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5 Effective Delegation Strategies for the Micro-Manager

November 22, 2011

By: Carletta Clyatt

Perfectionistic, compliant and structured managers are typically wary of effective delegation; their mantra: “To get something done right, I do it myself.” Why this philosophy? Fear of failure and criticism… and the most logical way to avoid both is to do the work yourself, thereby removing risk and controlling the outcome.

However, delegation is one of the best solutions for not only relieving a heavy workload, but increasing efficiency and productivity, allowing the manager (you) to focus on planning, organization, and the maintenance of employee relationships. Delegation also allows the employees to be more valuable and versatile to your organization.

Here are 5 delegation tips that will benefit you and the person you delegate to:

1. What to Delegate
Look at your task list…be open and realistic in considering what you can honestly relinquish to an employee to complete for you. Keep in mind…when you delegate, you give another person one of your tasks, however, you maintain responsibility.
2. Set Guidelines
Provide well-defined guidelines (your ideas, notes, objectives) for the tasks you are delegating.  However, give them room to deliver your task and understand that your staff may not handle the task or project the exact same way you would.  Ease the pain by letting yourself see the personal time saved by delegating.
3. Establish Authority
Define the scope, ground rules and degree of authority given to the employee over the delegated task.  Clearly explain which decisions the employee can make on their own, and which would require your approval.

Give the employee the necessary authority to accomplish the task – enough to get the job done, but not so much that you end up with an unpleasant surprise!

4. Establish Deadlines
Time frames can easily be misinterpreted…did you say 5 business days or calendar days?  If you want the delegated project completed within a certain time frame…be clear.
5. Follow Up Schedule
These meetings let you stay up to date on progress, determine if there is a need for assistance and allow you to ask questions.

It’s all right to ask for regular updates on progress and to keep your team aware of deadlines, but do not step in and take over. Micro-management can kill motivation. Micro-managers need to resist the urge to control every little detail, allowing them to focus on the big picture.

Bottom line? BENEFITS!

Successful delegation strategies helps managers get tasks done but is also a way of showing confidence in employees and nurturing their personal and professional development.

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Carletta Clyatt

Carletta Clyatt, a popular seminar speaker, is the SVP at The Omnia Group. She offers clients advice on how to manage more effectively and gain insight into employee strengths, weaknesses and behaviors. For more information about employee behavioral assessments, call Carletta at 813-280-3026 or email:

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