The not so obvious consequences of NOT delegating

Most managers know the obvious consequences of not delegating and not delegating effectively.

• Increased workload, stress and frustration for the manager.
• The manager doesn’t do their job properly because they are also doing someone else’s job.
• Manager becomes bottleneck.
• Manager is passed over for more senior positions as not delegating becomes a bigger problem the higher you go up the management hierarchy.
• Staff who are micromanaged continue to underperform or they leave.

However, there are consequences that are not so obvious that you may want to consider if you are not delegating or not delegating effectively –

• Organisational structure (lines of accountability and reporting) is designed to allocate the tasks required to achieve the goals of the organisation. If you are not delegating effectively, the intent of the organisation’s structure fails. It’s the same thing as being on the Olympic athletics relay team and continuing to hold onto the baton after passing it onto the next runner.
• Your reports get the message that you don’t trust them and they are not competent to do their job. See how that goes when it comes to engagement, productivity, productivity and staff turnover.
• Your reports will not get more accountable, in fact, they will get less accountable as they wait to be told what to do instead of working it out themselves and in the process, learning to be better. You will entrench the need to do more yourself and micro manage.
• You do not learn to be a more effective manager as you are avoiding the issues that have you delegate ineffectively.

It all starts with the way a manager views their role and their people. It’s part of a management ethos that also leads to choosing the right people, trust, accountability, training and developing people through delegation, having difficult conversations, managing performance, acknowledgement and appreciation through honest and ongoing feedback, communicating effectively etc. How you delegate reflects your views around management, so start there if you find you are working too many hours, if you complain that your people are not being accountable, if your engagement surveys show low levels of engagement and staff turnover is high.


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