Leadership Through Effective Delegation
Never before have employees demanded greater involvement in the actions and decisions affecting their jobs.
Whereas many organisations believe employee empowerment is a goal unto itself, true employee empowerment is a management philosophy â€“ in effect, a leadership style dictating how employees best contribute to the overall work environment by ensuring continued improvements.
Most employers recognise the far-reaching effects of a happy, committed workforce: employee retention, increased production and enhanced personal motivation, just to name a few.
Strong leadership through effective delegation is a means to achieving these workplace objectives. The Employee Involvement Model, developed in 1958 by Robert Tannenbaum and Warren H. Schmidt, relies upon a leadership continuum which encourages a reduction in the supervisor’s decision making role, and a corresponding increase in employee involvement. This model’s progression is based on four levels of organisational leadership styles: Tell, Sell, Consult, and Join. Tell, at one end of the spectrum, is a supervisory decision made without staff input, whereas Join, on the other end, involves supervisors inviting staff to share in decision making.
Note: Consultation does require us to listen…
“I have always endeavored to listen to what each and every person in a discussion had to say before venturing my own opinion. Oftentimes my own opinion will simply represent a consensus of what I heard in the discussion.” Nelson Mandela
Delegation is the next logical step in this process. Although leadership styles vary, successful delegation requires a continuous feedback process, and a willingness on the part of supervisors to share “the big picture”, and any anticipated outcomes.
Dynamic Strategies for Leadership Through Delegation
- Assign employees whole tasks to encourage ownership. When an entire task is not assignable, ensure the employee understands how thorough completion of the assigned task affects overall project outcomes.
- Offer clear direction. To get buy-in from staff, they must understand, not only the "why", but the "what?" Tasks will have stronger support when employees are given clear direction as to exactly how the work is to be performed.
- If you can provide the employee with a sample, example, graph or image of a successful outcome, share it. This reinforces that "any outcome" will not do.
- Clearly define key points, feedback dates, etc. Employees work best when they are not micromanaged. They need to successfully complete the task. You need feedback and influence over the project's progress. Both parties need to reach an acceptable endpoint. A clearly defined timeline is invaluable.
- How will the project's success be measured? Identify the mechanism and share it with employees.
- How will employees be rewarded for successful completion? This is a vital component of a happy, productive workplace.
Leadership and delegation are learned skills, but the rewards in employee empowerment are worth your