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Healthy team: when to make mistakes and shift tasks to other employees correctly
20.11.2018 7576

Healthy team: when to make mistakes and shift tasks to other employees correctly

Delegation of authority and a culture of attitude to errors are necessary elements of coordinated team work. A good leader should also be a mentor who trusts his people. Why is competent transfer of duties and the ability to correctly make mistakes so important for the effective work of the company? Says expert SR, business coach Anya Pabst.

Anya Pabst Anya Pabst - Head of the Russian branch of BEITRAINING. Master of Sociology and Slavic Studies. Education "HR Manager", is a specialist in the field of crisis communication. He has experience working with people in study groups of various profiles both in Germany and abroad. Over the years, Anya Pabst has trained over 150 trainers. For more than 7 years her professional activity has been associated with work in the CIS countries - Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. BEITRAINING is an international franchise company and a certified strategic partner of the German and Austrian Franchising Union on the topic of “Professional Development”. He specializes in training and professional development in the field of management, trade, customer service and personal growth.

The success of the company depends on a well-thought-out organization and healthy relationships in the team. It is the leader who is most interested in ensuring that the tasks are completed efficiently and on time. But the well-known principle “Do you want the job to be done well, do it yourself” is not suitable for a leader who wants to trust his subordinates and achieve results.

Many managers often do not see the difference between the concepts of “delegate authority” and “push problems to another,” HR specialists are convinced. On the other hand, managers do not trust employees, believing that they themselves can do a better job, and this is a serious problem. In any case, this leads to a violation in the work process, reducing the effectiveness of the company and the trust of subordinates to the head.

Silence of mistakes does not lead to good

If the report on the fulfillment of the assignment can be far from reality, if employees are afraid to admit to their superiors in miscalculations, then they will try to justify or shift the blame on colleagues, suppliers and other external factors. Often the head of the company fears for his authority, therefore, he never admits his own mistake. He is ready for a lot to save face and does not notice that the desire to hide mistakes does not strengthen, but undermines his authority. If he can openly talk about his mistakes, the employees trust him more and are not afraid to admit their own mistakes.

Hiding mistakes is a dangerous practice in a company. Many of them can be corrected immediately after occurrence with almost no additional costs, but only if senior employees or colleagues are informed correctly and on time. More often, it happens so that errors are ignored until the damage caused leads to obvious difficulties and financial problems. The timely identification and elimination of errors is facilitated, first of all, by the open type of control.


Delegates - means trusts

How to understand, the head delegates part of the authority to his subordinate to perform specific work tasks or simply “shoves” certain work on him (that is, the employee has some responsibilities), but does not give him authority (rights) to carry out it? If the task is simply “shoved” onto the subordinate, he does not receive specific instructions and does not know what the result of his efforts should be. But if the authority is delegated to carry out a specific task, then the employee clearly knows what, when and by what means he has to do. The strategic aspects of managing the company are left to the discretion of the manager, who decides what and whom to entrust.

Management, interaction, comprehension are the keywords that determine the management activity in any enterprise. The effective distribution of the time required to devote to each of the above areas of responsibility determines a competent leader. If the manager feels a lack of time, this is the main sign that he does not properly distribute responsibilities - both his own and those of his subordinates.

“We share four degrees of delegation of authority,” says business coach Anya Pabst. “They are in four concepts: manage, guide, support and transmit.” A good habit for any leader should be the desire in communication with employees to move from management to direction, support and, ultimately, the transfer of authority.

The first step is management - implies the least degree of responsibility of the employee. He automatically follows the instructions without showing his own initiative - for example, arranges goods on shelves in a certain order or orders the necessary sizes from the warehouse.

The second stage is the direction - implies that the leader gives more general tasks, the execution time of which is possible variations. For example, before a seasonal window dressing change, you can simply indicate which brands to give preference to, but not “stand over the soul” by controlling each employee’s action.

Third and fourth stage - support and transfer - imply the maximum degree of responsibility of the employee. He is responsible not only for the process, but also for the result. The leader supports, advises, what to do in difficult cases, but trusts the employee to make decisions himself. For example, the employee responsible for participating in the exhibition himself contacts the organizers and decides how to arrange a booth or in which printing house to print information materials, and he only addresses the chief on the most serious issues.

The key to delegation of authority is trust. The leader must trust his employee - it is not in vain that he was once hired and selected for the current job. And the employee should trust his supervisor, for example, in that he relies on his opinion on certain issues, and subsequently asks exactly what he instructed to do. This is the basis of a healthy team, as direct performers most often adopt the work style set by the leadership.

Go there, I don’t know where

That is how often management assignments to their employees look. Ideally, the competent delegation of authority and the distribution of responsibilities should create such an atmosphere in the enterprise when each employee knows his area of ​​responsibility and performs tasks, being responsible for the result to his immediate supervisor. However, in practice, bosses often forget about the laws of logic, and therefore, instead of the work done, they get the opposite result.

Here are some examples of the most common management mistakes that disrupt the company. So, often the tasks themselves are not clearly formulated in the lips of management. If the employee has not received a clear idea of ​​what is required of him, it is not surprising that the result will not suit the management. Therefore, the desire to make the last year’s collection sold out faster is worth supplementing with permission to introduce discounts and an advertising campaign.

When giving the task, it is necessary to clearly stipulate the rights of the employee, since the powers of a particular employee in the framework of a task in the standard regulation and job description cannot be contained. It is not worth hoping that a subordinate, taking as a basis a list of his official duties, will independently determine the set of his powers in the framework of a specific work.

Supervisors often sin by issuing instructions without paying attention to the responsibilities of a particular employee. The problem is pushed onto the one who turned up by the arm. But the employee of the sales area should not perform the work of a loader, even if the manager demands to immediately unload the goods arrived. And the work of the cleaner, if something has broken or spilled in the hall, should not be performed by the seller. Of course, situations are different, but when confusion in responsibilities becomes not the exception, but the rule, we should expect problems in the team.

Many questions arise if the task is given verbally and is not recorded in any way on paper or in an electronic document. The manager may forget something, and then make a complaint to the employee. In turn, the employee may also lose sight of something if he himself did not write down his words for the manager immediately after receiving the assignment. A written order will save you from misunderstanding and possible problems.

Do not give tasks, set the task to solve problems

A good leader knows: if you do not pay enough attention to setting a task and organizing its implementation, then there is practically no chance of adequately distributing the work among subordinates. Therefore, you need to remember the basic premises that allow you to competently delegate authority:

  • the task should be clearly formulated;

  • the task should be delegated directly to its executor;

  • the person to whom the task is transferred must have permission to perform such tasks;

  • it is necessary to pay attention to the observance of hierarchy, subordination;

  • a person must possess the necessary professional knowledge and abilities;

  • a person can complete this task using his qualities and abilities better, faster and / or cheaper than you (the leader).

Ideally, the employees of the enterprise should not perform individual tasks, but be responsible for a certain range of problems. The area of ​​responsibility for each employee implies more independence and a more global approach to business. This manner of doing business develops personal responsibility among people and teaches them to see the prospects of the enterprise, and the leader can better get to know himself and his subordinates, as well as free up time for solving really important issues.


Fear perfectionism

And finally, if the leader correctly divided the responsibilities of subordinates and distributed tasks, he needs to remember one more danger, namely, perfectionism. One cannot expect that tasks will be completed at 100 or 150 percent. Employees, like all people, can be wrong. Therefore, you need to be prepared for the fact that even ideal workers can make mistakes. Any mistake can be corrected, especially if you solve the problem together.

You can't admit lying

Now let's talk about where the material started - about silencing mistakes. The habit of hiding mistakes is twofold. On the one hand, as already mentioned, the atmosphere in the team is formed by the leadership policy and the attitude of the authorities to their own miscalculations. Another aspect is the features of socialization of the employees themselves, the unspoken rules adopted in society.

If society, from school and before retiring, practices collective responsibility for mistakes, people subconsciously seek to hide shortcomings, rather than correct them. This allows you to stay in the comfort zone: not to increase professionalism, not to take responsibility for decisions, not to learn from unsuccessful examples. This is also facilitated by the often used system of monetary fines in retail, which ultimately brings much more losses than savings.

A profitable alternative to the penalty system is a reward system. For example, an employee who was not late for work during the reporting period, had no complaints from clients, gets the maximum bonus for standard earnings. The one who worked with defects will have a lesser bonus. Many Western companies have policies that impose punishment not for committing a mistake, but for concealing it. People tend to make mistakes, but employees have no reason to make mistakes twice: if the error is known and corrected, it is less likely that another employee will commit the same mistake.

If the mistake is followed by sanctions, the guilty employee may leave the company, and his successor is likely to stumble in the same place. A constructive attitude towards errors will allow them to be discussed with other members of the team and reduce the likelihood of their recurrence. Such a policy helps to reduce staff turnover, staff involvement in the overall business process and the accumulation of experience.

A constructive attitude towards errors facilitates the proper delegation of authority. If a manager is afraid to entrust subordinates with important tasks, and they are afraid for them to take in fear to make a mistake and be punished, one does not have to talk about the development of the company or the motivation of its employees. Conversely, if an employee is not afraid to take responsibility and take the initiative, knowing that he has the right to make a mistake, he will be able to answer not only for the process, but also for the result.

As a result, if a person is given such a right to make a mistake, a competent chef turns into a mentor, inclined to discuss mistakes, instruct and praise for achievements. Trustful relationships in the team, support for initiatives and transparency of corporate processes turn errors into experience on the basis of which professional qualities can be improved. Trust, responsibility, transparency of relationships within the company - the guarantee that the tasks will be completed correctly and on time. Correct delegation of duties and competent attitude to mistakes will help to create and maintain the most important thing - your team, on which the well-being of the company depends.


This article was published in the 141 issue of the print version of the magazine.

Delegation of authority and a culture of attitude to errors are necessary elements of coordinated team work. A good leader should also be a mentor who trusts his people. ...
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