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Construction managers can achieve more with less work: delegation secrets

Construction managers who seem to be the busiest are often the ones who achieve the least, according to a management development expert.

Mark Jacobs of The Mdina Partnership says there is a direct correlation between managers who have learnt effective delegation and those who regularly exceed their goals.

"Busy managers are inefficient because they remain focused on performing tasks and rarely get an overview of what their team is doing," Mark said.

"With these kind of people it’s not unusual to see staff sitting around with nothing to do, while their manager is racing around stressed out!

"An effective manager delegates as much as they can to their team, and invests all the time they release into developing that team. Overall it becomes a machine that’s driven to meet goals, with the manager turning into a true leader."

Mark appreciates that many construction managers find delegation nearly impossible. So he has compiled three secrets for effective delegation:

1. Delegate the job but don’t abdicate responsibility: The manager is still responsible for the outcome but they have given the accountability of the parts or all of the job to someone else. They therefore need to review how things are going and be there for support.

2. When you delegate something be very specific about what you want: This is where most managers go wrong. You can use a simple acronym DAMACA to make sure you get it right:

Direction: Give a clear and specific brief
Accountability: Lay out who is accountable for what at a detailed level
Measurement: Ensure you know how things are going
Authority: Establish the person’s decision making power within the delegated job
Communication: What needs to be produced by when, and how often will progress be reviewed
Attitude: Has the person really bought-in to doing this job or are they just doing it because they’ve been told to. People will do a better job when they understand why they are doing something

3. Support the person throughout the delegated job: But beware of doing it on their behalf. They can’t learn to do it as well as you without making some mistakes on the way

Mark’s business Mdina focuses on management and sales development and training.

It was set up in 1980 and is famous for ensuring its learning is actually implemented in the business once the training has finished.

The company is also behind DART, a web-based management software that allows senior managers to see at a glance how their people are performing.

11,000 people are currently managed using this software.

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