5 Steps to More Smoothly Delegate Decision-Making

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At some point in time, managers are faced with the need to delegate authority or delegate decision-making powers to subordinates within an organization. Delegation refers to the process of entrusting lower-level employees with the responsibility to perform a set of tasks. Delegation is an antonym for micromanagement whereby the manager has complete authority and monitors employees in their chain of command, exercising scrutiny. No decision-making authority is ever passed down to subordinates in any way in this type of management. For instance, in business accounting, bookkeeping is an intricate process that requires an eye for detail to ensure that no information is left uncatered for and there is the minimum to zero chance of error. The tedious nature of the task calls for the need to delegate decision-making as the manager alone cannot look into each process manually.  In addition to wastage of time, this task is subject to changing regulations in the accounting framework. Hence, employees that are closer to the action tend to be more informed regarding any and all changes to the accounting/bookkeeping policies and framework and can incorporate these wherever and whenever required.

Delegation requires passing down decision-making powers. This must be done effectively, considering the amount of responsibility that comes with it. In order to delegate decision-making in a more effective and seamless manner, a checklist has been given below:

1. Choose Wisely

Based on the nature of the task being delegated, ensure that the person chosen for the task is the right one. This will require assessment of their various skills and capabilities for the task at hand. When selecting a person from a group, make sure the one with the best skills is handpicked and given additional responsibilities. Spend sufficient time analyzing and evaluating different employees and choose your decision-making team wisely.

2. Communicate Goals and Expectations

The next step is to clearly communicate work goals and its various requirements to the selected individual. It is essential to ensure that the budget, context, time duration and other necessary information is communicated to the employee for him/her to carry out the decision-making process in the most efficient manner. In addition to this, when you delegate decision-making to subordinates, it is understood that your expectations for them is also laid out. These expectations are to be fulfilled by the employee and they must direct their goals towards meeting these set expectations.

3. Confirm Understanding

In order to smoothly delegate decision-making, once the relevant and necessary information has been passed onto the employee, make sure to inquire from the person whether they understand completely or not. Without such assurance, the employee could end up using the authority in an incorrect manner. To avoid a situation such as this, it is crucial that a set of questions regarding the assigned task or process must be asked from the employee to check their understanding of everything that was conveyed to them. If there are any further clarifications or explanations needed, these must be delivered at this stage of the process to avoid potential mistakes at a later stage.

4. Ensure Accountability

Whenever managers delegate decision-making to their subordinates, an essential step that they tend to miss out on is the assurance of accountability that falls onto the subordinate. This can be accomplished by keeping the communication lines open on both sides. This ensures that the employee reports to the manager regarding essential deadlines and status of the assigned tasks. Delegation requires the selected individual to take full responsibility for the assigned decision-making power. A lack of accountability may work for employees that fall under the micromanagement umbrella, but, for those delegated with authority, this becomes detrimental and could impact their performance.

5. Continue to Monitor

Lastly, in order to delegate decision-making in a seamless manner, constant monitoring is symbolic of effective delegation and the carrying out of the delegated tasks. This monitoring is different from micromanagement as it calls for assessing the work metrics once the work is finished or whenever necessary. The employee should not be constantly bothered during the mission, but an informal discussion to get an update on the status of the work proves helpful.

Conclusion

With these 5 easy steps, managers can smoothly delegate decision-making powers to subordinates without having to regret their decision of doing so later. A little caution is always better at the initial stage of any and all processes.

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