How Mentoring Can Pave the Way for Delegating Authority
A hallmark for effective management leadership is the growth and development of your people. Who would argue, but why is so little being done? The fact is that the pressures of producing results combined with budget cuts for development and training activities limit the manager’s options.
What can be done to really help your people develop? Delegate authority and watch your effective delegation increase results.
Part of the hesitancy of managers to delegate the authority needed in a given assignment is a bit of a trust issue. If the employee does not perform, the manager looks bad. Building trust with employees is a key to increasing a managers willingness to assign authority with the project. Part of building Trust is the coaching and mentoring needed for the relationship to increase trust.
If managers think about it for a minute, they may realize they are keeping their team members tied-up and lodged in the same job responsibilities. Little or no change or growth is really happening here. If you want a relatively low budget-high result development activity, allow each employee in the business unit to grow by testing what they can do. Here are some key tactics.
Tactics for Increasing the Opportunity to Delegate Authority
- Look at what is going on in work activity in your business unit and delegate projects that will require the employee to stretch and grow – but something they can handle. This assignment can be within the realm of their base responsibilities or it can be cross-department. It may be assigning them to a task for another team or matching them with a mentor to guide their foray into this stretch-assignment.
- Make sure they have a bit more monitoring to make sure they succeed at the stretch task. This could be more frequent progress reports or feedback from a senior person or mentor. The goal is to gain knowledge or skill and have a positive growth experience. Managers can manage the execution and positive experience. It helps the employee build self-confidence and feel like the manager cares and is trusting them to do more.
- Once the employee achieves success at the stretch-assignment, the manager looks for a slightly more complex assignment to continue the “stretch & grow” development process. This is what I like to call incremental stretch growth. It simply requires the manager to lay out a plan to help they employee develop, create a simple training & development record of the activities and log progress. This secures a “planned growth” mentality that allows for ongoing and consistent progress.
The result here is an energized business unit environment where the manager purposely finds ways to delegate authority that will challenge and stretch their people. This is a high-productivity technique for effective delegation. Employee attitudes are positive. They feel the manager’s interest and trust. They will be motivated to accomplish more and prove that they can contribute at a higher level. What manager and business unit wouldn’t benefit from this result?
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