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Delegation – But I Don’t Want to Give Up Control!


Help! We are having some major issues with our managers delegating. They are either not delegating at all, therefore stressed, or they are delegating the wrong things to the wrong people. What guidance can I offer them?


Delegation can be a tricky thing.  When done right, it helps a manager to be more effective, allows employees to take on additional responsibility and expand their skill sets, and opens the door for additional opportunity for both.  Handled improperly, it can wreak havoc in too many ways to count!   A manager who is unable or unwilling to delegate may not be an effective manager, and they are denying themselves and their employees an opportunity.

Delegation is not without risks and challenges.  Often, we hear, “How do I decide what to delegate?”; “It takes too long to explain it”; “I’ll just do it myself”; or “If someone else does it, it won’t be the way I like it.”  All of these can be overcome with a little preparation.  “Not delegating is straining your brain,”  according to an article on “CEOs who delegate have been shown to generate 33% more revenue than CEOs with low delegation skills.”

A key responsibility of managers is to develop their people.  Delegation is a win/win in that area.  The manager is showing a good employee that he/she is trusted with a little extra responsibility, as well as, providing a teaching opportunity for the employee.  Yes, there is a small investment of time on the manager’s part, but it can pay off in the long run.

When delegating, there are a number of factors to consider:

  • Which employee has the skill to complete, or at least the ability to understand, what needs to be done?
  • Who will be impacted by delegating the task?
  • What are the risks of delegating or not delegating?

When a manager is evaluating his/her workload, he/she should consider, “Is this the best use of my time?”  Tasks to delegate may be training a new employee, evaluating status of tasks or following a defined process.  Tasks that should not be delegated include employee coaching/discipline, tasks that have a financial impact or that may require advanced knowledge.

Lastly, some steps of successful delegation that are key include:

  • Define the task
  • Determine the training needs of the individual or team that you’ve selected
  • Explain the “Why” – why is this task important and how does it impact the company?
  • Establish the deliverable and the deadline – set expectations
  • Communicate and check in
  • Provide feedback

As a manager, you can’t do it all, and nor should you.  The ability to delegate is a key skill to have to be an effective manager.  The end result can be a highly functioning team and a more engaged workforce.  A win/win for all.


Does your management team have the ability to delegate effectively?  Have they ever been trained on how?  strategic HR can help.  Contact us today to learning more about our training options