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Am I Delegating Enough?

Delegating is one of the most challenging skills for new managers.

Too many new (and experienced!) managers struggle to give up work and find themselves stressed and overworked.

Is this you?

Effective delegation is essential for effective management.

In this post I'm going to run through some classic signs of poor delegation and help you overcome them.

If you're struggling with your new management role or want to upskill before making the leap, come on our Management Skills for New Managers course which includes a session on delegation.

user Andy Trainer

date29 Jul 2014

Management Awareness

Managers who know themselves well and who are aware of their emotions are in a better position to understand and empathise when managing others. This is something emphasised on many of our Management Training Courses.

So an important step to being an effective manager is self-awareness. This means, amongst other things, knowing:

  • Your strengths
  • Your areas for development
  • Your positive and negative qualities
  • Your prejudices
  • Your feelings
  • What effect you have on others

Read More

userAndy Trainer

date10 Sep 2013

How Employment Law Changes Will Affect Businesses

This week the government unveiled details of a number of proposals to shake up employment laws.

The changes are in response to the Beecroft report, released in October, which claimed that unfair dismissal rules are having a major impact on British businesses and sought to remove employee rights.

David Cameron backed the report but it met strong opposition from Lib Dems, Labour and Unions. However, Vince Cable has now announced that from April 2012 the period within which employees are not entitled to claim unfair dismissal will extend from 1 to 2 years.

He also revealed a set of proposals and reforms for consideration that will further reduce the number of unfair dismissals.

Why Are Employment Law Changes Necessary?

The number of employment tribunals has risen by 40% in the past three years, and are costing businesses a vast amount of money. By introducing these reforms, the government believes businesses will save £40 million a year.

These reforms are backed by businesses who claim that they have no power to fire employees who are under performing or 'coasting' as the report puts it. Small businesses are especially in fear of tribunals as they can be very costly. This has led to a reluctance to take on new staff as SMEs (small and medium enterprises) can't then justify sacking them if they don't work out.

However, there is opposition from Labour and Unions who believe this amounts to stripping away employee rights, will not decrease the number of tribunals and will lead to a 'hire and fire' culture.

Giving more power to SMEs could lead to more managers taking the autocratic business approach made famous by Steve Jobs and Alan Sugar, and they've done pretty well in business.

So what is the government proposing to do to employment law and how will it affect businesses and employees?

userAndy Trainer

date25 Nov 2011

McClelland: Motivational Drives

McClelland identified three key motivating drives that work for everyone. He named these key drives as:

  • The Need for Achievement
  • The Need for Affiliation
  • The Need for Power

He also identified how these needs each vary in strength between different people. Everyone, says McClelland, is motivated by all of these, but to motivate individuals, the manager needs to consider what the primary drivers in each case are.


How to recognise the Achievement Motive in a person

  • They like working by themselves and making their own decisions
  • They like realistic challenges and getting things done
  • They do not work well under close supervision

How to deal with them and arouse their Motivation

  • Be factual, to the point and straightforward, minimise discussions
  • Use a business-like approach, no unproductive encounters or 'passing the time of day'
  • Offer ideas and suggestions and avoid telling them precisely what to do
  • Let them play a significant role in making the decision as this will commit them to it


How to recognise the Affiliation Motive in a person

  • They seek the company of others and seek to make friends
  • They are eager to interact and need to be liked as a person
  • They are warm and can appear non-assertive
  • They may talk at length about family, friends and outside interests and engage in social ritual

How to deal with them and arouse their motivation

  • >They respond to warm human qualities, a smile and interest in family, social activities
  • Be prepared to spend time developing a warm relationship with them as they will do things for people they like
  • They are motivated by friendship and relationships and do things for people they relate to on a personal basis


How to recognise the power motive in a person

  • They tend to be firm, direct and competitive, and they try to be persuasive in their dealings
  • Thy like to impress and may express their status needs by displaying objects, such as trophies, medals and works of art
  • Like to act as a representative and spokesman for other people and to give advice

How to deal with them and arouse their motivation

  • Treat them as important people and recognise and refer to their status objects
  • They are impressed by manner of dress, the size of the office, club membership, salary, type of car and status achievements of the people they associate with
  • Ask their advice and opinion on matters, and listen to their point of view.
  • They pay particular attention to the manner of presentation of reports of discussions, they like things to 'look good' as well as be good.

Read More

userAndy Trainer

date30 Oct 2007

Three Steps To Delegation

Here's a simple checklist to help you to delegate more effectively.

1/ Analysis of the task

First and foremost decide if the task is appropriate for delegation. For instance make sure that it isn't anything that you alone have been trained to do. What is also very necessary for you to bear in mind is that you must choose the right person for the job, you can’t be biased towards this sort of thing otherwise it will undoubtedly be your downfall. If there is no one capable then I'm afraid the responsibility falls to you to do it once again. But remember delegation is as much a reflection of you as it is on the people you delegate to, as it shows your ability to judge people correctly and can often be a marking that you are capable of this on a larger scale.

2/ Make sure that there is a firm understanding of what needs to be done and why

The person or people who give the job to should be fully aware of any responsibilities and expectations that come with it. Make sure that they know what sort of a priority this task is and why they were chosen. From the beginning state what you expect and what needs to be achieved, the person or team you have assembled should be under no pretences about what the results should be and when the deadline is. Similarly your team should be properly equipped with the resources and/ or equipment that they will need to get the job done.

Also it is vital at this stage, before the project gets underway, that you reach an understanding with the person, or persons delegated to about how you are going to monitor and check their performance on the project. If you do not breach this topic with your delegates then when you do begin to monitor the situation they might find it interfering or meddling.

3/ Monitoring and checking results

This is a very important part of delegation, even though you yourself are not now working on the project at hand it is essential that you take an active interest in how things are going. As was said before it is as much you on the line as it is your delegates, so it is vital that you are fully aware of what is happening and are there on hand to correct any mistakes.  If something does go wrong in the project make sure that you understand what went wrong and why it happened, so you will be able to rectify the problem and hopefully stop it from reoccurring.

When your team or delegate has finished the job successfully, make sure to let them know that they have done a good job and that their efforts are appreciated. It can sometimes be the case that a manager will take the credit for work done through delegation and whilst you are entitled to credit you should remember that this should include your delegates also.

userAndy Trainer

date3 Apr 2009

Delegation and Responsibility for Managers

Delegation is about letting employees make decisions and work on their own initiative. To be successful, employees must have the resources to complete a delegated task. This may mean providing training, tools and support.

Managers can delegate authority however they cannot delegate responsibility, this is important. Although an employee is responsible for meeting deadlines, goals and objectives, the Manager is still ultimately responsible for the success of the delegated task.

Delegation Benefits

  • Employees may do a better job when they feel personally accountable, even though responsibility ultimately rests with the individual who made the delegation.
  • Delegation can make an employee's work more varied and therefore motivate the employee.
  • Managers have more time to innovate and plan.
  • When delegation involves training and mentoring, the organisation will benefit from a more highly skilled workforce.
  • Employees will learn to be better decision makers given more responsibility.

Delegation Drawbacks

  • Managers may lack the knowledge or motivation to delegate.
  • Managers may choose the wrong tasks to delegate.
  • Managers may not communicate the task effectively, providing inadequate direction.
  • Some managers get stuck in the belief that "if you want a job done right, you have to do it yourself."
  • Managers may:
    • Lack trust in their employees
    • Fear being seen as lazy
    • Be reluctant to take risks
    • Fear competition

Any of the above may result in incomplete or incorrectly completed tasks.

The manager is ultimately responsible for delegation and must take responsibility for:

  • Delegating the wrong task
  • Delegating to the wrong person
  • Not providing proper guidance.

The employee is ultimately responsible for:

  • Doing the task incorrectly when given adequate resources, guidance or training.

userAndy Trainer

date16 Jan 2008

Time Management learn to Work Smarter

“If I want the job done properly then I have to do it myself.”

How often have you heard that one … probably said by a manager, frustrated by the lack of expertise of some staff member?

Image courtesey of Wikimedia Commons

Why, you may wonder, has the worker not got the expertise? Why must the harassed manager carry so much of the burden?

Several years ago I was working for a major international financial organisation when they offered a Time Management course for senior executives. All agreed the course would probably be useful. But attendance was optional and when the day arrived only four, of over forty, of these senior people turned up. The reason? Go on, you know already, don’t you? Yes, they couldn’t spare the time to attend!

Why are staff at all levels – from the most junior to the most senior – so ‘time poor’ in today’s business environment?

Where, it appears, too many people seem to be taking on an inordinate workload … and not handling it well. Could it be that, to use a common modern phrase, rather than working harder they need to work smarter?

userJohn A G Smith

date1 Jul 2016

Management - a learned skill?

Congratulations you got the promotion, you are now a manager but what does this mean?

Everyone has the intention of being good at their job and with the correct training and support every manager old or new can be a great manager!

Image courtesey of Wikipedia

Join one of our Management Skills for New Managers and gain the skills to take you forward in your career.

userJohn A G Smith

date24 Jun 2016

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