Chapter 5 Delegation
EXERCISE: TO WHOM SHOULD YOU DELEGATE?
Eight of your staff members are briefly described as follows:
- Arthur is technically competent, seems to communicate clearly, especially in writing, and pays attention to details.
- Carol has consistently shown good judgment in matters of finance, particularly in analyzing reports and statements for financial implications.
- Kate is a dependable employee. Young and fairly new to the institution, she nevertheless appears ready to handle increased responsibility.
- By both credentials and experience, Harry is your most technically qualified employee.
- Fred is low key, polite, and a diplomatic “people person.” He is clearly your best letter writer.
- Millie is an empathic individual. People are generally comfortable with her and inclined to speak freely.
- Ed has displayed both technical and managerial skills. He has successfully run several special projects.
- Elaine is an organizer. Few if any details of arranging a gathering of people escape her attention.
The functions you can delegate to your employees include the following:
- Provide technical support on a special hospital-wide study.
- Manage the special study, including responsibility for technical content.
- Schedule and organize periodic project review meetings.
- Review and approve all correspondence relating to the special study.
- Analyze and approve all expense reports relating to the special study.
- Write monthly status and progress reports for the special study.
- Answer all inquiries concerning certain activities of your department and the hospital itself.
- Locate and screen applicants for potential employment in the department.
- Requisition standard supplies for the office and assure that the supply room is adequately stocked.
Create a possible pattern of delegation by matching employees and assignments in a manner that appears to make best use of each person’s capabilities. Note that there are more assignments than people and that any one person may be capable of taking on more than one of the assignments. (Caution: Avoid over-delegation—assigning an employee a job for which he or she is probably not qualified.)
_____1. Arthur _____5. Fred
_____2. Carol _____6. Millie
_____3. Kate _____7. Ed
_____4. Harry _____8. Elaine
2. You are the hospital’s Director of Health Information Services and you report to the Vice President of Finance. This morning you returned to work following a three-day absence to find your in-basket overloaded and your desk littered with telephone message slips.You were greeted by your secretary, Ellen, who informed you that you were expected to substitute for your boss at an outside meeting today. You will have to leave no later that 9:30 AM to get to the meeting on time, and you know you can plan on being gone for the remainder of the day.
You are left with one hour during which you can start making order of the chaos on your desk before leaving for the meeting. True to your usual pattern, you set about reviewing the items on your desk–message slips as well as the contents of the in-basket–creating separate stacks according to apparent importance or likely priority. You feel that you can perhaps get sufficiently organized to begin work the following day with emphasis on your most important tasks.
Halfway through your hour of organizing, Ellen enters to say, “the finance director, Mr. Wade, is here. He says he wants ten minutes of you time to discuss a minor question having to do with last month’s operating expense report. Shall I tell him you’ll call him? Or that he should give you a memo about it?” You cannot help feeling that the last thing you need at this moment is an interruption, especially for something that is not urgent.
What do you think you should do, call tomorrow, ask for it in writing, meet with him or something else? State your best suggestion and an advantage and disadvantage of that choice and why you think this is the best solution.