Essay by tbutler201University, Bachelor'sA-, August 2009

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Delegation is a process that runs from the top of any given organization and runs all the way down to the lowest person in the ranks. “Delegation is authorizing subordinates to make certain decisions” (Wikipedia) This paper will discuss how delegation could be used more effectively with the 4 functions of management within an organization. This paper will also discuss the skills that are necessary for effective delegation.

I work for the federal government with the Army Corps of Engineers as a Regulatory Clerk. I am responsible for seventeen field offices where I ensure that all offices are up and running at all times. I order all of their office supplies pay all of their bills and handle all of their business needs. Our organization is located across the United States and in some overseas locations. Delegation is a major part of our organization due to the levels of responsibility that exist and the impact they have on not only the organization itself but the country as a whole.

One slip up in the smallest of places could prove to be costly.

Several factors are needed in order to have effective delegation. Identifying the goal that needs to be accomplished is primary. Within that goal are several steps that will need to be completed in order to accomplish this goal. More than one person can be involved in accomplishing a given goal. It is the responsibility of management to ensure that tasks are delegated to the appropriate person. Management has the option to delegate a single task to one person or multiple tasks to one person depending on the individual’s skill sets. Within our organization, we have telephone conferences weekly where management goes over the goals the need to be accomplished for the week. They delegate the appropriate tasks according to skill level and experience.

Choosing the right employee or employees for the task is essential. When selecting the appropriate employee, skill sets and ability to perform the duties accurately should be addressed from the start. For example, it would be ridiculous to select someone to complete a rather involved accounting task when the person you are selecting has no accounting experience and was not hired to perform any accounting duties. If the employee constantly meets objectives but doesn’t have the experience then it would probably be helpful to train the employee on the function prior to tasking them with it.

When delegating tasks, organizational goals need to be addressed from the start. Management should place tasks into perspective for the employees so that they know how important their role within the organization is. Management should also indicate any time restrictions that the task may have. If an employee doesn’t know what the time constraints for the project are, then they will not know how to prioritize this task within their daily duties. Setting time constraints and letting the employees know how important their role is gives the employees a sense of responsibility and accountability.

It is important for management to periodically monitor progress along the way. Monitoring the progress will allow for any setbacks to be re-addressed and handled the appropriate way. Management has the option re-adjust time tables and provide additional assistance if necessary. Sometimes it is not always possible for management to gauge how long a task will take. Within our organization, our management would periodically set timetables that needed to be adjusted from time to time because other daily barriers would prevent tasks from being accomplished according to their timetables.

Feedback is an essential part of the delegation process. As an employee it is difficult to work in any organization without knowing how well you are doing. Providing the proper feedback gives both the employee and the manager a better understanding of what is expected and helps to foster a positive employer-employee relationship.

Planning within our organization is a very involved process but could stand for some improvement. Many times the chief engineer does not have a full grasp on what it takes to accomplish certain goals that need to be accomplished within the organization. The chief needs to incorporate more standing plans. “Standing plans focus on ongoing activities designed to achieve and enduring set of goals” (Bateman, 2003) In this instance standing plans are needed and essential for effective leadership.

Organization within the organization could also stand for some improvement. For example, I am primarily responsible for timekeeping for over 30 personnel. Currently we have a very prehistoric timekeeping system that doesn’t allow time to be submitted unless all time for all personnel has been accounted for. Sometimes it is a difficult task to get such a large number of personnel to submit their timesheets in a timely fashion which in turn doesn’t give me the opportunity to perform my job efficiently. If time was submitted according to individual rather than group then individual accountability could be assessed rather than everyone taking a hit on the actions of a few.

Supervisors in the organization could also improve on their leadership qualities. I have had to send out numerous emails in regards to late time or no time at all being submitted. Sometimes the immediate supervisors of those late personnel do not bother to respond to the emails or telephone calls or they want me to do something unethical such as submit time in absence of a timesheet. Supervisors are placed in position based on their leadership qualities and therefore should lead appropriately.

Controlling isn’t a major issue in our organization but could always be improved. In my immediate workspace is a person who comes and goes as she pleases without any real accountability to anyone. Her supervisor is three hours away. She spends more time out of the office than in and it has started to reflect in her work. In this instance, her supervisor should have taken control of the situation from the start before it spirals into something that will warrant the attention of upper management.

All in all, delegation is a something that starts at the top and end at the bottom. Proper delegation between employees and employers help to foster the relationship needed for successful business. Appropriate delegation leads to a positive work environment and increased productivity. Knowing who to delegate to will also foster effective lines of communication as well as dedicated and motivated staff.

ReferencesBateman-Snell, (2003) Management: The New Competitive Landscape, Sixth Edition[University of Phoenix Custom Edition e-text]. The McGraw-Hill Companies.

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