Leadership is a crucial factor that can affect an employee’s experience at work. It can influence their happiness, satisfaction, and commitment to work and the organization. On the flip side, poor leadership can also bring unnecessary stress, fatigue, and challenges that can affect employees’ productivity and motivation.
A delegative style of leadership revolves around empowering employees by providing them with significant autonomy over their work. So instead of micromanaging every aspect of an employee’s day-to-day tasks or assignments, delegative leaders trust their employees to do their work with little to no supervision or guidance.
But how can a delegative style of leadership really work in the workplace? To give you a better idea, here is a comprehensive guide on how delegative leadership works and how to use it effectively.
What Is A Delegative Leadership Style?
First and foremost, let’s take a deeper look at what a delegative style of leadership truly is. Also referred to as laissez-faire leadership, this method utilizes task delegation as key to making employees feel empowered while putting the leader in the backseat instead of holding the wheel.
Delegative leadership is considered a less intrusive style as it aims to avoid micromanaging. Managers and supervisors are primarily hands-off when a task is delegated. Instead, they encourage employees to take the point and trust their team members to make the right judgment to complete the task properly.
However, a delegative leadership style requires more than just assigning tasks to employees. There is a deliberate delegation process that would make the task assignments work effectively. If not followed properly, this style of leadership and management can bring more harm than good.
How To Make Delegative Leadership Work?
Learn effective delegation process
Effective task delegation requires careful planning and consideration. One of the important elements of delegation revolves around identifying the task and the right person to handle it. It also calls for leaders to offer the right level of authority, responsibility, and accountability over the task given to their team members.
And while a delegative style of leadership keeps managers and supervisors from constantly monitoring their employees’ day-to-day activities, it is still important for them to be present to provide feedback and guidance when needed.
Strengthen leader-employee relationships
One crucial factor in the success of a delegative style of leadership is the quality of work relationships between the leaders and their team members. In order for a leader to identify the right person for a job, it is important that they personally know them.
This includes their skills, experience, as well as their personality, and character. More than that, it is essential for a delegative leader to ensure that there is a strong feeling of trust within the team in order to build confidence to work autonomously.
Establish a suitable work environment and culture
Delegative leadership is considered an unorthodox method of management. There would be lesser interaction between the leader and their subordinates, it is important that the leader build a work environment that cultivates such a setup.
While task delegation minimizes micromanaging, it is crucial that the work culture encourages open communication between team members and leaders. Good leaders should also set an example and be a mentor reminding their employees to have confidence in their selves and not be afraid of making mistakes.
Otherwise, such doubt can create conflict and fear that limits employees from being creative and innovative with their tasks.
Benefits Of Adopting A Delegative Leadership Style
Both leaders and employees can greatly benefit from a delegative style of leadership. Generally, leaders enjoy a lesser workload as they are no longer required to constantly supervise their employees. They can also focus on larger and more complex tasks that their executive positions ask of them.
On the other hand, a delegative style of leadership and an effective delegation process can bring the best out of each team member. Here are some more of the benefits of adopting a delegative style of leadership in the workplace.
Increase employee engagement
Since delegative leadership places employees in the limelight, this method significantly improves employee engagement in their work and the organization. When delegated a task, employees are more engaged in what they do as they feel a higher level of responsibility and accountability over the outcomes of their work.
Enhances employee satisfaction and motivation
An important element of an effective delegation process is the leader’s recognition of an employee’s skills and capabilities. This is essential as it helps guide leaders on what tasks should be delegated to which particular team member based on their skill set, background, and experience.
Task delegation also provides employees with the opportunity to show their talents which can make employees feel recognized. Therefore, delegating tasks can highly motivate employees to show and give their best in everything that they do.
Encourage employee growth and development
Task delegation can encourage employees’ growth and development as it takes away the constant supervision and guidance provided by a leader or supervisor.
When a team member is assigned a task or project, it is up to them to find and develop ways to accomplish the task needed. Thus, the delegative leadership style encourages employees to be creative and innovative in finding solutions and ways to get the job done.
A delegative style of leadership can greatly improve leaders’ and employees’ productivity and efficiency. Leaders can save time and focus on larger-scale organizational plans and strategies. At the same time, employees are given the opportunity to show their capabilities, enhance their skills, and gain confidence in their work.
However, it is important for good leaders to learn how to delegate properly and effectively. More than just assigning tasks, it is their responsibility to develop their delegation skills and take the time to properly prepare and conduct the delegation process.
Otherwise, the organization may suffer because of poor workmanship, employee burnout, decreased efficiency, and mismanaged responsibilities.
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