Effective Delegation

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Effective Delegation Definition

Delegation is the most crucial function of a manager. The success of a manager may come down to his or her ability in the delegation of authority as well as the responsibility. In an organization or in a company a manager is not expected to do all the work. The manager has many functions of management on which he or she has to focus.

Therefore, the routine of day to day work is delegated to his or her subordinates. Along with the delegation of work, there is also a delegation of authority so that the subordinate can accomplish his or her tasks.

Principles of an Effective Delegation

The delegation is a function at which the manager has to excel. The success of an organization or a company depends on an effective delegation. Also, effective delegation results in the smooth functioning of a company or an organization. For this, the manager of an organization must follow the following principles of effective delegation:

  1. Defining the Function - the manager of the company or the organization must clearly define the scope and also the extent of the tasks to his subordinate before delegating the task. On the other hand, the subordinator also must be aware of the tasks he or she has to perform, the activities to be overseen, their relationships with other jobs as well as their importance. This will actually make the subordinate do his or her task in a better way.

  2. Defining the Results - The manager must discuss with his or her subordinates the results he or she expects from the task before delegating the authority. This actually allows the subordinates to better understand the standard of the work and also the level of results expected from them. The authority must be delegated accordingly.

  3. Balance of Authority with Responsibility - This should be the parity between the responsibility and authority delegated to the subordinate for effective delegation. He will be unable to complete the task if there is no authority to carry out the responsibility. Without any responsibility will make him very irresponsible and very ineffective.

  4. Absoluteness of Responsibility - The manager remains responsible for the work and also the performance of the subordinates even after delegating the authority. On the other hand, the subordinates are also very much responsible for their respective work to their superiors.

  5. Unity of Command - Unity of command is very important in an organization or in a company. There should be only one superior for each and every subordinate. Receiving instructions from more than one superior will lead the subordinate to confusion. The subordinate will then have to pick up whom to listen and this may have a very negative impact on the company. This will also lead to divided loyalties.

  6. Defining the Limits of Authority - The manager of the company or the organization must ensure that all the subordinates have a very well defined authority. This will prevent any overlapping of authority on any subordinate and will also enable each subordinate to carry out the assigned work efficiently. If there is any work outside this scope of authority, the subordinate is bound to refer the work to his superiors. The manager at every level of the organization or the company must make use of their authority. They are expected to avoid referring to their respective superiors for the matters that come under their authority. Only the matters that are outside of their scope should be referred to as upper-level management.

  7. Authority Level Principle - The managers of the company are expected to make their own decision at each and every level. They must avoid referring to their respective superior’s decision all the time. And are also expected to make their decision which they are authorized to. But they can refer to their superior’s decision only if the decisions are out of their scope.

Guidelines for Effective Delegation

  1. Prepare - The employees cannot deliver quality results if the task delegated is not fully prepared. Changing in the expectations can also lead to bad results. One must take time and think properly about what one is asking for. After all, a stitch in time saves nine.

  2. Assign - Once time has been taken out exactly what one is looking for then the information needs to be conveyed to the employees. Make sure to include clear information on time, budget, and context.

  3. Confirm Understanding - The most common mistake made while delegating is assuming that the employees understand what is wanted rather than explaining everything clearly. It takes only about 60 seconds to confirm understanding. One of the best ways to confirm understanding is to ask the employees.

  4. Confirm Commitment - This is the most important part of the delegation process which most of the managers skip while delegating to the employees. One must confirm that the employees are committed to the expected results.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1) Why Effective Delegation is Essential?

Ans: Effective Delegation is essential for the following reason:

  1. Maintains High Emotional Intelligence - Good leaders are always experts in reading the body language of a member. The experienced manager or leader can sense emotional information.

  2. Providing motivation to the Team - Team motivation is very important to keep the work running smoothly. A study has shown that motivated employees take the company toward success. The manager of the company or the organization must keep inspiring its employees to work hard and yield positive results.

  3. Creating a Sense of Pride - The manager must induce a sense of pride in the workplace to nurture feelings of self-confidence.

2) Mention the List of Good Delegation Skills.


  1. The manager must assess the work opportunities and also the employee candidates for the delegation.

  2. The manager of the company or the organization must also set expectations for the completion of the task with the employees.

  3. A good leader or a manager provides support to the employees for the successful completion of a task delegated.

  4. A good manager is expected to follow up with the employees to ensure success.

  5. The employees must be conveyed about the task clearly leaving no room for confusion.

  6. The leader must motivate the employee to complete the task on time and also to give good results.