Delegative Leadership: The Pros And Cons

Delegative Leadership: The Pros And Cons
Summary: Delegative leadership involves managers who pass the baton of responsibilities to employees. But how beneficial is this leadership model, and what are the dangers it hinders? Keep reading and decide whether it suits your corporation's needs.

What Is Delegative Leadership?

Leaders are often overloaded with work and feel like they can't offer adequate direction to team members. Adopting a delegative leadership style means that leaders pass on responsibilities and tasks to employees who are ideally suited. With minimal supervision, people are entrusted to complete assignments autonomously and make their own decisions along the way. Leaders are expected to provide employees with the necessary resources and offer guidance whenever asked. However, a leader is often responsible for all the errors and failures that happen during this process, even if they are not involved in the corresponding tasks. At the same time, employees must be aware of this and be able to perform their daily responsibilities without fear of making mistakes. As such, this approach involves a balancing act for successful implementation.

The Benefits Of A Delegative-Led Workplace

Creativity And Innovation

Getting rid of strict guidelines gives employees the freedom to unleash their creativity. They don't conform to business policy and use their own critical thinking to find solutions. They are encouraged to think independently and apply their innovative thoughts to their daily tasks. Although this approach may be stressful initially, employees will eventually get used to relying on their powers to overcome hurdles. As a result, their decision-making skills are upgraded, and they can fully trust themselves even during demanding situations. In cases where innovation is missing from a corporation, delegating tasks may be an ideal solution.

Satisfaction And Motivation

When team members feel trusted, their productivity increases as they feel more free to conduct their daily tasks. They also notice that their abilities and talents are recognized and highly valued. Consequently, they are motivated to strive for the best results and prove their worth. By bringing their contributions to the table, employees are satisfied with their position in the company. Additionally, autonomy makes workers feel empowered, which increases their engagement on a personal and collaborative level. When a workforce enjoys flexibility at work, they are confident they can tackle any task using their unique perspective and strongest skills.

Focus On Individual Strengths

Delegative leadership encourages team members to use their competencies to deal with tasks. When they can solve problems using their best attributes, their confidence rises, and they start taking accountability for their actions. They are motivated to recognize not only their capabilities but also the areas that need improvement and work hard toward improving them. Trial and error might be involved in the process, but this leads to upskilled workers who are not afraid to take risks. Consequently, their personal growth is fostered without being slowed down by micromanagement.

Positive Workplace

Employees are more effective when they are handed full responsibility for their daily work. Getting past issues like bureaucracy, they adopt a more positive attitude at work every day. They do not feel competitive with their colleagues, and teamwork improves. The collaborative spirit spreads across the company, and colleagues uplift one another. Additionally, leaders are not viewed as strict authoritarians but as mentors who offer guidance whenever employees need it. As a result, everyone works hand-in-hand toward common goals and corporate success.

Improved Time Management

Delegating tasks to employees based on their expertise saves time in completing them. When the right people are handling each responsibility, they can achieve the desired result quickly. Also, giving workers the reigns boosts their productivity and helps them finish their tasks much quicker. They don't need to wait for instructions or approval. Also, through delegative leadership, daily meetings and training sessions aren't required since employees can focus on their exceptional skills and start growing independently.

Burnout Prevention

When employees are encouraged to work on their daily tasks unsupervised, managers and leaders focus on their jobs more efficiently. A huge weight is lifted off of the latter's shoulders, and their work-life balance is improved. They don't have to micromanage or supervise anyone daily, and therefore, the danger of burnout diminishes. This practice is especially beneficial for companies where managers have a multitude of responsibilities other than overseeing employees. As a result, they are not overwhelmed and instead are more engaged and productive.

The Disadvantages Of Delegative Leadership

Reduced Productivity

Not everyone in the office is capable of working independently without any supervision. So, removing guidance and a manager's directions from unskilled and inadequately trained employees can decrease their productivity. Not knowing or being unsure how to perform a task can hinder their efficiency and quantity of work. As a result, many people's career development suffers, and they don't get the opportunities and training they need to progress. Therefore, they feel underappreciated. On the other hand, employees who thrive through delegative leadership may have a lot more responsibilities and tasks thrown at them. This uneven work distribution might create tension amongst team members and lead to resentment. This is why leaders should encourage communication to make employees feel valued and know that someone is there for guidance and support.

Feelings Of Isolation

While working independently might be freeing for many people, some employees might feel isolated and detached. This is because some people thrive from feedback and constant supervision. Not being able to receive direction from a leader or a manager can make them lose their direction and focus on the job. They might feel like upper management does not care about them and their contribution and slowly start putting less effort into their projects. That's why organizations should encourage communication between team members so they can work collaboratively to achieve their personal and common goals. A study showed that employers who are involved in their employees' personal experiences help them increase their mental well-being by 20%.

Communication Gaps

When daily meetings and guidance are skipped, vital information may not be successfully communicated to all team members. As a result, some employees may not receive clear guidelines for their projects' goals and feel confused. They may also not fully understand their role in the company and what is expected of them. Additionally, misunderstandings may lead to conflicts between colleagues, hurting team cohesion. When a team is not united, their efforts are not adequate and may lead to fragmented results. Consequently, corporate success is affected, and team members can't develop their skills.


Before an organization decides to opt for delegative leadership, they should examine their team's competence and whether team members can work independently. They might choose this process only for specific tasks, but even so, they must give clear instructions to employees. The final goal, deadlines, and expectations should be understood by everyone. And while autonomy is key, checking in with everyone should be a priority to make sure they are making progress toward achieving the common goal.