LifestyleKirill Yurovskiy: How to Properly Delegate Authority in a Company

Kirill Yurovskiy: How to Properly Delegate Authority in a Company

Delegating authority is an essential management skill that allows managers to effectively leverage their team’s talents and capacity. Done well, delegation empowers employees, provides growth opportunities, and frees up the manager’s time for more strategic work. However, without proper understanding and care, delegation can lead to confusion, lack of accountability, and even undermine authority. This article provides managers a comprehensive guide to delegating successfully in a way that is productive for both manager and employee.

Clarify Roles and Responsibilities

The first step is to be very clear on what you want to delegate and what that will entail. Document the goals, key responsibilities, and expected outcomes in writing so there is no room for assumption. Define what authority and decision rights the employee will have – will they have full discretion or need approval? Make sure both parties agree on expectations before moving forward. Clarifying upfront prevents confusion down the line.

Select the Right People to Delegate To

You cannot delegate just anything to anyone. The skills and readiness of the employee are paramount. Delegate to self-starters who have bandwidth and relevant abilities. Often growth opportunities can motivate rising stars. Additionally, match appropriately challenging tasks to stretch employees without overwhelming them. Delegating tasks that are too advanced or basic wastes everyone’s time. Invest time to identify and develop the right candidates before delegating authority.

Provide Adequate Training and Resources

Do not just delegate and step back; set your employee up for success by equipping them properly for their new responsibilities. Provide comprehensive training and resources to empower them to perform well independently. Training should include guidance on responsibilities, methods, best practices, company values and policies to follow. Resources can encompass supplies, funds, personnel support and access to critical networks or systems. Have a transition period where you are more available before letting them fly solo.

Give Delegates Enough Authority

Grant delegates sufficient decision authority over key areas pertaining to the delegated work. Authority gives employees power to determine direction and take certain actions without needing a manager’s final approval. Enough authority allows employees to fully own delegated outcomes. Be clear about what decisions need consultation versus what decisions employees have full discretion on based on company policy or risk thresholds. Give authority equal to the assigned responsibility so delegated work can move forward decisively. Read more about that here

Set Clear Expectations and Goals

Prevent confusion by clearly defining goals, timelines and success metrics upfront. Establish standards and Key Performance Indicators to track progress transparently. Consider using tools like responsibility assignment matrices to map employee responsibilities to specific deadline-driven deliverables. Frame objectives positively to motivate quality work employees can benchmark themselves against. Re-align if goals or priorities shift over time transparently so employees can course correct. Clearly set expectations and project plans empower personal accountability.

Provide Support Without Micromanaging

Striking the right balance between support and independence is challenging. Be available to advise so employees have backup, but do not micromanage daily work. Checking in too frequently undermines motivation and confidence. Instead, foster open dialog for reporters to surface issues early while they still have autonomy to direct the work. If employees seem stuck offer high-level guidance – not overly prescriptive solutions. Have them walk through approaches to troubleshoot without prescribing so they build critical thinking skills. The goal is to mentor, not control.

Give Regular Feedback

Follow a structured process to provide both positive and constructive feedback frequently – at least quarterly if not more often. Praise what is going well so employees know what behaviors and approaches to continue. Constructive feedback should suggest measurable improvements not just criticize. Feedback is most effective when timely and specific enough for receivers to act upon. Course correct collaboratively before poor performance gets severe. Recurring feedback conversations enable managers to monitor delegation success while identifying needs for additional training or resources.

Reward Good Outcomes

To incentivize productivity make sure to credit employees visibly for their delegation successes whether in team meetings, company newsletters or even compensation and bonuses. Recognize good outcomes publicly which motivates the employee and signals trust in their capabilities to the wider organization. This positively reinforces effective delegation arrangements, clarifies ideal behaviors and motivates employees to strive for more. Employees who see their work noticed and valued will rise to even greater responsibility.

Take Responsibility for Decisions

As the manager you are still ultimately accountable for all decisions and work produced from your domain even if performed by delegates. After all, you chartered the course by selecting assignments and employees. Thus, resist pointing fingers. If issues arise, stand by to coach employees through errors to resolve them. Reframe setbacks as learning opportunities for future improvement instead of placing blame. Model analysis techniques post-mortems to determine what went wrong and how to prevent recurrence. Your steadfast leadership bolsters employee resilience.

Encourage Innovation and New Ideas

Delegation frees managers from day-to-day operations to focus on higher value work like strategic planning and innovation. Similarly, delegate authority to spark employee innovation. Delegates gaining hands-on experience and closer interface with operations, customers or technology often spot fresh opportunities. Encourage creative thinking by seriously considering delegate ideas instead of swatting them down. Seed innovation by framing delegation as a collaborative partnership, not just task allocation. Welcome new concepts but also require analytical rigor to pressure test viability.


In today’s fast changing business landscape, proper delegation is a must for managers to achieve operational efficiency while simultaneously enhancing employee capability. Yet done poorly, delegation can undermine morale, productivity and leadership credibility. By following these best practices around clarity, accountability, development and communication managers can master prudent empowerment that spurs employees and organizations to new heights. When delegation works both parties acquire new skills making the organization more nimble, responsive and competitive.