I learnt a valuable lesson about delegation at the point in my career when I was promoted to a management role for the first time.
The feedback from a 360 degree exercise showed that I wasn’t delegating enough to my team – and that as a result I was taking on too much and heading towards burn-out.
It’s a common scenario people face when they pick up managerial responsibility. They feel they need to carry on doing their own job, while also taking on everything that goes with the territory of managing a team. It often takes time for them to realise that the skills that got them promoted are not what they being measured on now. The success criteria has shifted, and in fact managing people and getting the best out of the team isn’t an add-on to the new job, it is the new job.
I’ve learnt over time that letting go and delegating tasks to others makes sound operational sense. It gives you as the manager valuable head space and allows you to concentrate on the strategic aspects of your role and the important decisions that need to be made.
Being a good manager is a difficult balancing act. There’s often a real tension between leading the team (and dealing with the all the people-related issues that come with that) and getting your own day-to-day work done, as well as giving the right impression to senior management.
Managers often find it hard to know what management style to adopt – particularly if they have been promoted into a position where they now have authority over people who used to be colleagues. Should they take an autocratic stance and make it clear who’s in charge? Or should their role be one of coach and/or mentor?
Organisational culture plays a huge part in this. When managers are new, either to the business or to their role, they tend to follow the status quo that has been set by others in senior positions. The problem with this, however, is that many organisations are still hanging on to very out-dated, hierarchical styles of management.
There’s little doubt that businesses benefit from having engaged employees. The landmark piece of research in this field, the MacLeod Report, provided conclusive evidence that staff who enjoy their work and feel connected with their company are more loyal, productive and committed to their jobs.
But eight years on – and several more convincing research studies later – businesses still seem to be struggling with the concept, with surveys showing that levels of disengagement across industry are still high.
It’s a problem that companies cannot afford to ignore. The shock waves created by Brexit, a volatile economic climate and political upheavals around the globe have combined to create massive uncertainty in the workplace. If companies want to keep hold of talented employees, they need to make sure people feel valued, understand where the business is going and can see they have a part in its future.
With employment at an all-time high, companies are having to work harder than ever before to find and keep talented people. A structured approach to recruitment is fundamental to getting the right candidate in the right job at the right time.In a busy environment, however, managers are often so keen to get someone in post that they launch into the search without proper preparation.
Rushing into the hiring process often results in both time and money being wasted. Managers are flooded with inappropriate CVs, spend hours interviewing unsuitable candidates and can end up appointing someone who isn’t a good fit and leaves within a few months.
So what are the key steps you need to take to streamline your recruitment and make sure you end up with the best person for the job?