What is Delegation in Management

What is Delegation in Management?


From a management perspective, the best definition of delegation is when a manager or team leader gives another member of staff the responsibility and authority to complete an assigned task.


What is Delegation in Management


Superiors delegate authority to subordinates in the workplace, it’s that simple. Delegation isn’t abdication of duty or neither is it dumping tasks on someone else’s desk. Effective delegating means you care.


For all successful leaders in the workplace, delegation is an important core competency as well as being as part of a larger strategic plan to develop team members who are ready for it.


Why Do Leaders Fail to Delegate Effectively?


Effective delegation can be utilised as a powerful tool, only if used right. But why do so many managers have difficulty delegating authority in the workplace?


Let’s explore some important delegation barriers many managers experience or feel.

  • Ego – I can do it better myself.

  • Time – Takes too long to explain.

  • Accountability – I’m accountable if it goes wrong.

  • Skills Gaps – My staff don’t possess the technical skills.

  • Authority Threat – Delegation reduces my own authority.


Stressed out managers who go from crisis to crisis and spend most of their working day ‘fighting fires’ are probably failing to delegate. The ‘firefighting’ is reactive management, not proactive management.



Popular Reasons Why Managers Fail to Delegate

Why Delegation Fails in the workplace - Inforgraphic

Why Delegation fails in the workplace – Infographic by Live And Learn Consultancy


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The reality is, most managers and leaders are concerned through the fear of failing. This can be down to not trusting other team members, not recruiting the right staff in the first place or just not having confidence in other people.


Leaders who possess the above character traits are more likely to build a high performing team.


Moving on from defining what is delegation in management, we will now explore the actual benefits of delegation and how it can have a positive impact on the business, the manager, and the employees of the organisation.


3 Benefits of Delegation to the Manager


#1 – Free up your time whilst achieving more


By delegating effectively in the workplace, as a manager you will free yourself up to focus on more important projects and strategic tasks, you will also help grow and develop other people in your team.


#2 – Establish a thriving culture of trust


Avoid saying to yourself, “I’ll just do it myself”. Your work will begin to pile up and make you less efficient. Successful managers know when to delegate and increase productivity.


When you delegate correctly, not only do you motivate others, you make them feel involved, contribute to their professional development, and utilise your team’s skills.


#3 – Build trust and increase flexibility of your team


When employees at work receive the chance to challenge their skills, their loyalty and productivity will likely improve, or at the least, not decrease.


When a business or manager uses delegation to develop their workforce they are better placed to know who has the practical competencies in place to take on for the most important duties.


Related: How to Delegate Work to Employees


In addition, collaborating as a team on a project allows for ideas being shared, for people to have a voice and for team ideas to grow. Delegation in the workplace can be an essential tool and skill to get things done in a timely fashion.


In your absence from the workplace, things will get done, and done well.


What is Delegation


3 Key Benefits of Delegation to Employees


#1 – Chance to prove your worth


When you have been delegated a task by your boss, this is your chance to shine and show people the skills you possess.


#2 – An opportunity to be involved


When you manager involves you, take it as a compliment rather than a negative thought. They believe in your skills and know you can do a great job. Furthermore, now that you are involved you can provide an opinion. Good leaders will always take them on board.


#3 – A unique opportunity to grow your career


When people show faith in you, it is a great chance to show them what you can do. If you complete a delegated job effectively, it may mean a pay rise, a job promotion, or even more flexibility within your current role.


In closing, What is Delegation in Management and Why is it Important?


The importance of successful delegation provides leaders with a powerful tool and skill-set to;

  • Utilise your team effectively.
  • Create a motivated and happy working environment.
  • Build on your current ideas and thoughts.
  • Create a culture of people who are competent and ready for anything.

Want to improve your leadership skills and become a better team leader at work?


View Live And Learn Consultancy’s 1 day Leadership and Management Courses.


Posted in: Leadership Tips

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