CategoryManagement

Management Skills – Practicing Effective Delegation for Success

Delegating authority at work is a management skill that requires understanding and practice in order to be successful for everyone involved.

An experienced manager understands effective delegation and uses it regularly as part of his repertoire of management skills. He recognizes that there are only certain tasks in his own job description that can be delegated. His bottom line accountability cannot be delegated; that’s what he gets paid to do. Job responsibilities have to be accepted or not by whoever is doing the job. All the manager can delegate is the authority to do certain work. This authority is defined as the ‘power to influence the behavior of others.’ This is what the employee needs if the manager is going to delegate for success.

Steps for Effective Delegation

When a manager decides he is going to delegate one of the tasks for which he is responsible and will be held accountable, he will want to do it as effectively as possible. The following guidelines will help the manager practice delegating successfully.

  • Choose the most appropriate staff for the work to be delegated. If this is to be a successful exercise, the employee must have the experience or obvious potential, and motivation to do the work. Delegation is not about the manager ‘getting rid of’ a tedious task. It is about the manager giving an opportunity to one of the staff to demonstrate his ability to work beyond his current responsibilities.
  • State clearly the objectives and expected results of the job being delegated. The task, for example, might be conducting an inventory of all computers and peripherals in the headquarters office and all branches in the city. The expected result is a spreadsheet listing the computers, printers, scanner, etc., categorized by location, size, brand, serial number, age of equipment, and primary user.
  • Ensure that the employee understands and accepts the nature and scope of the job and agrees to its objectives. For any job of significance, it is best to write down the scope of the plan and review it with the employee to ensure that he is actually willing to assume this responsibility. This is important as work that is delegated by a manager from his own workload is typically work that is not in the employee’s job description.
  • Identify the resources that are available to do the work. This might include support personnel, materials, and money. For example, there might be four staff available for three days to do this inventory. They will receive the usual per diem expenses for working outside their office and will have corporate laptops on which to record their findings.
  • Working with the employee, develop a work plan with timelines for benchmark results, regular updates, and whatever else is appropriate given the scope, duration, and importance of the job. For example, this entire project from the beginning with planning who is doing what to designing the spreadsheet, doing the inventory, collecting data and presenting it might be two weeks.
  • Allow the employee to work on his own, as far as possible. This should be an exercise in support and coaching, but not watching over the employee’s shoulder all the time. The manager should be accessible, as needed if there are unexpected problems.
  • Monitor progress to make sure it complies with the schedule and resources. For the inventory example, the manager might want to see the spreadsheet design, make sure the right people are in place, and review a draft document before the final submission.

Benefits of Delegating Effectively

Effective, appropriate delegation is a powerful learning opportunity for an employee who is eager to prove his abilities and value to the organization. The delegation has many benefits for the people involved.

  • This first-hand experience with a task that would not typically be part of his job description looks good on the employee’s resume.
  • This opportunity allows the employee to have a taste of management authority and responsibility to see if he likes it.
  • This experience might encourage the employee to decide to prepare himself to move into management.
  • Other employees see that the manager is willing to take the risk of having a subordinate lead a work group to accomplish a task for which the manager himself is accountable. That is a powerful message of staff support and nurturing in an often-competitive work environment.
  • There is no avoiding the benefit for the manager too. Yes, the manager does have ‘extra’ time available for him to focus on other responsibilities. However, it is not completely free time as effective delegation requires monitoring and support.

Delegation is an important, probably essential management skill. The effectiveness and success of his delegation is a measure of a manager’s competency and his overall approach to leadership.

The Difference Between Leadership and Management

The Difference Between Leadership and Management

Management and leadership are two words in the business world, which are often used interchangeably. Whilst a person operating at a sufficiently senior level within an organisation will often be required to exhibit both qualities. The fact remains that leadership and management should be considered as two distinctive subjects, despite the understanding that they are often indivisibly linked.

What is Management?

The Difference Between Leadership and Management - managerCommon definitions of management consider that the task of management includes the planning, controlling and execution of processes and tasks within an organisation. As such, the consideration is that management is largely an organisational skill, based around the organisation of resources.

Typically management is seen as task and skill set, which is aimed at maintaining the status quo within an organisation. As such, the functions of management are often associated with target setting, budgeting and other activities which facilitate control.

What is Leadership?

The Difference Between Leadership and Management - leaderLeadership on the other hand, is usually associated with the specific management of people. This however, is a little blunt for a definition and limits the scope of the concept of leadership somewhat. A wider and more appropriate definition of leadership would be to consider that leadership is the general advocacy of a direction or vision within an organisation.

As such, leadership is associated, not with the specific instructions and controls linked to management. Instead, leadership involves the inspiration and motivation of groups and individuals within an organisation, with the aim of allowing those groups and individuals to bring about the desired vision of the leader.

What is the Difference Between Leadership and Management?

An often overly simplified distinction between the tasks of leadership and management is to consider that management applies to “things” whilst, leadership applies to people. However, this is to over simplify the distinction and misses the point somewhat.

A better analysis would be to consider that management is a skill based around the organisation of both people and resources, in order to maintain current processes and practises, or at achieve a specific predetermined outcome. On the other hand, leadership is concerned with the provision of communications, inspiration and motivation to enable people and resources to create change within an organisation.

Why Engaged Employees Produce Quality

Why Engaged Employees Produce QualityStructuring, organizing, managing and other practices of a mechanistic organization will not facilitate quality. Thinking and doing are now part of everyone’s job. Each person in an organization today must be enabled to ensure that the quality of products and services are continually improved.

Why Engaged Employees Produce Quality

engaged employees nurture relationships with customers

  • Employees drive business success in the following ways:
  • They find opportunities to translate customer needs and expectations into products and services that drive increased revenue.
  • They nurture relationships with customers and take personal responsibility for meeting their needs and expectations.
  • They work with suppliers as partners and ensure that communication is clear and timely.
  • They use quality tools to continuously improve their products and services.
  • They maintain and improve their processes with a sense of ownership because the product/service is a reflection of their personal standards.

Engaging employees begins with a willingness on the part of management to:

  • Give others responsibility.
  • Delegate and accept responsibility for quality.
  • Develop teams and teamwork.
  • Train managers how to communicate with and provide productive feedback to people.
  • Train non-managers how to accept responsibility.
  • Train non-managers how to develop teams and teamwork.
  • Provide an organizing structure and culture that supports quality and its improvement.

For people to be engaged they need to understand the business operation and how to make quality decisions. They need to understand the impact of their decisions on the organization so training in things like accounting and finance principles, statistical tools, and relevant technical training is essential in order for them to be effective.

Creating a Culture of Quality

Given what culture is and what culture does, it is understandable why a quality culture would be essential to an organization with a commitment to quality. If the culture is not quality-focused, then the organization is unlikely to realize the benefits from quality. Having a quality program and being truly focused on quality is fundamentally different. Many estimate that only one in three companies who have a quality program realize a significant gain in competitive advantage.

Ten Ways Servant Leaders Create a Culture for Quality Improvement

engaged employees nurture relationships coworkers - teamwork

Building this culture of quality starts with leaders who:

  1. Understand and communicate the meaning and aim of the system and how each person’s work aligns with and supports this aim.
  2. Help those they serve to understand their relationship with the system.
  3. Create opportunities for those they serve to get joy from their work.
  4. Act as a coach and counsel, not a judge to those they serve.
  5. Apply knowledge of the theory of variation for improved performance.
  6. Study the causes and effects of their performance toward continually improving quality.
  7. Create trust.
  8. Encourage creativity and innovation.
  9. Surprisingly do not expect perfection.
  10. Are open to others’ influence.

Management Consultants Will Help Organizations Grow

Boardroom - PDM Photography

Management consultants are a tremendous asset for the development of growth, vision, strategy and personnel. Experienced consultants will help any organization.

Organizations and businesses cut jobs and downsized, creating lean management structures. Emerging from financial problems, corporations are now faced with growing business as the economy slowly returns. What is lacking is the experience and business savvy usually supplied by senior staff that are no longer with the organization.

Vision Means Growth

Shifting from a financial control model to a growth model requires vision and investment. Organizations are faced with decisions of expanding internally or engaging outside services (outsourcing) to help.

Internal Options:

Investment is financial commitment and comes in several forms. Increasing staff and bringing on new personnel to help realize sales goals. Adding support staff in order to help manage infrastructure problems created by growth. These may be in areas such as logistics, billing, procurement and human resources.

Vision requires strategy and planning. Executive management needs to shift from a cost containment mode to an expansion mode. Having a plan is an absolute must if the moves are to be successful and profitable. Waste is not an option for lean organizations.

External Options:

Management support brought in on a contract basis (management consultants) come in many forms. Their expertise comes in the form of knowledge, experience and ability to provide leadership for an organization that is engaging in growing its business.

Five Key Areas:

Strategic Planning

Most corporations have some type of strategic plan. It may be for three years or five years and account for growth, sales goals, production goals and even staff increases. It may be a great plan, realistic and rich with goals to hit. Where the plan usually fails is in the implantation. By implementation, that means who knows what is in the plan. It does not do any good if only the executive team knows what the plan is, they won’t be the ones implementing the steps needed to achieve the goals. A good consultant can help direct the development of a plan.

Process Improvement

Every corporation has flaws in the way it goes about handling internal procedures and processes. Most organizations can identify numerous processes that take too long to accomplish, slowing down how the organization conducts business. It might be a work order process, an invoicing process, a process required of sales in order to generate a purchase order. I may even be in workload distribution with one area controlling too much and subsequently being overtaxed in turn around. A good consultant can help the organization by facilitating a focused approach to change in how business is conducted. Involvement of staff is critical to any change if they are engaged things will improve, left out and not much will occur. Results oriented consulting addresses this core issue and can steer the group towards “their” improvement of the process (and bottom line).

Personnel Training

Perhaps the most neglected area of any organization, the development of its personnel. Many managers achieved their positions and then were left struggling to figure out how to manage their area. Good workers do not make good managers out of the gate. They have a lot to learn about leading versus doing. A good consultant can be of valuable assistance in this area. People will open up to a complete stranger that they do not perceive as a threat to their position since they are not connected to any hierarchy within the organization. Having a coach with experience will make the transition from employee to manager much smoother than letting the manager “figure it out” on their own. The real benefit is that results will happen faster.

Leadership Development

People become leaders; they are not gifted with some magical gene. Certain characteristics are helpful, but learning how to be a leader takes time. An experienced leadership consultant can accelerate the process and be instrumental in the growth of leadership within an organization. Drawing on their experience and past successes, a consultant will guide a new leader through the process and best practices for achieving true leadership. Again, the results are rewarding to the organization, usually in terms of employee satisfaction, improved performance results, and finally improved bottom lines.

Financial Analysis

Seasoned business consultants have as one of their “tools” financial experience at some level. It may be in the area of accounting or operational P&L management. Financial reporting is one of the most structured functions of business, usually with oversight and advice from an outside Accounting Firm skilled in the preparation of financial documents such as taxes, loan applications and such. A good financial accountant can help tie financial performance back to operations and find flaws in how business is being done that is costing money. Operational financial analysis requires knowledge of how products or services generate income.

Good Businesses Keep Looking

Any organization that seeks to grow will benefit from the services of an outside consultant that has had experience and success.

5 Essential Qualities of an Effective Board Member

5 Essential Qualities of an Effective Board Member
A solid board consists of great and qualified board members. It is the qualities of each individual board member that determines whether or not a board can operate successfully.  But what makes a person fit to sit as a member of a healthcare organization’s board of directors?

Here are the critical qualities of an effective board member:

1. Dedicated and Committed

Being a board member requires a high level of dedication and commitment to responsibilities that extends beyond attending board meetings regularly. Effective board members bring a lot to the table and maintain and unwavering interest to the achieve the goals of the organization.

2. Able to lead and influence others

An excellent member of the board has the ability to lead and influence others to pursue the goals of the organization. He or she has the spirit and drive to set direction in order to fulfill the institution’s business goals.

3. Straightforward and impartial

An effective board member brings candor to board meetings. He is able to engage other board members in discussions and debates without being arrogant or disrespectful. He is objective and impartial and has the ability to the effectively drive a point across without making things personal. A good member of the board will not hesitate to ask the hard questions for the constituents that the board servess

4. Knowledgeable and an insatiable learner

A member of the board should be knowledgeable about the organization and its culture, operations, mission, and vision, the roles and responsibilities of the board as well as the principles of good governance. Aside from that, he or she has an insatiable desire to learn and seek personal and professional development.

5. Values discretion and confidentiality

Trustworthiness is an essential trait of a board member. Board discussions and meetings are confidential and each member should be able to manifest discretion at all times. He or she should always support the decision of the board when speaking in behalf of the organization.

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