In the US Army, one of the leadership dimensions to become a Commissioned Officer is delegation. The idea behind it is to embrace individual talent as part of a greater goal thus guaranteeing that certain factors will always work in favor of the group. By embracing this practice, the idea is that it would
1. Denote that the individual is a welcomed addition to the group.
2. The individual will appreciate his role and hence will show more desire to be loyal and embracing of the goal at hand.
3. Team work is heightened with delegation.
4. Responsibility is shared and redistributed
5. The gains made by the group are equally rewarded.
Two comments in addition to those already provided. Both comments are based on the idea that delegation consists of taking jobs that would otherwise be done by a superior and giving those jobs to someone lower in the ranks.
- Delegation may be seen by subordinates as a way to give them more work without giving them the pay and prestige of higher titles. Bosses must be sure that their attempts to delegate are not seen in this way.
- Delegation may be counterproductive if those to whom the work is delegated are not capable of successfully doing the work. Bosses must be certain that the subordinates are capable of doing the work that will be delegated to them.
Much of embracing delegation approach to management is dependent on the style and comfort of the manager. If a manager feels comfortable in both their environment as well as co- workers or subordinates, delegation might be an effective technique to accomplish tasks at hands. One benefit to delegation would be the ability to accomplish more tasks because more individuals are assigned to complete them. Another benefit would be the empowerment that can result from delegating responsibility to others. A distinct challenge within it is the lack of central accountability because of the diffusion of power and control.
Delegation is the distribution of work to the labor force best equipped to handle the work and/or the distributed to the most effective and least costly person qualified to perform the task. Delegation relieves pressure off of one person and allows the workload to be distributed among others. By delegating work out the operations of a company or programs are better able to manage its time, makes effective use of its personnel, and frees those with different skills to use their skills on tasks more appropriate. This creates an environment of proficiency.
Delegation of services or tasks is also cost effective. If a company pays an executive a high salary the executive needs to focus on tasks relative to his skill and expertise. For example: In a company that has a quantity of mail, it would be more cost effective to delegate the responsibility to an internal mail carrier or secretary for mail distribution at $8.00 per hour than to have an executive earning $30.00 per hour spending his time delivering the mail.
Delegation also allows for the most qualified of workers to be assigned the tasks. For example: A person who is highly skilled at computer operations would be delegated the task of creating a technical manual and a secretary assigned to assist in creating the manual verses delegating the task to the mail carrier. Once again, this allows for effective use of man power.
Delegation also provides support by distributing work that is mundane and distasteful. There are often tasks in an industry or company that are not always pleasant such as having to fire an employee. Some administrators delegate this task to its human resource personnel or someone else.
Most important of all is that no one person can complete all tasks and delegating responsibilities allows more people to accomplish more work in less time.