Welcome everyone. Welcome to our webinar today While your listening today and for a more active learning experience, use the ActionSheet we provided for you in the reminder email or download it now by going to the link on the screen. You can see it’s z.umn.edu/ActionSheet The formatting for this works best if you open it in Microsoft Word. Use it to follow along and jot down notes. This also becomes your take-away to help reinforce learning and also something you can reference any time So don’t worry if you don’t fill it out completely during the webinar So, I am Emily Tichich and I’ll be presenting the material today. During the Q & A session I’ll be joined by Brandon Sullivan who’s the senior director of Leadership and Talent Development So thank you for attending our webinar and delegation. We have lots of ideas and resources to show you in the next 45 minutes and as we do so, I hope you’ll be thinking about your own situation and circumstances in your current role and how these might spark some improvements no matter how small. We don’t expect you to be able to change your approach to delegation all at once, but we encourage you to examine your current approach based on best practices and identify those areas for improvement or just that need further thought So thank you for attending our webinar and delegation. We have lots of ideas and resources to show you in the next 45 minutes and as we do so, I hope you’ll be thinking about your own situation and circumstances in your current role and how these might spark some improvements no matter how small. We don’t expect you to be able to change your approach to delegation all at once, but we encourage you to examine your current approach based on best practices and identify those areas for improvement or just that need further thought. At this point we have two questions for you and you’ll see them there on the slide: Think of a time when you tried to delegate and it didn’t go well. What would you have done differently? And the second one, Think of a time when you could have delegated but you didn’t. Why didn’t you? So take a minute, please think about these questions in your current or a previous circumstance Okay, super interesting! Thank you to everyone for responding. It looks like there are a lot of reasons what you would of differently or could have done differently. I see a lot about guidance, directions — um yup, maybe it wasn’t a great fit with their skills. Yeah, and then a time when you could have delegated but didn’t. Why didn’t you? Yeah, maybe you felt like it was your responsibility, maybe you— there was a misunderstanding there. Yup, maybe it had to do with follow-up Could be lots of different reasons so thank you for sharing and keep thinking about those reasons as we work through our information today. It’s so clear that challenges are an inevitable part of delegation and there are a lot of questions around how to do it How to make it effective? I think the fact that you are attending the webinar today demonstrates an interest in both sharing your experiences and also hopefully finding some tips for finding how to delegate effectively. And of course I would add to that realizing that you’re not alone. Delegation sounds like it should be something easy, right? Asking someone to do something. It’s just not that simple and I hope our webinar today uncovers some of that today for you So, what is our focus today? Well, like I said, we are going to guide you through understanding what delegation is? And what it might look like for you in your current supervisory role So we’ll look at these three questions here— there’s three main topics here What is delegation? What are we talking about when we talk about delegation? What are the benefits of delegating tasks and also of course what challenges exist and you’ve already touched on some of those in your chat How can I delegate effectively? So how can tasks be delegated effectively, not just delegated but delegated effectively We’ll take a look at some of the challenges supervisors often face in the process in the process of delegation. And highlight key questions that every supervisor should be asking themselves when thinking about possibly delegating a task. Alright, so let’s dive into our first part and think about what are we talking about when talking about delegation So, here we have a definition for you, nice and simple. What is delegation? Delegation is when you empower and entrust your employee to take responsibility for a task or activity Of course, this looks simple, we like it that way but we also have to remember, delegation is, it can be very complex. And we will go through the steps here in a little bit, and it can also look very different depending on your work environment, your direct reports, and other factors as well The other thing to remember about delegation is that it takes commitment and a well thought through approach. It is easy to assign someone a task. Right? We can call that delegation, but it is not going to be successful for you or the employee if you haven’t given it a lot of thought or your employee isn’t well-prepared for it. Notice the word empower here, in that first part of the definition Research shows that effective delegation requires you have carefully considered how to set up your employee for success. Especially, how to give them enough authority over the task to invest themselves in the work. Delegation is a dynamic process that requires an iterative approach that acknowledges that possibility for mistakes in the process and also needs to be constantly reassessed Another important thing to remember about delegation is that it can benefit everyone So today we would like you to hold onto the idea that delegation is an opportunity for you and your employees and is worth committing to in a thoughtful way. Because when done right, learning to delegate effectively will continue to positively impact you, your employees, and your department for years. And we’ll,
we’ll talk about this in more detail in the upcoming slides, but this is just something to think about as we move on As I already mentioned, today we are going to focus on best practices for how to delegate effectively. First, let’s take a look at some of the common challenges you may perceive and then we will discuss the benefits of delegation So we have a poll for you. As you know, it’s a supervisor’s responsibility to help develop your direct reports and of course delegation is one way to do this. Everyone wants to work smarter not harder. But what gets in our way, of course things get in our way. So I have a list here of five things and I’m going to ask you have you ever thought any of these So I will read them out and then ask you to identify which ones you’ve thought Have you ever thought I don’t want to be seen as not working hard enough or not doing enough? Have you ever thought that my employee is committed to quality or motivated enough to do a quality job Have you ever thought everything will fall apart if I don’t do it? Have you thought I don’t have enough time to train my employees for a new task? My employees don’t have enough time for another task So please identify which ones you have ever thought and you can enter your answers into the poll. You can choose more than one answer of course Thank you to everyone who responded. If you’ve thought any of these before, you’re definitely not alone. Let’s see what the results say Okay interesting, looks like our highest one is— would be letter D. I don’t have time to train my employees for a new task. Yeah totally, I mean who as much time as they want The other ones too are ranking pretty high That first one, I don’t want to be seen as not working hard enough — yeah, or not doing enough. Right, it’s hard to kind of not have that visibility. We’ll talk about that in just a minute. And then my employees don’t have time for another task. Right, they probably— I mean that might be the perception that they’re already doing enough So for the first one, like I mentioned, it’s all about visibility. You know— it’s a really common sentiment to not being seen or not wanting to be seen as not working hard enough. This is true, you want visibility if you’re a supervisor. You know— visibility for your work, but remember supervising is part of your work and if you’re able to delegate to an employee or a team, the work that comes out of that is reflected in your department or unit which also includes you The second one about maybe questioning the employee’s commitment or commitment to quality or motivation is a very real concern. If you know this to be true, then yeah— it could maybe stop here— it may not be advisable to delegate at this time, but make sure you ask yourself how do you know this to be true Have you actually had this conversation with your employee? If you don’t know, and this is more of a fear or a bias, it is your responsibility to find out whether they are actually interested or willing to take on the task or project So just a reminder, always trying to make an informed decision And I think the fewest of you responded to this one, the idea that everything will fall apart if I don’t do it. If you did respond yes, you are definitely not alone. I mean you may feel that you are ultimately responsible for the performance, which is poor or otherwise of your employees. I just once again want a gentle reminder that this is not a compelling reason not to delegate. As a supervisor, you can foster the conditions for successful delegation by clarifying expectations around the task and you know— defining what success looks like and we’ll talk about that in more detail later in the presentation You may feel you may feel like you don’t have enough time There is no question, effective delegation takes time. Though there is an initial investment of time in the delegation process, if the delegation is successful and you can certainly set it up for success, there will be a longer term return on that investment, which may allow you to shift your focus to other priorities. Wouldn’t that be nice? This last one, “My employees don’t have enough time…” Right. It’s certainly seems true a lot of time, when employees appear to be spread thin. However, sometimes this is just an excuse not to delegate, the truth is, as a supervisor and I realize this is maybe harder than it sounds, it is part of your responsibility to create opportunities for your employees to develop their skills, knowledge, and abilities. This can include helping them reprioritize their tasks or finding a way to take tasks off their plate to free up time for this new, newly delegated task Great, so thank you for your poll responses, very interesting. There’s no doubt that the challenges are real. I hope you as supervisor can find a way to address these without letting them get in the way of thinking about how you can delegate tasks to your employees, because, remember, when done right, delegation can benefit everyone It helps develop your employees. I think you
could imagine lots of ways it could help develop your employees, but some of the things that come to mind are: it makes them feel more confident in their work it gives them more authority over decisions and have them reach outcomes it also gives them more opportunities to receive feedback, which may sound familiar if you are an experienced supervisor It also leads to the perception that their work is more impactful, because of their awareness of broader goals and how their work fits in So those are several ways your employees may benefit from delegation It also helps you become a better supervisor In one way it might do that it helps you work smarter not harder. You know there are tasks that you and only you are meant to do within your role, but if their are tasks you can delegate, you are able to manage the work at a higher level Another way it helps you is that it gives you more opportunities to communicate and coach, helping you become a better supervisor And obviously you can see the trickle down to your employees as well Finally it helps improve results for your department or unit Some ways it might to that is that it fosters coordination between departments and teams It can lead to higher employee engagement through increased motivation and production It also encourages innovation on the part of the employees So I hope that these three reasons— benefits of delegation resonate with you in your current or previous or you know future experiences So at this point, we’ve talked about the challenges and benefits of delegation. Let’s switch gears and consider actions to take when delegating. We’ll devote the rest of the presentation to illustrating the best practices on how to delegate effectively So, here we see an illustration of the delegation process, as we said earlier, delegation is a process that requires time, commitment, and a well thought through approach. The best practices around delegation include these five steps identifying the task and you can see that on your top left identifying the team member who you might want to delegate to. Hmmm.. and that’s a question mark as to who that person would be would be identifying if this is a good time to delegate this task. And that’s not just a task of how busy you are, but it’s also a question of the task itself in the process is communicating the task details to your employee. That is a very complex task that we will look at in more detail And of course, the last step is the support and follow-up. Let’s take a look at these in more detail The first step is to identify tasks you as a supervisor do that can be delegated. So what could I delegate? What do you do? This is important. Most of the tasks you do can be delegated but there are certain categories of tasks that can’t be. One of these are your supervisory responsibilities like performance management, hiring decisions, etc. I’m sure you can think of others you wouldn’t want to or maybe shouldn’t delegate. Others would be tasks that involve confidential employee information. And then of course, you can’t easily delegate tasks for which you have unique expertise and experience. So thinking about what could I delegate and maybe how realistic would it be that someone else could be as successful So let’s take a look at what this looks at for Kate. So she is here in front of you She is supervisor at the U. She wants to prioritize her time and decides to give a project to someone on her staff. Probably sounds familiar— right? She takes stock of all the work she does and identifies four tasks that could potentially be delegated So here, out of these four projects that she identifies, which one is the best to delegate? So there are four options here First she could delegate creating a program plan for a system-wide initiative. What do you think? Or how about B? She could delegate the on-boarding of a new employee Or maybe C, she could delegate the compilation and analysis of data for her to present in front of key stakeholders Or maybe D, she could delegate the conduction of a meeting to follow up on the team’s employee engagement results Okay— so take a minute to think and then indicate your answers in the poll. Thank you to everyone who responded. It looks like most of you chose C. Yeah, and we will talk about that one in a minute. Let’s take a look at the other ones for just a minute. Some of you chose A, several of you chose B, and then a few of you chose D. Let’s take a look at the delegation and ask ourselves why or why not. Why would we delegate or why not for those tasks So the first, to create a program plan for a system-wide upgrade initiative This task could be delegated, but it may not be the best option because of its scope and because of its impact on the department The next one, the onboarding of a new employee well, ultimately the supervisor is always going to be responsible for their new hire so while parts of onboarding could be delegated to your employees, and maybe this is what you were thinking but, while part of onboarding could be delegated to your employees, supervisors need to own this task and delegation requires
giving your employee authority over decisions which may not be appropriate here D. The last one D, conducting that meeting, talking about employee engagement results This is similar to onboarding, so a manager needs to take responsibility for taking action on their employee engagement results. While this will involve cooperation and discussion with team members for sure, the project as a whole would not be fit for delegation C. So that leaves C. If you chose C, I agree Out of these four choices, this would be the best one to decide to delegate. The reason it’s a good choice to delegate is because the task isn’t managerial and its not confidential The task is important and is something Kate could take off her plate and delegate to an employee So the next step, after you’ve looked at what should you delegate, the next step is who? And that’s the question mark there Who on my team could do this? And that’s a big question. You need to identify people who have the skills for the task or who would benefit from the development opportunity So some questions to consider are: Does the employee successfully accomplish their current responsibilities? Do they deliver the results expected of them? If the don’t they may not be a good candidate? Another question to consider is to think about what skills are needed to be successful in this task or project? Does your direct report have those skills? If they don’t, would it be a good development opportunity? And we’ll talk about that more in just a minute Another thing to consider is whether your employee is motivated or wanting to develop and grow. Motivation is a huge factor in delegation So are they interested in this task. People of course or more likely to be engaged and achieve if they are motivated. Another thing to consider of course is has the employee been a part of your team for a while. That’s vague, but have they been on your team long enough to know their role, their current role If the person is too new to their role. It is probably not a good idea to delegate to them, and I think you can kind of see why And again, we’ll talk about this again in just a minute with our scenario So, let’s think back to Kate. Now that she has identified that she wants to delegate that compilation and analysis of the date to present in front of key stakeholders. She needs to decide who she’ll delegate it to She wants to find someone interested and that could be successful with a little bit of help from her of course She has three people in mind. Let’s take a look. Jill, Francisco, and Seth So Jill, and you can see the descriptors there under the pictures. Jill is the rockstar She completes all of her work on time or ahead of schedule, the quality is always excellent, and she’s been motivated by newer responsibilities However, she’s somewhat of a crutch to Kate and because she’s seen as so reliable, she’s been burdened with a lot of responsibility and Kate worries about overburdening her Francisco— okay, he’s another high-performing team member like Jill. He’s been on the team for 6 months, he’s a stable high performer, but he hasn’t expressed much interest in previous skills or project. Kate wonders if this could be an opportunity for him to feel motivated for a new task And then we have Seth. Seth has been on the team for 5 years, he often makes deadlines, he makes excuses for the poor quality of his work because he says he would rather be involved in more important projects. He hasn’t shown motivation for improving his work in the past, but Kate wonders if delegating this task to him could be a good development opportunity and maybe help him find more motivation in his role So based on these descriptions, who should she delegate to? A: Jill, B: Francisco, C: Seth Yeah, super interesting, wow! So some of you chose Jill, yup! Some of you— many of you chose Francisco, very interesting. Yup, he’s a high performer. And then a few of you— several of you chose Seth as well. So this is super interesting and I’m glad to see a variety of responses here, because it really shows us what are the factors we need to be thinking about when we are thinking about delegation. Now I have to say too, you know your employees best, and if you don’t, this is an opportunity to find out what motivates them and how they feel. However, some of you will like this and some of you won’t Our best response is Jill. So maybe you are surprised by that, let’s think about why Now again, this might be different for you and your current circumstance, but let’s take a look at Jill. She’s a high potential, high performer who is motivated to do strong work. Yeah, and there’s that though risk of overburdening her even more than she already is. So Kate, her supervisor, really needs to help her reprioritize her current tasks to make room for the new task. The delegated task would be a stretch pull for Jill, but Kate knows this will motivate her and give her a development opportunity that she had expressed interest in. And if you remember, she was the one who had expressed the highest motivation in doing— in taking on new responsibilities Francisco, yeah I can see why many of you guessed him— or selected him. That’s not a bad selection but let’s think why this might not be the best selection. He’s a
stable high performer, but he is still learning the ropes and it’s not good to delegate a new task to someone who is new to their position. And again, new is vague, it could be he’s been through the three months, but in this case, he’s been there six months and maybe for you, that might not seem new But if we think about this, he might be interested in development opportunities in the future, but for now he may still be busy learning his position. And we definitely don’t want to set him up for something he’s not ready for. So that’s a judgement call Seth, Seth says he wants to be more involved in more important projects and that might be true. And Kate honestly, she’s tempted to delegate the task to him to increase his motivation in his position. I mean, again that could be a stretch goal and we definitely want to increase his motivation. However, and I want you to think about this for a minute He has been a low performer while he has been on her team and he has been on the team for five years. And in that time, he does not regularly meet his performance expectations So I do not think this is a question of whether he needs to be delegated to its more the issue that Kate needs to deal with his low performance directly instead of delegating new tasks to him So I hope that gave you some things to think about and think about your selection and kind of what that would look like within your own department or unit. Because figuring out which of your employees are able to successfully able to carry out a delegated task is a crucial step in delegation. You don’t want to delegate to someone that doesn’t meet all the expectations for their current role. Even if they claim they have potential to accomplish another task. For more information on what to look for when considering who delegate to, you can see the quick guide to assessing for performance potential on readiness. This quick guide is also linked on your action sheet. So it maybe in this step two that you decide there isn’t a right person to delegate to for any number of reasons. And don’t be afraid of this, but you can table the idea for a later date after you’ve given it more thought. Okay, so after we’ve thought about what and who, let’s think about timing Timing is a little bit complex, there’s definitely different sides to this. So is this a good time to delegate. You’ll need to determine this by considering some of these questions that you see in front of you How soon is the task due? If you are facing a close deadline, it is probably not the ideal time to delegate Do you have the time to explain the task? Right, because delegation requires a conscientious consideration of the employee’s motivation and communicating the project, task, and its goals— clearly, that takes time Next, can you commit to supporting the employee? So many supervisors take a short-term view of delegation which involves task completion, but not much more than that. So effective delegation, and I think if you only remember one thing today, I think this is really important, effective delegation takes time and focus on the manager’s part. It’s an investment in your employee’s development and an opportunity to empower them. This takes time upfront but it has lasting effects And lastly, does your employee have enough time to successfully complete the task before the deadline? And that’s related to the first one there. In this one though, consider the learning curve for the task and the current workload for the employee. In Kate’s circumstance, she had to think about helping Jill reprioritize her other tasks so that she could have a manageable workload. So time Like I said, in Kate’s situation, she identifies Jill as the person to delegate to but also needs to reconsider the deadline and Jill’s other responsibilities. So, if this task needed to be done in such a short amount of time that Jill couldn’t handle, this would not be a good time to delegate, however, since the task wouldn’t be due for a few weeks, which in this case would be realistic. Kate decides to help Jill reprioritize her other tasks and responsibilities As you’re thinking about what we’ve been talking about so far, then let’s also move on to what our next steps would be. So now that we’ve determined what you’ll delegate, who you’ll delegate to, and the appropriateness of its timing— What would you do next? There are three choices here. A, communicate roles and expectations. B, establish authority and deadlines. C, set a process for follow up and feedback Yeah, great! If you chose A, so the question was— yeah, what will you do next? Yeah, if you chose A, you are right. Thank you for your responses. If you chose B or C, you are right, but we would do A first. So you are right, those are crucial, all of these are crucial part of the next steps in delegation, but A is what you would do next. Let’s break down what you will need to communicate to your employees to help prepare them for success So communication is what we are going to look at next. Start by scheduling a one-on-one meeting, make sure you have enough time to go over the aspects of the project So, the question is: what do I need to do to prepare the employee for success? And if you remember back on our diagram this is one of our last steps but one of the most important So here are the key considerations for clear communication in your one-on-one meeting Make sure to first describe the task or the project
Second, set context and provide background information as needed Third explain why you selected them for the task Fourth clarify authority And agree on a process for follow-up/feedback and your involvement So obviously, depending on the task or on the employee, you might need to put more or less emphasis on some aspects, but in general its a best practice to consider communicating the following items during your meeting that you see there on the slide in front of you Let’s take a closer look at these five steps First, describe the task or project. You will need to clearly communicate this to your employee So during your 1:1 meeting, here are the things that would be helpful to communicate: What is the task? What is the risk level that you can tolerate? What are the goals of the project? What does success look like? When does it need to get done? How long should it typically take? What are the key milestones? So there’s a lot of information there to think about there when describing the task or project Next, you need to set the context of the project and provide any background information that might be helpful. I like to remind myself that people can’t read our minds, so even if something is very clear to you, making it very clear to the person you delegate to also is extremely important. Because, your goal is for your employee to be successful During the meeting, discuss any of these questions: How does this project or task contribute to the big picture? So thinking about strategy and also thinking about its potential impact Who would your employee need to work with? Are there are any connections or introductions to be made, so you could go over those in your meeting as well Also, What are some of the things that might affect the project or task’s success? Are there any competing priorities? And then of course, what resources might they need to complete the project? The third step is explaining why you selected them for the task. I think this could be easily overlooked, but is still very important. It is important because it is an opportunity to highlight their benefit in its involvement in this task. Like what’s in it for them? Why is it a good opportunity for them? So depending on the task and the employee you may have different ideas of how to talk about this, but some questions to consider are: How will this project help them build new skills? Would there be an opportunity to establish or strengthen connections with colleagues? And of course, could it be useful experience to get for a bigger role in the future? So again, thinking about development Clarifying authority— This is an another important step. So as we’ve already seen, effective delegation requires giving authority to your employee when delegating a task. There is no way around this. Giving authority for them to do the project and communicate this to all key players is important. Authority can look different depending on the task For example, the employee may be asked to make decisions and implement them, OR make decisions, but notify you before implementing, OR make recommendations for the final decision, which you will have final approval over. Figuring out the level of authority they have is crucial in any delegation process- if they don’t have enough authority they will never ‘own’ the task and learn what they need to learn It’s also important, obviously, because it motivates your employee to be invested in the success of the task, instead of the feeling that they are— you know, doing someone else’s job In clarifying authority, it’s important to remember that communicate that to all of the project stakeholders. And we’ve got some nice diagrams here to hopefully illustrate this and they might look familiar if you’ve attended any of our previous webinars or look at our quickguides. If you are feeling like after some time the project is “back on your plate,” like you’ve delegated but somehow it’s boomeranged back to you- then you know there is an opportunity there for clarification. This might look different for different people of course. For example, you might find that the employee is coming to you with questions that involve influencing others or you might find others coming to you directly, instead of communicating with the employee and that’s represented here on screen.. Here, as you can see in front of you, you are becoming a center of communication, or a “hub.” As a supervisor, the way out of this is to set the expectation that team members will talk with each other directly and then provide feedback and coaching to reinforce this. So setting the expectation and following up. The change in this communication direction may take time- remember, asking others to communicate with them directly is part of the authority that the employee needs to make progress on their task For more information about this, you can see the Quick Guide to Establishing Norms and Expectations, which is linked on your Action Sheet Finally, so the final step in communication Communicate the expectations for the process So consider clarifying, for example: How will you track progress? How and when would the feedback be provided? When would they involve you? How will the project or task be evaluated? Once you had your 1:1 delegation conversation, remember to follow up. If the project is a stretch assignment, it’s especially important
to provide continuous coaching and support Agreeing on the feedback process that was mentioned in the previous step is helpful because it provides an opportunity to: course correct, coach and develop, and hold people accountable You might remember our coaching model and you can see it there on the screen in front of you. Providing ongoing coaching and support – which is in the center of the circle there is crucial to new skill development and is a good way to hold people accountable. For more information on Coaching, see the Quick Guide to Coaching which is also linked on your Action Sheet Follow up is also where a lot of initially successful assignments can go wrong. So one of the common mistakes is to “jump in and save” the project This is connected to the learning opportunity- don’t jump in and ‘save’ a project if it seems like something is going wrong. I know it’s tempting, but of course there are bound to be mistakes and that’s just part of working together, but this is an important part of the learning process. Give feedback so the person can learn how to think about the project and ask questions to figure out how to be effective and encourage them to ask for feedback that’s an expectation of the process. Conducting a “Lessons learned” can be a helpful technique to address what went well and what can be better too Another common pitfall mitigated by an effective follow up process is micromanaging. So even the best of us— it’s tempting. Avoid that temptation to dive into every detail and only give over authority on the task when it’s comfortable for you. Giving constructive, specific feedback is important for your employee’s development, but if your feedback looks like micromanagement you may end up with an employee who becomes resistant to development opportunities which is the opposite of what we want Finally, remember to recognize your employee for their contributions and celebrate success in a way that is meaningful for them. This might look different: a thank you, public recognition, opportunity for promotion, different levels of authority – take time to find out what this looks like for you and your employee Great, so here we are again. Delegation is when you empower and entrust your employee to take responsibility for a task or activity, but it takes commitment and a well thought through approach and there you see a summary of the steps again So back to Kate, we didn’t forget about her, she is definitely off to a good start She is confident in the task she is going to delegate and in her choice of Jill, but it’s also clear that she has a few more steps to take in the process to ensure a successful delegation experience for both of them. So thinking about time, communication, and of course that follow up Remember, delegation helps: develop your employees improve your supervisory skills and also improve results for your department of unit Of course, by improving communication throughout your team and department and also resulting in higher employee engagement Thanks for your attention up until this point We just have one more slide and then we will move into the Q & A. The last thing we want to mention, of course, what is the cost of not delegating? Earlier we referenced several reasons why you might be hesitant to consider delegating tasks to your employees— totally understandable, I think that’s part of the reason we are talking about delegation today because we kind of want to put those on the table. But not delegating could lead to lots of unintended results, like resentment— I’m sure you could come up with a list too, but my list is resentment, unfinished tasks, poor work quality, disengaged employees, and of course, ultimately, burnout which would be a bummer. I hope it’s clear at this point that delegation is a process that is worth taking the time to think through, since it can benefit everyone involved Emily: Great, so again, thank you for your attention so far. I know that was a lot of information. But let’s get our questions answered. So with me here today is Brandon Sullivan— hi Brandon Brandon: Hi Emily:Thank you so much for joining us today, you know how much we appreciate your insights As Brandon is here to talk with us about to address some of your questions or at least as many as we have time for, we will do this for about ten minutes or so. If it’s okay Brandon, I would like to start with a question that a lot of people are wondering about That question is— and I think a lot of our audience members might agree with this—-but, I’m just wondering, what are some of the common ways you see delegation being misunderstood at the U. I think that is something that is on people’s mind Brandon:Yeah, for sure. And delegation is really supposed to be about building capacity on your team and developing people so they can take on more, they can take on higher level work and that kind of thing. So that’s really the key purpose, now some of the ways that goes sideways here, and not just here, this is typical on a lot of organizations And one is when managers/supervisors are feeling overwhelmed and we’ve all been there. And many of you are probably there right now You got a full plate, you got plenty to do, and someone comes along and drops another thing on your plate. And you’re like, “okay, how am I going to get all of this done?” And if your delegation is coming from that place, there’s nothing wrong with that— that’s probably a situation where you would probably want to start thinking about delegating But often times were focused on I’m overwhelmed,
but I have a lot to do. I just need to get this off my plate and off my mind because someone else can do it. And that can lead to being a little too hands-off on the project, kind of what I would consider the divide and conquer approach. Okay I want you to take this, go do it, come back when you’re done There are certainly circumstances where you can do that and that’s effective, but most of the time, what’s going to happen is something is going to not be quite what you need it to be. And you need a little more involvement in terms of involvement and feedback and coaching And another we see a lot here, and this is I think embedded in our culture at the university Supervisors are very concerned with making mistakes. And I think the reality in a lot of places is that you’re going to get in more trouble if you make mistakes then if you don’t innovate and we are trying to move the needle on that. And in some units, that isn’t the case, but in general, as a supervisor, if you hand work over, if you delegate it, you might be worried, if they don’t do it quite right, am I going to be in trouble as the supervisor? Or is it okay? So, there’s kind of that piece that can lead to micromanaging or not delegating. And the last piece is just around the feedback and coaching. Because that is something that is often kind of misunderstood here, what that really involves is sometimes you get really focused on the what rather than the how of the work. So okay—- did you get the work done, yes or no? But how did you go about doing it? And so for example, if you are delegating something, you might want someone to take a broader perspective on that work than they typically do. If you’re not helping them think that through, well how do I move from a real narrow focus to a broader focus, which is how they do the work, then it may not be successful. So those are some of the things that we see. Now, what I would like to do is ask Olga Alepova, manager of supervisor development to talk just a little bit about why. Because this gets at this question a little bit. What is it that we see in our data? What do we know about the needs of supervisors at the university? Why delegation is so important? And how does it fit into the broader skill set we have for our supervisors. Olga, do you want to speak a little bit? Olga: Sure, hi everyone. So, there are a few things we consider when we select a topic for these webinars essentially. First is the feedback from you, the supervisors. Every time we do a webinar like this, we ask you to complete an evaluation where we have questions about the barriers that pinpoints, as well as other topics you would like to learn about So most supervisors of the U are working managers So the topic of time as in, I don’t have time to do it or I don’t know how to fit this into my overly busy schedule comes up every time. So hopefully learning about how to delegate effectively would help better prioritize your time and make sure to complete that evaluation at the end of this webinar Another thing is that we look at employee engagement data. And from 2017 results, two items have lower scores. The first one is, “my manager/supervisor coaches me in my development” and another one is around equitable distribution of the workload. So delegating effectively can help improve those. As it provides an opportunity for you as a supervisor to coach your employees around the task. Both in what needs to be completed as Brandon said and how to complete it. And finally, we’ve talked to a lot of HR leads in college and the topic of delegation is something that was shared with us that supervisors were having questions about. So it’s the three points the evaluations from the webinars, employee engagement data, and our HR business partners and colleges. And also, I feel that we have covered during the webinar how delegation fits into the broader skillset. To delegate effective its communication, assessing the potential, clarifying the roles and responsibilities Those are all of the skills that are essential to become a better supervisor. I feel like there are many more, but the two I would like to emphasize are setting and communicating clear expectations around the task and then it’s all about feedback and coaching. So, just kind of in a snapshot Emily: Thank you Olga and Brandon so far, that was really insightful. Brandon— one other question has come up too that I think we have a little bit of time for. Which is,
what are— so everyone is thinking about, how do I make it work? And there’s lots of nuisance, like what if it fails? What if the communication is bad? All of these questions on the how to do it. But I think one of the broader questions about that is: what are some of the factors that help delegation on the organizational level? So kinda what are the ingredients so to speak Brandon: Oh yeah, yeah, definitely. And I’m seeing a lot of questions coming in that are specific to the situation that I think reflect some of these broader issues that we are trying to deal with as an institution. You know, delegation as a supervisor, there’s skills, that we just went through some of those that you can use, but one of the things that is really, really critical is accountability And we use that word a lot here and some people hate that word or whatever. But, if you think about accountability in terms of let’s say your supervisor and you’re really good at delegating. So you are really good at giving work to people on your team, developing them so their skillsets grow, retaining and engaging them, expanding the ability of your team to take on bigger work. Are you recognized and rewarded for that? Is that something that your own supervisor and the leaders in your college and the leaders in your unit would say, “wow, they’re really good at that.” And that’s a good thing, we need that. Does that open doors for you in terms of interesting projects or even promotions or even job opportunities within your college or unit or even across university? Conversely, if you see one of your peers really doing a bad job of delegating They’re not doing any of the things we are talking about. Are there consequences for that? Does anyone care? Doe that get noticed? That’s one of the things that’s really a driver of effective delegation in an organization If you don’t have the accountability on the recognition side of that as well as the consequences for not doing it well. Then it can be really hard as a lone supervisor trying to do this, to be effective in it, because you are going to kind of feel like nobody notices or cares. So that’s why its super important for colleges and units to get together within themselves, work on this and how do we create a culture that supports that. And the other piece of it is really around a culture of learning and development, and that gets at the risk tolerance. If we are going to delegate and we want supervisors to delegat, we also need to give them the credit for doing that and know that there will be some mistakes And the delegation should be reasonable, we don’t people delegating things that could bring down the college down financially. But if we are talking about reasonable risks, we need to have some tolerance then that if a supervisor goes to their supervisor, I’ve got some bad news, this didn’t go as quickly as we thought. But the reason was because they delegated it to a high potential that they were developing, that is okay. And then that will make sense as the explanation. I don’t know if that’s true now in many places. So those are some of the organizational factors that we kind of need to figure out and that we need to do a little more to support our supervisors Emily: Great, thank you for the response And I think you touched on some of the questions that people have especially about failure, like how do you deal with delegating a task that isn’t as successful as you wanted it to be, how do you deal with that? And I can see that that is a huge piece of hesitation, because it feeds into hesitation because we don’t want to risk it. Great, so we have just about 7-8 minutes left. I don’t know if there any other burning questions. I see there are several that have been submitted, I’m not sure if we have time Brandon: I could take a few. There’s a lot that we could dive into here and these are all really, really good questions, because delegation is not simple, but it should be So one of the questions that came up is around— and there I see a few versions of this— how do you delegate to people who have been there longer than you? You’re the supervisor but they’re maybe older than you, they’re more seasoned than you, they’ve been around the university longer, and you are trying to drive some change. I see this all of the time. And this is happening more and more, where people are coming in from other organizations, hired specifically to try to change the way something is done so it is more effective and then you as a supervisor are saying, “I was hired to do this but no one seems interested in doing this.” And that’s a tough spot and there isn’t a simple solution but some of the things to really dive into— one is to really take the time to explain why to those team members, why the approach you want to take that is a change is going to be more effective. And you may get eyerolls and you may get people not believing you for sure but it’s important to take that time. You may win over some people who were skeptical if you do a job in articulating why that new approach is the approach, why is it so good?
And then giving people opportunity to have some input. One of the easiest ways to create resistance to change is to give people the sense that it is happening to them. And it’s hard to avoid that dynamic if you are brought in as a supervisor if you are brought in to drive change. But you can mitigate that a lot by asking questions, seeking to understand, if you are getting pushback, you don’t need to agree with the pushback but giving people a chance to explain why. Why did they think the way they think? And you don’t want to give them forever to do that, you could spin your wheels for days, but having some opportunity to do that. Another thing, and this actually came up actually some other questions, get your own supervisor on board. Not just with the idea that yeah things to change, and yeah we need to do things differently around here but specifically the things you want to do differently. What are those new methods— those new tools, those new approaches that you want to implement that you’re getting some resistance to. Get your supervisor to buy into that and to fully support that. Because one of the classic things I see here is that a team member who’s been here for a long time is asked to do something different, they don’t like it. They go up a level or two and complain and the supervisor who is trying to drive change kind of gets scolded. And nobody above them understand what the issues are but they really just know okay someone is complaining and I know this person because we’ve been here for 20 years. And so getting your own supervisor on board and maybe their supervisor, maybe your peers. Who are those key stakeholders who you need them to have your back when your own team starts making some noise about it. And then at the end of the, my experience here is to persist, don’t give up. Persist, keep going. And if it gets to this, address it as a performance issue Emily: Thank you, that was very helpful. I think that was great because you addressed several issues that came up in several of the different questions within that one response Yes, persistence. So I am going to take listeners, I am going to take you back to your action sheet at this point We’ve introduced a lot of ideas today with Brandon’s insight and the previous slides So take a minute to reflect on what you’ve heard today about delegation. What’s important for you? What’s one thing you learned? So go to your Action Sheet and jot your ideas down in the space provided Great, so hopefully you are thinking about something you’ve learned today. As a reminder of course, delegation is a skill, and like Brandon said, it requires that persistence and also consistency and practice to develop So knowing what the best practices are is helpful, and hopefully those have been outlined with some clarity today, however it’s the application of these ideas that would make all of the difference. As we know, approximately half of what you learn is forgotten within the next 24 hours… so to avoid that… Emily: You have already indicated what is important for you or maybe your still thinking about that of what your major takeaway from today is. But at this point I would invite you to take a few minutes to reflect there on the questions in front of you that are also on your action sheet: What can you realize and achieve based what you’ve learned? Maybe its a mindset, Maybe you are just thinking about that I’m not going to give up next time. I try to delegate and its not successful. Or it can be another concrete action And of course, how will you implement it? What will your first step be? Like I said, it can be something really small that may not seem especially significant right now It could be making a list of tasks that can be delegated, or thinking about the skills your employees would like to develop eventually The key is to start somewhere. So committing to practice–to practice the skill of delegating And I would add to that being persistent with that Of course, we were going through this content rather quickly, I know it’s hard to take notes with this pace. But to learn more, you can of course explore the Supervisory Development website at supervising.umn.edu where we have quick guides and resources that you can download or view anytime for your reference. We did referenced multiple Quick Guides today, that you can find there anytime Emily: So thank you everyone so much for attending our webinar, we are very happy you were here and for also sharing your thoughts and participating in the polls. We hope you find this information today useful, relevant to your supervisory experience and we look forward to talking with you again soon!