Delegate to Be Great

By Lisa Purichia
Partner, Director of Accounting Services & Retirement Plan Services

Every good manager knows that the key to improving productivity is to hire talented people with skillsets matching the needs of the workforce. But when a business faces challenging times like these, issues can arise when it comes to delegating responsibility.

Good delegation requires adequate orientation to the task or duty, timely follow-up, meeting deadlines and holding the delegate accountable for the quality of the project. Where managers become frustrated is when they do not see the results they wanted at the end of the process.

As any writer will tell you, writing is rewriting. For filmmakers, it’s all about editing. The same principle applies to any business project, especially now, as COVID continues to throw curveballs at us. You can’t expect your employees to knock it out of the park on the first swing.

If something doesn’t turn out as you expected, don’t just take it upon yourself to fix it. Work with your employees to reach the desired results. While completing the task yourself may seem like a quick solution, it only increases the burden on you, reducing your capacity to act in a supervisory mode. And it sends the message to the employee that they do not have your trust.

While it’s tempting to blame problems on a lack of drive on the part of the employee, in our experience, responsibility actually breeds motivation. The majority of workers — especially young professionals — want to do well in their endeavors, and they will bring their A-game to meet higher expectations.

The secret is that the delegation of authority must be performed in a way where the employee is held accountable to the level of expectations. When a project is turned in with sub-par results, the manager should clearly explain where their work is lacking and have them fix what’s wrong. Perhaps you could open the discussion with positive reinforcement to cushion the blow of the constructive criticism.

Good management is in many ways a teaching process, and that takes time and patience. By omitting the learning experience that comes with timely feedback and accountability, a supervisor is only setting the employee up for more failure.

If you really want to motivate your staff, you should delegate liberally, providing clearly defined expectations and giving employees the autonomy they need to complete a task. And let them know you’re holding them accountable to that prescribed high standard. But be encouraging as well and clearly demonstrate patience and confidence in their personal ability to deliver.

The only way to build a capable and qualified staff that will help your company grow is by investing your trust in them, so managers can feel comfortable delegating important duties and employees are properly motivated to deliver polished returns.

In the end, you’ll find you have a stronger team of employees, a less frustrated manager, and a culture of coaching that workers will pass on as they move up the chain.

If we can assist you further with your business affairs, please contact Lisa Purichia at (317) 608-6693 or email