Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Art of Delegation

I’m so very excited. The company I work for has created some new opportunities for managers to design programs for unique ways to motivate employees to step up and take on more responsibility. I have to say, I believe I have found a fabulous trend-setting method and have no doubt they will earn me an award. I think other managers will begin to see the merit of my new procedures and follow suit. Of course, having an award-winning team will possibly cause team envy within the company.

I have wrestled with delegating duties for quite some time now. Often, the decision to delegate certain duties can have a company-wide impact on morale. To eliminate conflict, I thought I would get employees in sync with my ideas by starting each morning with a group chant, “Every day in every way, I think I’m such a prize. And that is why I’m here to work or at least to improvise.” I made that up myself and I have to say, it has done wonders for team spirit.

I needed to find someone within my department who is optimistic by nature, would anticipate when something unexpected could happen, and accept the fact that just because you are in charge doesn’t necessarily mean you are…in charge that is. Resilience is crucial and the best candidate must have a knack for setting realistic goals. In order to make the best selection, I had to create a robust testing procedure to choose the right person who would assume additional duties freeing me up to focus on the bigger picture.

I began with a simple ‘Facial Feedback’ study. I had my department line up, and one by one, I stood in front of each employee and smiled, then frowned, and finally produced the most hideous grimace I could. I have to say almost all employees mirrored the smiles and frowns. However, there were two that ran away screaming at the sight of the grimace. I shouted a threat that the boogeyman would be waiting for them by their car at the end of the day. Not only did they run faster but they were also eliminated from the pool of hopefuls.

The narrowing down process had begun. Next, during the work day, I snuck up behind each of the employees and surprised them by blowing an air horn behind their head. There were only three who did not jump high enough to have both feet off the ground at the same time. I decided I would be able to delegate duties to one of these three employees, two women and one man... my finalists.

The last thing I did with a magic marker is draw a six foot by six foot box on the floor of the lunch room and request that the three competitors stand in it. I asked them mathematical questions such as what is twelve, minus one? And what is eight divided by two? History questions included when was the war of 1812? And who was the Lincoln memorial named after? Clearly, they all were equally qualified. Their answers were correct, that is, until I asked them to step across the line. They gave me blank stares when I asked them to explain the corpuscular theory of light. They were stumped when I inquired about their knowledge of the origins of Greek mathematics. I felt frustration begin to set in. Clearly, none of them could think outside of the box.

I have decided to abstain from delegating any of my duties for the time being. At least until I find a more suitable aspirant. Until then, we will continue our morning chant, “Every day in every way, I think I’m such a prize. And that is why I’m here to work or at least to improvise.”

No comments:

Post a Comment