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DELEGATION: SHOWING RESPONSIBILITY OR COVERING UP FOR INEFFICIENCY?

By Vision Reporter

Added 15th December 2009 03:00 AM

At his place of work, Ronald requested his administrative assistant to take on his assignments because he had to attend to duty elsewhere.

BY OYET OKWERA AND JOYCE NYAKATO

At his place of work, Ronald requested his administrative assistant to take on his assignments because he had to attend to duty elsewhere.

Just like Ronald, many bosses cannot avoid delegating work to their subordinates. However, many people mix the term delegation with ‘standing in’ for someone else, yet the two are different.

According to human resource officers, delegation is the conventional way of sharing responsibilities at work, while ‘standing in’ for someone, can imply coverup for a worker’s inefficiency. This is illegal since it involves informal executions of duties.

A human resource officer in Kampala, who preferred anonymity, says delegation often requires the consent of the boss but some workers sometimes delegate duties without informing their boss.

“Some workers delegate much work without supervision and unfortunately, plan to cover up their inefficiency for fear of being discovered by bosses, which is wrong.”

Joseph Musoke, the head of human resource, Warid Telecom defines delegation as the assignment of responsibilities and authority to a junior colleague while remaining accountable.

“In this case, the person, who has delegated will be answerable to the boss because it is his or her obligation to do so,” says Musoke.

He adds that delegation is imperative at work because it caters for uncertainties that may necessitate one to leave his obligation and attend to eventualities that may occur or any other work-related business.

He remarks that delegation also allows employees to do more complicated tasks that need more time to be effectively accomplished.

Delegation enables employees to gain confidence and become effective in their job executions.

Recently, one human resource manager shocked workers by ruling out delegation in his firm saying it promotes inefficiency at work.

Why delegate?
Musoke says delegation is a must and should be a normal and healthy way of accomplishing tasks at the work place.

However, he says some people do it the wrong way.

For instance, there are those, who delegate duties intending to punish fellow employees at work.

Delegation should be officially done to allow one concentrate wherever they would have gone for other duties.

“It is necessary for employees to delegate work to others for effectiveness and diversification of skills,” says Musoke.

Suzan Ward, in her article, Let go and Delegate, at www.about.com, says delegation is an important requirement and critical to the success of a business and a healthy and balanced work life.

“Even a personal business can get so busy that there is no way one person can do all that needs to be done,” says Ward.

She says delegation should be a priority in any office or firm and employers should not rush into castigating those who delegate to others at work.

Ward says the purpose of delegation should not be having someone else do something.

The major attribute of delegation should be to free oneself to focus on using talents and skills most productively.

“The main advantage is that if you delegate enough of the right things, you can be incredibly more productive,” remarks Ward.

She gives a few tips on how to get started in the process of delegation:
- It is imperative for one to decide what exact area one wants to delegate because some areas are very confidential and require no delegation.
- The area of delegation should not be problematic and one should be ready to give a few tips to the person coming in to avoid inefficiency and blames.
- You need to find a reliable person, who you think is a perfect replacement on your desk.

This is important since it saves you the misery of imminent blunder in case the person you choose to delegate is inefficient.
- It is also advisable for one to build rapport with other workers to make work quite enjoyable and fasten the process of delegation.
- Be as specific as possible about what you want to be done.
- Give the person you are delegating to some tips on how to do specific work and let the person get on with it.
- Do not delegate many tasks at once.
- Do not hastily hand over work in the process of delegation.
- Choose someone you trust in terms of execution of work.

DELEGATION: SHOWING RESPONSIBILITY OR COVERING UP FOR INEFFICIENCY?

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