Delegation is a process in which the authority and responsibility is transferred to the subordinate by the superior. In this process the authority is transferred in downward direction. It is done so, for improving the efficiency of work by the manager because every person has a limit to do work and delegation comes as a rescue. It helps the manager to focus on the high priority work or activities and thus he or she can extend the areas of operations they are working on. It also helps in achieving the objectives because it improves the focus on activities as there is reduced burden of activities. Subordinates also get the benefit because they get the feeling of recognition and get the opportunities to do the work. However, the manager who has delegated the authority will still be accountable for the work.
Elements of delegation
There are three kinds of elements in the process of delegation. They are:
Authority is a power or the right. It is a right in accordance to the position in which the superior can take the decisions and will be in a position to give orders to the subordinates. Authority comes in the form of scalar chain in which the job position and the levels of management are linked. It flows in the downward direction i.e. from top to bottom of the levels of management. This means that the top level management has the highest authority and this reduces successively with reduction in level of management. The authority of the manager or the superior is limited to a certain extent so that he or she is not in a position to violate the rights of the subordinates and is not able to discriminate or pressurise them.
Responsibility is with the subordinate i.e. he or she has the obligation to perform the tasks which the superior has assigned them. The responsibility has the flow in an upward direction i.e. the subordinate is responsible for the work and will report to the superior. One thing should be considered while giving out the responsibility to the subordinate is that, he or she should also be given authority for the work. Authority and responsibility go hand in hand. Without proper amount of authority, the subordinate will not be able to do the work in an efficient manner. While, authority should not exceed the amount of responsibility because excess authority will lead to its misuse.
Accountability means the liability to do the work. The person who is actually liable to do the work is the person who will be held accountable for the same. It is the answerability for the outcome. Accountability flows upwards i.e. the subordinate will be accountable for his or her actions to the superior. When the work is delegated, authority given and responsibility accepted them the person is held accountable for the work. It cannot be delegated to someone else.
Importance of delegation
Delegation is very important to reduce the workload and increase the time available for the high priority activities. It is also important for:
When the superior delegates the work to the subordinate then he or she is in a position to look after the important areas and this also enables them to have sufficient time to look after new areas and learn new skills so that there is better and efficient management of the organisation.
Delegation is very helpful in training the employees in the areas as they are given the responsibility to do different kinds of work. They are not only given the responsibility but also the authority to do the work and this gives them a sense of recognition and boosts up their morale. This helps them to hone their existing skills and helps them to get new skills and experience.
Motivation of employees
Delegation not only improves the performance of the subordinates but also helps them to get several psychological benefits. They get a sense of oneness with the organisation as they get the new opportunities to showcase their skills. This also motivates them improve their performance in every task so that the superior gives the responsibility to do the work to them.
Facilitation of growth
When the company thinks of rowing its operations or branches then it does not have to make efforts to get the new talent for the organisation because the employees who were getting the delegated tasks learn so much from these activities they can be the readymade workforce for the new projects.
Basis of management hierarchy
Delegation is very important in an organisation to establish the management hierarchy and to make clear distinctions between the superior and subordinates and their authorities and duties. This helps in determining the degree and flow of responsibility and accountability in an organisation.
Delegation is a process in which there is clear establishment of flow of duties. It clearly defines who has what amount of powers and this helps in distinguishing the work of one employee from the other and thus helps in elimination of duplication of efforts. Such clarity in authority, responsibility and accountability will make clear reporting relationship and help in improving the communication in an organisation and thus the coordination.
Delegation is important for every organisation because there is limit to the work which an individual can perform. Every activity cannot be taken over by a single person in an organisation. There should be proper sharing of work between the people of the organisation. Thus, delegation is an inevitable part of an organisation and is the key for effective management and effective organising.