As useful as delegation is, this idea isn’t the easiest to fully understand. But to become a successful leader, you must be able to delegate effectively.
If you’re confused about how to apply delegation in your work environment, you should look at some examples.
The best way to understand this idea is to observe a real-life scenario. So, if you have access to another department in your organization or another organization that implements delegation, be sure to check them out.
If not, the following delegation examples will give you as close as possible of an idea to real-life situations.
Go through these examples to clarify your confusion so that you can implement delegation in the best form!
1. Developing Strategies
Strategies are an important part of every business. No matter what the niche of the project is, smart strategies are vital.((Chartered Management Institute: Developing Strategy))
With that being said, it is not a piece of cake to design successful strategies. It is a process of extensive research, analysis, and creativity. Meanwhile, you also have to keep in mind the vision of the organization and the allocated budget.
If your project is on designing marketing strategies, it isn’t as simple as forwarding the task to the advertising department of your organization.
For a campaign, you will have to delegate to extreme ends. Firstly, you have to come up with an advertising motive.
Do you want more sales or do you want only aim to build your brand image? An advertising executive will do the research in this regard to figure out what your organization needs the most.
With this information in mind, a copywriter will come up with taglines, scripts, jingles, and other written content. What will go on the screen, what is written as a social media caption, what is spoken, etc. are all this person’s job.
Another subordinate will be a person with good contacts – somebody who can work as a lobbyist. This person will approach media platforms, influencers, and other relevant third parties to negotiate deals.
Similarly, you also have to delegate to someone the designing of the visuals. Billboards, social media posters, video advertisements, and all other forms require a photographer, graphic designer, editor, and illustrator. You can either get one person to do the job or, if possible, delegate to individual experts.
With all these people, a budget expert will have to work along. This person will make sure that the allocated resources are used effectively. Simultaneously, you or a PR manager will keep checking in to confirm that none of the elements go against ethics, violate the organization’s vision, or cause a backlash.
2. Full Delegation
Repetitive and recurring jobs in an organization are fully delegated.
What this means is that the leader adopts level 5 delegation. At this level, once the task is delegated, the subordinates are not required to come back regularly to get their progress checked. The leaders have minimal interference whereas the subordinates are given maximum authority.((Inc: The 5 Levels of Delegation You Need to Know to Lead Well))
In a scenario like this one, effective delegation every step of the way is extremely important to ensure a good result.
So, if your organization sells a particular product, it is highly likely that you conduct market surveys quite often. These surveys give you an insight into what’s going on in the heads of the consumer. These surveys also let you know whether the consumers are happy with the product or if they expect more.
Similarly, such surveys are also great sources for figuring out the best marketing methods. You ask consumers where they found out about you and this way, you know where to allocate most of the budget in the next marketing campaign.
Let’s assume that you’ve been conducting research this way for many years now. So, it is safe for you to let a research team do another survey.
You communicate that your goal is to find out how to improve the product and the deadline for the task is 2 weeks. They can design the survey questions, choose the platform, and collect information their own way. After 2 weeks, the team will come to your office with the final results.
3. Delegating Half of a Task
Generally, it is a major no-no to delegate half a task. So let’s first clarify what this means.
Most jobs have various aspects. As an example, consider a certain project that requires mathematical skills as well as technological expertise. If these two aspects are so closely related that they overlap, delegation is useless.
In a scenario like this, it is required that the output from both the mathematical and technological work is coherent and similar. That isn’t quite possible with delegation.
On the other hand, some projects are extensive. Such jobs can be easily divided into parts that aren’t co-related or can be easily fulfilled separately. Delegating a part of such tasks while keeping the rest for yourself is totally okay.
A delegation example of half a task is when hiring new employees. Your organization posted about a free vacancy online, and thousands of people responded with their CVs. You as a leader or manager just don’t have the time to go through each one but at the same time, you want to look through all the options.
You delegate the job of looking through CVs to shortlist them to a few senior employees. You communicate the shortlisting factors and qualities so that the subordinates select the right people.
Usually, important decisions like hiring new personnel should never be delegated to maintain honesty and fairness. However, in cases when you are overloaded with work or when it is too time-consuming, you can delegate half of it.
Some steps you can take to ensure a fair output is to hide out the names on the CVs. This will give you the peace of mind that the subordinates will only shortlist applicants based on their skills and experience.
Most importantly, the final decision still remains in your hand. So, you’re not losing any authority at all.
4. Outdoor Delegation
Managers and leaders generally do not have the time to take care of work things outside of the office. This is where outdoor delegation comes to the rescue.
This delegation example is most useful in the case of collaborations. If you’re planning on working side by side with another company, use delegation to its full potential.
Most of the initial discussions can be done through email so you can communicate your agenda first hand. But when the other party wants to meet regularly for check-ins on the project, send your best negotiators.
They can discuss all the details of the project – the reasoning behind each element suggested changes, etc. You can receive the brief with the details of the discussion to make the final decision without having to spend hours and hours on the commute and in meetings.
This delegation example is the complete opposite of full delegation. For when you’re short on time but the task at hand is highly important, intervention is the way to go.
It is level 1 delegation where the subordinates do the work but you can check in now and then to keep them on the track you want. It is also most useful with new employees who aren’t as skilled or experienced yet.
You can use intervention when designing a new product. Ask your creative designer to come up with ideas and meet you every week to get approvals.
This way you’re not risking a whole lot of time wasted on designing something you might not even like. At the same time, you haven’t taken on the full responsibility of sitting down with the creative designer to produce what you want.
6. Creative Delegation
Projects that require innovation should always be delegated.
The simple logic behind it is that when more people are involved, there is a higher chance of coming up with something unique since it is a mixture of every individual’s thought process.
In case a manager wants to plan an office party for the 25th anniversary of the organization, it can be done in two ways. Either the manager can make the entire plan and ask everyone else to execute it, or the manager can ask everyone to pitch in their ideas.
Both these are forms of creative delegation. However, the level of authority varies. This allows you to decide depending on the environment of your office and the nature of the project.
The bottom line is that delegation is no rocket science, But at the same time, you have to follow some technicalities to ensure success.
These delegation examples may not fit in your work-life exactly. Try to find similarities and improvise the rest. It is totally up to you to get creative with how you delegate as long as it’s working for you.
So, put these examples to use in your real-life from today to make your life as a management leader way easier!
More Tips on Delegation
Delegation of Authority: The Complete Guide for Effective Leaders
What Is Delegation and How Does It Enhance Team Management?
The Delights of Delegation: Why Going it Alone Doesn’t Work