Over Delegation: The Ups and Downs of Managers’ Toxic Trait

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Is over delegation in management an issue in your organizations, yet you are probably unaware? Let’s find out.

If as the manager of an organization, you called in sick tomorrow, would your team members throw a party or would they be sad? Does the thought of your absence as a manager in the office or at your meetings’ gets your team members pumped?

In a recent survey, 341 LinkedIn participants were selected as a sample, and when asked whether they were happier and less stressed when their manager phoned in sick, was away from work, or went on vacation, 88% of them responded in the affirmative.

This implies that most employers have the exact opposite impact from what they want, which is to provide comfort, stability, and confidence. 

Why is this scary? By definition, “excellent” leadership entails a manager protecting and benefiting subordinates in a way that makes them feel safer while the manager is there. 

working together to avoid Over delegation

What is Over Delegation?

While we are here to address what over delegation means and its effect in the workplace, it is right that we, first of all, explain what the keyword Delegation in management means.

Delegation in management simply means giving work to team members in a departmental or project team. It is expected that all employees understand and accept delegation as normal in a proper organization setting.

However, over delegation in management simply means delegating too much work to a team member. It could be in the context of the job description and in other cases, outside the job description.

Over Delegation: The Managers’ Toxic Trait

Upon recruitment, employees may see the delegation of tasks to them as a manager’s way of shielding them from his responsibilities. 

Over delegation is toxic if the managers’ purposely delegated too much or assigned personal tasks to team members. 

However, there is an upside to delegations as well as downsides. 

The Ups of Over Delegation

  1. Over delegation builds the strength of the team.  Your team members are not dependent on you as the manager or team lead.
  2. It increases team commitment. 
  3. Over delegation brings about new ideas and generates possibilities for better solutions.
  4. Over delegation helps team members to grow. 
  5. It gives other members a sense of responsibility.  

The Downs of Over Delegation

  1. It can slow down things. 
  2. You are responsible for the outcome even if you have given up control
  3. Things might not be done in the right way. 
  4. Over delegation means your time and efforts may not be recognized. 
team work to reduce over delegation

How to know when you are over delegating?

Although over delegation is a common workplace trend, not enough people know when they are over delegating.

And at Proten International, we train the organization’s team leaders on how to spot cues indicating they may be over delegating. 

You are over delegating when:

  • you are assigning a task that does not align with your team’s responsibilities.
  • you left your team members to handle all responsibilities while you do nothing to help out.
  • people see you approaching, they turn away. They worry that you’ll assign them additional work.
  • 90% of the talking takes place while you and your team are speaking. You aren’t doing the effort, and what you’re saying is neither fascinating nor relevant.
  • People don’t approach you with issues. Since you won’t take any action, they see no purpose in discussing their worries with you.
  • You get to hear issues at the last minute.

Related: Employee Retention: 10 Unbeatable Strategies to Keep Top Talents

How to avoid over delegation

At Proten, we have created some simple strategies to follow when assigning tasks to members of your team or department.  

Even while the delegation of duties increases productivity and efficiency and improves time management, the delegation must be done properly. 

The following are some things to remember:

1. Start off slowly

When you use a delegating technique, it could take you some time to figure out how to appropriately train and evaluate each team member’s performance in their new roles.

You may create a system that you can reproduce with additional team members if you start by giving a single assignment or collection of tasks to a senior team member. This tactic may also assist the team members in striking a balance between their new obligations and their existing commitments.

2. Create clear standards

You may make sure that your team members understand what you expect of them in their new duties by developing a set of criteria for the tasks you want to assign to them.

Additionally, it may assist them in understanding how their present job fits into the framework of their new duties and how these new activities influence the whole team.   Stress the task’s outcomes so that the team member may create their own set of procedures that suit them and get the desired results.

3. Always ask for feedback

Team’s output quality and employee happiness may be maintained by talking with team members about their experiences with tasks. You might meet with a team member more regularly for a few months after altering their job to ensure they’re comfortable.

The chance to decrease or enhance a team member’s level of responsibility might be found at regular meetings. Sending anonymous surveys to team members is another way to collect their feedback on how the team as a whole is divided up into different tasks.

Over delegation: The manager's toxic traits

4. Regularly assess the distribution of the tasks

Examine how your team is currently dividing up the responsibilities every few months and make any necessary revisions. By comparing your team’s production or efficiency rates across multiple months, you may assess the system’s efficacy.

The present delegation technique may be helpful if the team is working more efficiently right now. A manager of inventories, for instance, could assign team members certain important tasks. The team’s management could contrast the present rate with the team’s shipment rate from before they took on their new duties.

5. Set Limits

Setting limits on how much time and/or money should be spent on the task delegated. Employees at Proten International get a regular reminder of the stipulated limit for every deliverable delegated to them or the team. 

Last Notes:

As a manager, you should understand some tasks are your sole responsibility. Don’t delegate duties that have been explicitly allocated to you, such as disciplinary actions, confidential and sensitive work, or performance reviews of your direct employees.

Most importantly, accountability cannot be delegated. You are still ultimately responsible. Be ready to support your team’s continuous learning and to stand by them when errors are made, as they unavoidably will.

At this point, it is imperative that employers deploy quality training and development experts like Proten International to teach managers about the act of delegation in management. 

We will leave with this question. Is over delegation considered a toxic trait for you? 

Leave your thoughts in the comment section.


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