“What’s it to them?” I hear you say. Ask CFOs about ‘under-delegation’ and you’ll probably get a pithy reply at least – or a lecture on the damage that under-delegating can inflict on the bottom line. Particularly if your employer provides professional services – such as strategic consultancy, architecture, business development, marketing expertise, financial advice, design, PR advice, brand development, etc. – your under-delegation can be bad news for CFOs.
Here are five reasons why your CFO wants you to delegate more:
1. Risk management
If you’re THE go-to person on a contract, your CFO will be concerned that if you go on holiday, get poached by a rival or are unwell (which risk may rise if you’re doing everything yourself), clients might discover that essential knowledge built up over time is in your head and not anywhere else. Team members may have some know-how, but it’s not been developed and tested because you’ve been keeping things to your chest. This may stroke your ego, but your CFO will be uneasy.
If you’re not delegating enough, somewhere in the process there’s a blockage. People who could be getting stuff done while you’re on a call or in meetings can’t get started because you haven’t delegated tasks – or even a part of them – to team members who could and should be doing them. Your CFO might notice when they see people looking bored. Which could contribute to the next reason why your CFO wants you to delegate more…
3. Skills stagnate
In many organisations, one of the best ways to develop essential skills is by doing. When work is shared and tasks are delegated well, more junior employees can get things done. Provided they get sufficient support, coaching and feedback, people will build vital skills. But if delegation is unclear and unsupported, or if it simply doesn’t happen enough, skills stagnate. Skills are assets to organisations; your CFO wouldn’t like to see those assets depreciating.
4. ‘Regretted leavers’
‘Regret’ might be putting it mildly if your CFO gets to hear from HR that a stream of exit interviews with your soon to be ex-colleagues provide testimony of ‘lack of development’, ‘excluded from opportunities to contribute’, ‘lack of involvement’ and ‘no progression.’ Good employees head for the exit and a job at a competitor, requiring new recruits to fill the gaps. Not only does recruiting incur direct costs, it takes (billable) time for the newbies to complete induction and become productive. Worse, having to deal with a stream of new recruits can be frustrating for loyal clients.
5. Profit drain
You’re good at what you do – that’s why you have the charge-out rate your clients agreed to. However, because you don’t delegate enough, you’re spending a lot of your time doing work that’s not commensurate with your charge-out rate. Instead of being an asset, you’re becoming a liability – at least, in your CFO’s opinion.
Thanks are due to Steve G – the CFO who, many years ago, explained why I needed to delegate more. I’m indebted (financial pun intended).
For more on delegation, click here.
If you want to find out how I help managers to delegate well, please get in touch.
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