or have not had the opportunity to learn the skills.
- Leaders think it is easier or faster to do it themselves.
- Leaders lack the confidence in the employee’s ability and experience.
- Leaders don’t want to let go of control.
When a leader does delegate to team members, they may face other challenges which include:
- Taking the time needed to thoroughly explain the assignment.
- Matching up the right person to the task or assignment.
- Providing the resources, information, and authority needed for the team member to be successful.
- Controlling the desire to micro-manage or over-control the way the other person is completing the task.
- Consistently holding the team member accountable for results and outcomes.
How can I improve my delegation skills?
Leaders can and should develop their ability to delegate to team members. To start, they should identify their delegation strengths and weaknesses so they can leverage those strengths and target development efforts in areas that are opportunities for improvement.
Leaders can develop their delegation skills through expert articles and online resources, such as:
Another development approach is completing a self-paced, e-learning course where leaders can learn the essential delegation skills at their own pace. A digital course should be practical, from a reputable source, and present a systematic framework or process for delegation, such as CMOE’s Delegation & Accountability e-learning course.
Organizations that want to develop the delegation capability of leaders should consider a live or live-virtual workshop where participants can learn and practice practical skills and engage in activities to ensure skill transfer and sustainability in the workplace. CMOE’s Delegation and Accountability Workshop can be customized and delivered based on an organization specific needs and requirements.