Delegation as Motivation – Part 2

…because if you do it right, effective delegating will be the best motivating tool you will ever have.


If you took the assessment in Part I of this blog, and you’re back reading this, you probably know you need to learn to delegate work. I was going to write a spiffy blog to tell you how to do that. Before writing it, however, I decided to search Google on the topic: delegation at work. Yikes, 58,200,000 search results popped up. Some of the articles and blogs about delegating are very good. You don’t need another list about how to delegate from me – that’s for sure. But maybe we can chew around the edges of this concept, and finally figure out how effective delegation results in a more motivated staff?

Let’s look at what delegating isn’t –  Delegating isn’t helping. Helping is when you ask someone to take some of the basic workload off of your shoulders. This is simply being a part of the workforce. Everyone is expected to pitch in when there is more work than you can handle. At some point, everyone helps someone else at work. It’s expected as a member of a work team. Delegating isn’t dumping your work on employees either. Lots of new supervisors fear this – “my employee will think I’m just dumping my work on them.” Well, if you do randomly dump your work on them just to get rid of your own load – that’s just dumping your work. It’s not delegating.

Who has trouble with delegating work?

Micromanagers –  A micromanager’s plan for effectively delegation is to watch closely – very closely.

See yourself here? –

I know, it seems like I pick on micromanagers, and I do. Micromanagement causes lots of problems at work. Perfectionists and people who find it difficult to train or coach other employees have trouble with effective delegation, too. New supervisors and managers who haven’t been trained how to supervise fear delegation for lots of reasons. Lack of confidence in why and how to do it tops the list.

If you want to effectively delegate work, you need to start by trusting your employees. You need to assess and understand your employees’ capabilities as they relate to taking on a new projects or processes; and, with some guidance from you, complete the work independently. You must be willing to allow for stumbles and problems as the employees learn new tasks or assume new responsibilities. After all, isn’t that how you learned? There is a value added to the company when the project or process is complete. When you, supervisor, call him out on that fact, your employee will have a sense of accomplishment – and that is the final big plus kicker – the employee feels a sense of accomplishment. A sense of pride.


[message type=”info”]I don’t think there is a more effective motivator for most employees than when they feel they have accomplished something and have done it well. “Give me more”, the employee thinks. “Give me more. This feels good and I want to offer more.”[/message]


Take a look at this video: “The surprising truth about what motivates us.”



The video by Daniel Pink approaches this topic creatively. In the end, you learn it’s about giving employees a sense of autonomy, mastery and the opportunity to make a contribution. You can do this by effectively delegating.

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