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The Art of Delegation

Written by: Kim MacNamara
Published on: 16 Jun 2014

Recently I posted a question on the Personnel Today LinkedIn group  asking how and what HR would advise their line managers about the art of delegation and it provoked an interesting and varied response.

I was keen to know, not just from a personal perspective, (yes you and I  will be the first to admit it’s not easy passing on something that you have nurtured, developed and care about!) but also how in this current climate, HR are developing the necessary skills to cope with an increasingly complex, overloaded work load adelegationnd how they share out responsibilities effectively.

In 2014 a HR Manager needs to be able to coach and lead employees whilst still having a focus on improving profitability. It’s tough isn’t it – getting the balance right! Management today is much more participatory than in the past and if a person in an organisation tries to do everything, they could end up becoming ‘stressed out’ and overworked.

How many of you fall in to the category below?


Let’s look at why we should delegate?
Saves  Time: If you are becoming swamped and overwhelmed then delegation is a way of  finding  more time so you can continue to do what you and you alone can do best — managing tasks, jobs and employees.

Choose the right employees for the task: so you think you can do every job or task as well or better than line employees?  Wrong! We all have strengths and weaknesses, and a manager can’t do everything. By choosing the right team to do tasks that can be delegated, the manager can focus on their strengths, and then make best use of the strengths of employees.

Employee Development: Delegating tasks to employees allows them to grow and become better and more productive employees. Your team will be more engaged as they are encouraged to develop new skills. Result!! You will have a HR team with a broader set of skills than ever before. Just think when you are not available your employee can step in for you making the right decisions on your behalf. It also develops employees as part of your succession planning programme- identifying possible leaders of the future!

Engagement: Employees who are involved or engaged in their jobs tend to contribute more to the overall HR objective and plan. They will become more exposed to new challenges, will be offered increased opportunities to learn, and you as the Manager will trust them to succeed at the delegated tasks.

So how should you ensure that delegation is not just a ‘euphemism for dumping unpopular/tricky jobs’ and who should take responsibility when delegating, why not take a further look at the many top tips on offer from HR professionals who responded to my question on  Personnel Today.  don’t forget to join HR Professionals Network UK and HR Directors Boardroom  I look forward to hearing your views.

For further information about forthcoming events or for assistance with any HR requirements please email me or call 0845 413 3200. why not LinkedIn with me, or Follow me on twitter.

On a final note …… somehow don’t think this will ever happen, do you?