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The Why, What and To Whom of Delegating
by Andrew E. Schwartz

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Too many managers waste both time and energy performing tasks an employee could perform just as well, thereby lowering productivity while raising operating costs. The answer to the problem is easy--delegation. However, many managers still limit their own effectiveness, create imbalances in the organization, waste their department's time and energies, and fail to develop their employees by either ignoring or mismanaging the techniques of delegation.

Benefits of effective delegation Effective delegation is the strongest productivity improvement tool management can utilize. Since, delegation can be mismanaged, however, it is important for a manager to clearly understand why, what, and to whom he or she must delegate before attempting to do so. The benefits of effective delegation include:

  1. Freeing management from routine and repetitive functions. Managers are most cost effective when directing their energies to those top-level duties for which they were hired and are being paid--setting objectives, developing policies, and measuring results.
  2. Insuring that the work is done by the right person. No manager, regardless of his or her competence, can adequately perform each departmental function as well as the person who does it on a daily basis. Many have not worked their way up through the company and are highly unlikely to have handled all aspects of a process while doing so. Additionally, they would hardly have been promoted to a managerial position without a belief that their talents could be put to use elsewhere. Effective delegation ensures that each task is performed at the lowest appropriate level.
  3. Increasing motivation, confidence, and personal as well as professional growth. On-the-job-training challenges employees to evaluate risks, make decisions, and handle conflicts and prepare them for promotion, facilitating company growth. Effective delegation also heightens interest in the company and instills pride by demonstrating the manager's faith in their abilities.

Andrew E. Schwartz, CEO, A.E. Schwartz & Associates of Boston, MA a comprehensive management training and professional development organization offering over 40 skills specific programs and practical solutions to today's business challenges.

Copyright, AE Schwartz & Associates. All rights reserved.
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