Delegation Authority is legitimized power. Power is the ability to influence others effectively. Delegation is the distribution of authority. Delegation frees the manager to use his or her time on higher priority issues and activities.
Although it frees a manager up, it does not free him or her up from the accountability for the actions and decisions of the people below him. That is why the manager must have qualified people underneath him so the actions or decisions that are actually made are along the guidelines that are established for the company or organization. The objective of delegation is to get the job done by someone else. In order to have someone else do the job for you, you must ensure that the person whom you are giving power to understands what you want, have the authority to achieve it, and that they know how to do it. These skills are essential when you are about to hand out orders.
These all depend upon communicating clearly the nature of the task, the extent of their discretion, and the sources of relevant information and knowledge. I know at FedEx Ground, I can hop on our intranet and get help on a wide variety of things, such dispatching and changing schedules. For a manager, one thing he or she can delegate that should cause no problems are matters that keep repeating themselves. For example, I am in charge of dropping off the nightly deposits for FedEx C.
O. D.’s at the end of the night. This is not hard, but why should the terminal manager do it. Another thing a manager can delegate is the part of a job that makes the one delegating way over specialized. This helps getting other people more involved with the operation, and it also helps people learn things that they do not know how to do yet. This also works the other way.
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If the one delegating has not done something in a long time, he can pass it off to someone that has worked in that department or who knows what they are doing pretty well. As I mentioned before, I work at FedEx Ground. We have a terminal manager in the building that the managers from the different departments report to. The terminal manager then reports to the upper management in the regional offices, and it goes all the way up the ladder finally to the headquarters in Pittsburgh. So basically, the delegation starts in Pittsburgh and trickles all the way down to the little buildings in each state.
In my building, the P&D, administrative, outbound sort, inbound sort, and human resources departments all have one manager that report to the terminal manager directly. Three of the departments also have regular operations managers that report directly to the head of their respective departments. Usually not much changes through the week that really needs to be delegated. If there is a service audit, then the terminal manager tells the administrative manager to make sure everything is in line. The outbound sort, which is my department, really does not have much to worry about except for a pick-up getting back late and dispatching the loads on time. And if something gets back late, the terminal manager does not even know until the next day because he is gone.
The terminal manager puts a great deal of responsibility in the outbound sort manager, who is basically the only upper management in the building at this time. My manager, the outbound sort manager, split the building up into different areas and assigned the managers that work under him to those different areas. Basically the terminal manager entrusts the outbound sort manager with the outbound responsibilities, and it works the sma e for the other departments as well. Each week, on Monday, the managers have a meeting on what was done the week before because the packages get delivered on all different days, and you cannot get an accurate reading day by day. You have to look at the numbers for an entire week. The managers meeting is where they discuss what can be improved on and any new issues for the coming week.
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Then each manager has a meeting with his or her managers to relay the message. And if need be, like scheduled days off because of holidays, we would relay the message to the lowest people in the building which would be the package handlers. This system seems to be fairly effective. The only problem comes that comes into play is when people move from one department to another department. In the best case scenario, the new person can learn a sort in two to three weeks. In the P&D department, the people working in there now still have no idea what they are doing and they have been doing it for at least a year.
Also, they leave at five o’clock for some reason when they still receive phone calls about missed pickups and deliveries that the outbound sort then needs to deal with. This just gets handed to us without any delegation at all. This is something that I believe needs to be changed, but it probably never will. It has been like this ever since I have been working there. To effectively delegate a manager must always delegate the tasks that he or she understands best and also likes most. If you assign tasks you don’t like, then you will have lost control.
What we like least, we pay the least attention, and the person whom the task was delegated may very well take some initiative and make decisions which are, not only contrary to your own best interests, but contrary to the best interests of the company and its clients or customers. You place a lot of trust in the people below you.