Delegation in Organizations

Essay by rynkellyUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, February 2009

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Running head: DELEGATION IN ORGANIZATIONS

Delegation in Organizations

Kelly Bruton

University of Phoenix Online

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Delegation in Organizations

Delegation is an important factor managers must use in order to help an organization achieve its goals and objectives. As defined by (MWOD, 2008), delegation is the act of empowering to act for another. Delegation starts at the top and filters its way down the ranks. For example, CEO's delegate duties to their senior level managers, who in turn delegate authority to the general managers. The act of delegation continues on a domino effect often reaching the front-line employee. This paper will discuss the skills required of a manager for successful delegation, how delegation is implemented at The Hartford, and the areas where delegation might further be developed in relation to the four functions of management at The Hartford.

Successful delegation involves more than just telling a person what he or she wants, then sending them off to do the task.

As stated by (Mind Tools LTD, 1995-2008), to delegate effectively, choose the right tasks to delegate, identify the right people to delegate to, and delegate in the right way. When delegating, three main components should be considered in order to achieve success.

The first step is to identify the desired outcome, then define the goals and details of the task being delegated. Is this task suitable to be delegated out to another?

The next step is probably the most crucial, which is selecting the right person or persons to carry out the task. The individual or individuals selected must possess the necessary skills to complete the task. For example, if a manager wants to put together a team to come up with suggestions for a new incentive program to drive sales effectiveness in the sales department, he or she would not want to select a team of individuals who is not familiar with the sales environment. In addition, the individual or individuals selected should be willing to be involved with the opportunity being offered. Most important, the person or persons selected need to be empowered with the authority, time and resources necessary to carry out the task. If the team member or members do not believe that the manager has his or her complete trust, this could impact the task at hand in a negative way, hindering the success of the desired outcome.

Finally, a manager should meet with the team throughout the course of the project, ready to offer guidance, encouragement, additional resources, or to answer any questions that may have arisen. This in turn will help to determine whether or not the project is on track and assure that the team is not struggling.

As with many organizations, The Hartford practices the act of delegation on a daily basis. Whether a front-line manager is delegating a task to one of his or her team members, or a senior vice president is creating a project management team to improve a process, delegation is a common function towards the overall success of the company. The Hartford relies heavily on its leadership team to carry out the day to day functions while still being able to focus on the future goals of where the company is headed. In order to be effective and efficient in this, management must delegate tasks to individuals who are considered to be reliable and knowledgeable in any given area that needs attention. Hartford has several project teams in place involving many of its 25,000+ employee base. At the beginning of each year, executive management introduces the goals for the upcoming year to its leadership team. The leadership team is then given the task to deliver these goals. In order to be successful, the leadership team, in turn delegates out tasks throughout the year to project teams or individuals who are able to assist in delivering these goals.

While The Hartford continuously encourages and participates in the delegation of tasks, improvements can be made with regard to planning and controlling. Currently, 100 project teams are in place on a countrywide basis. This was recently discovered as a result of a leadership survey that went out last year. Due to a lack of communication and no type of a system in which track current projects in place, several teams happened to be working on the same improvements, thus wasting time, money, and valuable resources. The outcome of this survey prompted the implementation of a project database in which the leadership team could search for current projects in place before creating new teams to perform certain tasks.

Delegation is effective in that it serves many purposes, including but not limited to allowing managers to better focus their time on duties that can only be handled by them, professional development for subordinates and other employee's who are looking for career advancement, confidence in employee's knowing that their manager trusts them, thus in turn promoting productivity because the employee feels valued, and finally a manager who can effectively delegate is demonstrating effective leadership.

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References

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary (2008). Delegation. Retrieved June 15, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/delegation

Mind Tools LTD (1995-2008). Successful delegation. Retrieved June 15, 2008, from http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_98.htm