Reflections and discussions in line with the decisions we make during delegation within the leader-follower situation interactional framework, leave us without doubts that the consequences of good or bad delegation outcomes are foretold. Early thoughts do not fully suggest that delegation motivates (even though many authors propose that it should). Nonetheless Welch & Welch (2005), alluded to the fact that true leaders accept delegation as responsibility towards self-development and good leaders sometimes use delegation to check, if not double-check, employee readiness. Interestingly, responsibilities assigned to employees may motivate or may not, depending on the influencing style of the leader within the leader follower situation interactional framework (Manktelow et al 2016). I once managed a team, and I had a beautiful experience in leadership, delegation and motivation. It is an experience I often share.

“….the Hertzberg Two-Factor Theory did not push to assume that the things that dissatisfied people (and thus often displease people) were always the opposite of what really satisfied them.”

I managed administrative managers, Nancy and Kwame. As administrative employees, they often run errands for the institution. There was a clear revelation after the application of the action – observation – reflection model on these two. I found out that Nancy hates to travel and Kwame enjoys travelling. It didn’t really matter how short or long the distance would be, Nancy is demotivated when tasks involve travelling and Kwame jumps at every tasks that allows him to travel. When I took over the team I didn’t notice this. So I delegated tasks as and when Nancy or Kwame was available. When I carried out a good personality and performance analyses of the two and complementing the result with a good reflection on Nancy and Kwame, it was clear that Kwame and Nancy were both super excited and motivated anytime Kwame was delegated with tasks involving travelling and Nancy also disengaged from duties involving travelling.

If you delegate well within a progressive team, everyone gets motivated. To ascertain whether or not delegation motivates, the Hertzberg Two-Factor Theory did not push to assume that the things that dissatisfied people (and thus often displease people) were always the opposite of what really satisfied them. In effect, inferring from my experience, it can be said that, the fact that Nancy was disengaged from running errands shouldn’t give room to conclude that she’s satisfied because she was not assigned to the things that displeases her. It will lead to an analysis paralysis if you say that employee may not be happy if he doesn’t get the chance to do the things that excites him and that the same employee would be motivated if he or she is assigned to the tasks he or she enjoys doing. This was the main motivation for Hertzberg which led to his identification of his two factors of satisfaction. For his theory, Hughes et al (2015), mention that, the factors that led to satisfaction at work should be termed as motivators, and the factors that would lead to dissatisfaction at work should be termed, hygiene factors.

According to his two-factor theory, efforts that are directed toward improving the hygiene factors will not add on to or increase followers’ motivation or satisfaction levels in anyway. The hygiene factors include salaries, job security, office procedures, institutional policies, colleague workers and working conditions.  The motivators were however proposed as responsibility, recognition, development and growth, tasks, work itself and achievement at work. It doesn’t matter the perspective and binoculars with which you view delegation from. You can turn it in and twist it out, it will always remain a responsibility. And if delegation is a responsibility, it must be a motivator!  Thanks to the Hertzberg’s two-factor Theory.

This is Leadership!

Richard Ahenkorah
Author: Richard K. Ahenkorah


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