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Delegation – A Key to Success

Madhukar N Hiregange FCA

Many of us practitioners are very busy and find it difficult to achieve a work and life balance. Those of us in employment similarly do the work ourselves for a variety of reasons. We have no time for recreation, family, training ourselves. Our clients are satisfied with our work and we wish we had little more time. All of us know that this could be possible if the work could be delegated down the line. This is especially true in a CAs office where the partners have no breathing time especially in certain parts of the year. While some of us avoid it due to a lack of confidence in oneself, and also a belief that one is the type who does not like to take assistance. Many others would like to do so but have a number of concerns as under:

a.       Our staff including qualified are too slow to learn and lack experience.

b.      The training of the staff takes far too much time and they may not be with us long.

c.       We cannot ask others to do since instructions would take more time than doing it.

d.       What has to be done would be known as the work progresses.

e.      We are anxious that the quality of work would suffer considering the lack of commitment of the staff.

While these among other concerns could be genuine all agree that effective delegation would be advantages. The advantages of the same known to all of us have been enumerated as under:

1.       There is a limit to our time and therefore limit to the work we can take. More capable people more work.

2.       There are numerous jobs requiring different skills sets to be attended to all the time. Maybe somebody is better suited to do some of the work.

3.       Stress gets created when all the work is done by one. Also limits the effectiveness.

4.       There are a number of areas of new opportunity which can be tapped which may require more of your time at that stage.

5.       Delegation build confidence and is a great motivating tool.

6.       Successors, future partners could be groomed using delegation.

After examining the realities and limitation of our environment we can start this process. However all jobs cannot be delegated not delegation be done at a stretch or in one go. When taking the decision to delegate the following questions can be asked:

-          Is there anyone else who can do this job? If the answer is yes then go ahead. If it is no then ask your self what is required to have that happen. Training of staff or recruiting a competent person.

-          Would the job develop the skill of the other? This can also be an important aspect as the job may not enhance ones skill which is already at a high level.

-          How much time is available? Is there time to redo the same if need be? This maybe important as timely service is critical ingredient of client service.

Looking at these questions in a proactive manner would lead to situations where some amount of delegation appears possible. The ideal method of delegation [HOW] includes certain action which would increase the success of the exercise as under:

i.                     Provide clear instructions with background of desired objectives and also time lines which are reasonable considering the knowledge and experience of the staff.

ii.                   Select the right person, which is easier said than done. See that you think about the alternative persons before deciding.

iii.                   Do not abdicate the responsibility. Be responsible to the final delivery.

iv.                 Provide enough independence to the staff while guiding him/her.

v.                   Support, review the work done and guide the staff.

vi.                 At the end of the process assess the results as also the ability of the person and whether there is any training needs for that person.

Delegation as a way would allow leaders within the organization who can then become leaders outside the organisation and maybe world leaders of the tomorrow. Great management leaders normally are found to delegate substantially as they realize that if they try to do everything they simply can not.

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