Guidelines : Delegating
Delegating New Responsibilities
- Grant the new responsibilities immediately. Remember when you say “yes,” you can omit the reasons. If you are declining to approve the responsibilities, see “‘No’ Replies.”
- Give adequate instruction for delegated responsibilities. Anticipate special problems and make sure the tasks are well outlined.
- Grant the necessary authority to accompany responsibility.
- Do suggest “feedback” steps and offer help. Assure the reader you do not expect instant success and you welcome the chance to help him or her overcome obstacles. Otherwise, you may not get any “bad news” until the situation has become hopeless.
Example 1: Sample memo for delegating duties
SUBJECT: Approval of new responsibilities as presentation coordinator
Your idea of designating a presentation coordinator seems promising. I’ll announce these new responsibilities for your position as coordinator with a memo to the entire division later in the week.
I do, however, want to modify your plan; I prefer to make this a unified, non-voluntary effort from the very beginning. This will allow us to measure the effectiveness of coordination without having problems from those engineers who continue “to do their own thing;” such as using the equipment and duplicating visuals and information already available.
Your new responsibilities will entail authority to schedule use of all audiovisual equipment and materials and to approve related expenses. Such expenses, as always, you will charge back to each budgeted project. Because your duties will be a service to the engineering staff, you will need to check with them for final approval of projected costs.
I’d suggest after you coordinate the first few presentations you report back to me about successes and problems. I’ll be glad to work with you in getting this much-needed service off the ground.
Example 2: Delegating new responsibilities letters
SUBJECT: Approval of new responsibilities as document editor
I have reviewed your suggestions for the creation of a document editor position for all client presentation material. You made a valid point when you stated that it is difficult for people to edit their own work. As you do not do client presentations, you are the logical choice for this task.
I would, however, like to make one modification. I am appointing Erika Souza as a document editor also. I would like the editing process to work as follows:
• Presenter gives document to you for initial editing one week before scheduled presentation.
• No later than two days after you receive the document, you will forward the material to Erika to check again and to make any corrections.
• Erika must give the presenter a final copy for final approval by either the day she receives it or immediately the next morning.
I realize there will be certain bugs to work out, especially when dealing with presenters getting you their work on time. I’ll send a memo to each of our regular presenters to get their thoughts, and then schedule a meeting with both you and Erika. We should have these positions up and running by next week.
Example 3: Delegate new duties
SUBJECT: Approval of new responsibilities as employee trainer
I received your memo regarding your proposal for an employee trainer. I am impressed with the training program you outlined, I agree it will increase the level of professionalism on our staff. I will be sending a memo to all personnel at the end of this week informing them of the change in training procedures.
I would also like you to appoint three training supervisors. You will not be present every shift to make sure the new training policies are enforced. Training supervisors would help in that respect. You will have full authority as their shift manager in all matters pertaining to employee training.
Please submit the names of your three choices for Training Supervisors for my review, as well as a training schedule for the supervisors. I would like to begin training the supervisors by the beginning of next week so that we can begin re-training present employees (and properly train all new staff) by the beginning of next month.
Example 4: New duties letter to employee
SUBJECT: Approval of new responsibilities as newsletter photographer
You have been approved as newsletter photographer. Your primary duty is to take photographs of all employees who are featured in the newsletter. After your first few assignments, you may also be required to photograph meetings and other events from time to time.
I appreciate the offer that you do the darkroom work in your own studio, and would like to offer you a credit line at the photographic supply store of your choice to offset the increase in your monthly costs. Please save your receipts so that any necessary budget changes can be made the following month. I would like a projected budget based on cost of film, paper, and chemical prices by tomorrow afternoon.
The newsletter editor, Jamie Bimmel, will provide you with a list of employees to be photographed, along with their floor numbers and phone extension. It will be your responsibility to call the employee to make an appointment. It would also be advisable that you meet with Jamie today or tomorrow to discuss issues pertaining to style. Her extension is X456.
We look forward to seeing the changes in the upcoming newsletter.
Example 5: Delegating letters
SUBJECT: Approval Of New Responsibilities As Employee Liaison
Your offer to function as employee liaison has been accepted. You will now conduct a portion of the weekly staff meetings at which no management will be present.
It is hoped that employees will address concerns with you that they would not normally address with management. You will be allowed to bring these concerns to the attention of management only with the permission of the individual or individuals who brought up the issue. I would like you to encourage them to give you such permission so that management can resolve any problems.
We realize that employees may be initially reluctant until they realize that you will not betray their confidentiality. We would encourage you to continue with the employees-only section of the meeting even in the face of such reluctance. It is our belief that they will eventually trust you in this matter.
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