Getting work done can be challenging. A supportive organizational structure that defines the accountability + authority of how work gets done is needed to get work done. This structure also requires competent people at each level of the organization and procedures which allow them to do their best.
These methods consist of more than telling people what the manager expects them to do. The process requires more than good communication.
For work to get done, there is a sequence of steps.
- Be transparent about their work. Managers cannot delegate tasks or set the context for peoples’ work if they are unclear about the context and scope of their tasks and goals.
- Develop a plan to achieve their tasks and goals. Then use that plan: to establish the limits within which tasks must be accomplished. To encourage associates to discuss the plan before they start on their work, allowing the manager-subordinate to determine how the work fits, and let creativity plus autonomy in completing the work within their context and limits.
- Formulate tasks to be delegated to staff, ensuring that: the tasks are created within an appropriate range of complexity; limits and methods are discussed.
- Assign tasks, which entails: specifying the parameters Quality, Quantity, Resources, and Time-Frame (what-by-when); setting the context for associates tasks within the shared context of the managers’ tasks.
- Establish reporting and follow-up procedures.
- Provide performance appraisal and feedback Early, Regularly, and often.
- Coach as required.
- Meet and discuss what went well, and gain feedback on how the manager managed the subordinate and the tasks.
- Decide and act on merit recognition as required.
- Carry out supporting actions such as selection and orientation to the team/ work; de-selection or dismissal, if necessary.
The above sequence makes a managerial-leader worthwhile. What connects every step is that the steps are linked to getting work done on time, within budget, and within quality specifications.
This sequence of steps represents an iterative process which should be followed each time a manager considers assigning a particular task to a subordinate. Many of the steps can be dealt with quickly, and for recurring tasks, some steps can be skipped.
Reference: ‘Executive Leadership A Practical Guide to Managing Complexity’ Elliott Jaques and Stephen D. Clement