Effective Delegation of Tasks
MT140 Introduction to Management
Due to the rapid growth of Whataburger Restaurants, LLC, a new sick leave policy for employees must be created, and the task has fallen to Vice President Phillip Thomas. This is difficult enough for one person to do. However, a team being assigned the task can more effectively write a policy which can be edited until it works the best for the company overall. A manager only has so many hours in the day to accomplish their tasks. One of the most important, and difficult tasks that faces a manager in any company is the effective use of delegation for accomplishing those ends. “Delegation is the assignment of new or additional responsibilities to a subordinate (Bateman, 2017)”. To make this process easy and structured, a roadmap has been created which streamlines the effective delegation of the task of writing this sick leave policy. There are six steps that create a roadmap for the successful delegation of a task. Those steps are: 1 define the goal succinctly, 2 select the person for the task, 3 solicit the subordinate’s views about suggested approaches, 4 give the subordinate the authority, time, and resources to perform the task, 5 schedule checkpoints to review progress, 6 follow through by discussing progress at appropriate intervals (Bateman, 2017).
The first step is to define the goal succinctly. This should be a specific goal that the manage, Mr. Phillips wants to be accomplished. This step is important because it lays a foundation for the success of the project, or task, being accomplished. If the goal is not clearly defined, then the team working on the task may not create the most effective completion of the task, nor the best outcome if it is creating a proposal. Therefore, the goal for creating a sick leave plan should include things like how sick leave is accrued by employees, what constitutes appropriate use of sick leave (e.g. family member illness requiring the employee to take care of them), when the employer should be notified, and how the employee is or is not compensated for the sick time used.
The second step is to select the person or persons for the task. The people who are selected for the job should be competent when it comes to the task at hand. Knowing which employee to delegate what task to is a difficult task as it requires a manager to be fully aware of each employee in his immediate span of control, and know their strengths, weaknesses, and motivations. Lisa McKale, writing for The ResourcefulManager, laid out six suggestions for delegating the task to the appropriate employee. Crucial tasks should go to highly organized employees, and schedule-keeping to non-procrastinating employees. Employees all have their own particular talents, and Mr. Phillips knowing those talents will allow him to effectively put together a team who can accomplish his goal of creating a sick leave policy for the company.
When putting together a team to accomplish a task, they need to be able to voice their opinions. They should offer their opinions about the approach to accomplishing the task. This is step number three: soliciting subordinate’s views about suggested approaches to accomplishing the task. This is important because employees feel valued as members of a team when their input is sought, and they feel as if they have been chosen for the task, and they have “more investment in getting it right (McKale, 2017)”. Making it clear that honest opinions about the subject are necessary for a successfully completed project will elicit better information on the questions of what should go into the sick leave policy.
The fourth step is where the delegation takes place. The employee tasked with being the project lead must be given the authority, time, and resources to make the goal happen. In this case, crafting a sick leave policy. The employees must be able to gather the information they need, such as information about how much sick leave is currently being used, what is standard across the industry, and how such policies might generally be crafted. The amount of time necessary should be reasonable, and commensurate with the gravity of the policy being created. If there is an emergency, then a short timeframe to get an interim policy in place is appropriate. Whereas, with an important policy that is replacing an old one, a longer amount of time to craft a sick leave policy that will benefit the employees as well as the company, is in order.
Communication is the key to delegation and ensuring that the team stays on track and focused on accomplishing the goal. In step five of the delegation process, which the manager will sit down with the project lead and discuss a timeline for regular check-ins. Having the meetings scheduled in advance gives both Mr. Phillips and the project leader concrete times when progress will be measured along the timeline. Having the meetings scheduled gives the project lead manageable goals for his team, and an encouragement to hit certain milestones before those meetings.
The last step is the execution of the fifth step. Mr. Phillips should, at the scheduled times, meet with the project lead and discuss the progress of the project. These meetings are designed to keep the manager apprised of what is going on with the project, and if there are any difficulties that may require outside input. The importance of these meetings for Mr. Phillips in having the sick leave policy created allows him the opportunity to report to his superiors on the progress of the project at hand.
If Mr. Phillips follows these steps in putting together his team, he will have the best team possible to create an effective and well-organized sick leave policy. Once the policy draft has been brought to him, he can read it and approve it; or it can be sent for revisions if it does not meet his expectations. Delegating important tasks to an appropriate team frees a manager up to handle other concerns that are of an immediate nature or require a higher level of authority to deal with. Managers who effectively delegate their tasks set their employees and the company as a whole up for massive success and continued future growth.
Bateman, T., Snell, S., Konopaske, R. (2017 February). M: Management, 5th Edition [VitalSource Bookshelf version]. Retrieved from vbk://1260149749.
McKale, L. (2017, December 15). 6 Ways to Delegate the Right Job to the Right Person. Retrieved November 4, 2019, from https://www.resourcefulmanager.com/delegate-the-right-job/.
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