3 Reasons to Delegate

There is a debate that has existed for probably as long as business has existed; whether to delegate or not. I personally believe there are a number of reasons to delegate, with a caveat. With that said let’s look at some reasons to delegate.

You Can’t Be Everywhere

Unless you are omnipresent like God (which none of us are), then you cannot be everywhere. That by default means you cannot makeevery decision. Why? Simply put, nobody is capable of anticipating everything that may need a decision. If you try to control all the decisions then you are creating an environment that is ripe for delays.

Employee Development

When employees are not allowed to make decisions they begin to operate more like robots than thinking and intelligent human being. I know, some may think, “But my employees are not that intelligent, and I’m afraid to trust their thinking.” Well here’s a newsflash – People are more capable than you may think. Perhaps the reason many employees are viewed as incapable is that they are never given the opportunity to make decisions because the owners and managers are afraid they will make mistakes. Here are two more newsflashes – they will make mistakes and unless they are allowed to do so they will not learn and will not be able to contribute progressively more to your business. You either learn to live with this reality or your growth will be limited. You have probably heard the story of the employee who made a big mistake. While not exact I’ll paraphrase it. When he told his boss about his $10,000 mistake he said he expected to be fired. The wise boss said something like, “Are you kidding? I just invested $10,000 training you.” That of course is not support for allowing unlimited mistakes, but it does speak to the necessity of allowing them within certain parameters. Unless employees are allowed to develop you will keep them frustrated. So be willing to delegate.
frustrated employee

Feedback

When you fail to delegate decisions there is a tendency for employees to shut down. Their feedback and suggestions are crucial to efficient and effective operations. A classic example is the automobile manufacturers who have instituted policies that allow employees on the assembly line to stop production if they perceive a problem. Yes, this creates a delay, but in the long run it improves things and prevents other issues from arising. Failure to permit feedback is another way to make employees operate like robots.

The Caveat

If you’ve bought into the idea of delegating, then it is important that you implement at least this one guideline. Regardless of how much you are willing and able to delegate, it is important that you establish parameters within which decisions can be made. A simple example may be the process of taking physical inventory. If you have assigned someone to be responsible, allow them the freedom to make adjustments to the process to consider unique situations they encounter. Yes, you may demand that certain controls be in place, but within that they do need some leeway when it comes to the details. The important things are that there are basic guidelines and that there is ample freedom within those for employees to be the most productive. But, as you can see from just the three examples above there are valid reasons to delegate.

What about you and your company? If everything is controlled by just a few people it may be time to rethink it. This is magnified as a company grows. Multiple locations and divisions demand even more flexibility for employees to make decisions.

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.

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