Job Design and Delegation
Failure to delegate means that you’ll end up doing the same job time and time again as delegating work is the only way to be able to get new and interesting work to do.
In the long run, if you want to advance as a manager, the only way to do it is to become good at delegating. And the first step in that is the job descrition.
Management books and courses will talk about delegating and you can try to learn to do it until you’re blue in the face but without metrics, you can’t delegate. Metrics are the key to successful delegating because they enable an employee to know exactly what they are responsible for and enable the manager to know exactly what is being achieved.
Furthermore, through careful delegation, a manager can ensure that employees have the opportunity to do what they do best every day and thus be more engaged in their work.
So if delegation is the soft skill then what’s the leadership process or hard skill you need to delegate effectively? It’s the Job Description.
Metrics in Job Descriptions
The first basic step in delegating is to prepare a job description. The idea of the job description is to lay out in precise detail the expectations that you have for the person in the job, what their bounds of authority are and how they are to do the job.
The most important part of the job description and the one most often skipped is that of metrics. Here is the chance to connect company strategy with daily action by laying out in detail exactly the results that are expected.
The next step is to describe those activities that are key to the attainment of result metrics and place metrics on these activities themselves. While most job descriptions outline the processes that are to be followed, putting metrics onto the processes makes them measurable.
In addition, authority levels, particularly with regard to budgets and purchasing should be delineated so that a person knows exactly what decisions they can make on their own and which ones need the approval of their manager.
Finally the job description should lay out the way the employee is to report and how often.