Knowing Which Tasks are Not Appropriate for Delegation at Your Business
Some tasks are part and parcel of the job of being the business owner. You should be aware that certain tasks are much better handled by you. By delegating the following work, you fail to perform your basic management duties.
Long-term vision and goals
Your position at the top provides you with a unique perspective on the organization’s needs. One of the key functions of management is vision. Although employees at any level can give you input and make suggestions that help shape your perspectives, developing the business’s long‐term vision and goals is up to you. Employees can’t collectively decide the direction in which you should move. An organization is much more effective when everyone moves together in the same direction.
Positive performance feedback
Rewarding and recognizing employees when they do good work is an important job for every manager. If this task is delegated to lower‐level employees, however, the workers who receive it won’t value the recognition as much as if it came from the owner. The impact of the recognition is therefore significantly lessened.
Performance appraisals, discipline, and counseling
In a busy small business, a strong relationship between owner and employee is often hard to come by. Most owners are probably lucky to get off a quick “Good morning” or “Good night” between the hustle and bustle of a typical workday. Given everyone’s hectic schedules, you may have times when you don’t talk to one or more of your employees for days at a time.
However, sometimes you absolutely have to set time aside for your employees. When you discipline and counsel your employees, you’re giving them the kind of input that only you can provide. You set the goals for your employees, and you set the standards by which you measure their progress. Inevitably, you decide whether your employees have reached the marks you’ve set or whether they’ve fallen short. You can’t delegate away this task effectively — everyone loses as a result.
Politically sensitive situations
Some situations are just too politically sensitive to assign to your employees. For example, auditing the expenses for your business should not be delegated. The results of your review show that someone has gone to way too many lunches on company funds. Do you assign a worker the responsibility of reporting this explosive situation? No! You’re in the best position to deal with this information.
Not only do such situations demand your utmost attention and expertise, but placing your employee in the middle of the line of fire in a potentially explosive situation is also unfair. Being the owner may be tough sometimes, but you’re paid to make the difficult decisions and to take the political heat that your work generates.
Confidential or sensitive circumstances
You’re privy to information that your staff isn’t, such as wage and salary figures, proprietary data, and personnel assessments. Releasing this information to the wrong individuals can be damaging to a business.
For example, salary information should remain confidential. Similarly, if your competitors get their hands on some secret process that your company has spent countless hours and money to develop, the impact on your organization and employees can be devastating. Unless your staff has a compelling need to know, retain assignments involving these types of information.