What is the best policy on delegating staff meetings?  When one of my direct reports is out of the office should they delegate my staff meeting to one of their direct reports?  If so, should the delegate be expected to present their boss's 10 minute update or just sit in for the meeting as an obsever?

fredique's picture

Depending on the topics you discuss during your staff meeting, you can choose to do it or not.

If you do them weekly, there is probably nothing wrong if someone is absent once in a while.
I personally think, that your direct should assign this task only if the representative of his team is necessary during that particular staff meeting and is empowered to act on his behalf.

awil's picture

I think this could be a big development opportunity for your direct to give to one of his/her reports.

If your direct plans and prewires their direct report for this meeting for some occasions when your direct knows they will be absent, it means that for unplanned absences there is someone ready and able to step up. 

Perhaps have the direct come to the meeting a couple of times with your direct as an observer first? Your direct will have to set good guidelines for their direct - let them know what they can be asked about so they aren't put on the spot, what figures and information they need to have prepared and to what depth they need to be able to go into them, how confidential is the information that would be discussed at the meeting, what they can agree to in your direct's absence and what they don't have power to do

e.g. "Yes of course you can borrow Joe the Excel expert for 2 hrs next week" 


"A three month project starting next week using 75% of the team on a full time basis? Let me talk to Jane (the manager) about that and get back to you tomorrow when he is back in the office, we may have to do some reprioritisation on existing work"

Also this is part of succession planning - if your direct wants to move up the organisation, if they prepare someone to take over their role it will make it much easier for you to promote them if they have someone visibly able to take their place.

It's also a great networking opportunity for your direct's direct - a chance to sit in a meeting they would never normally be at. I got to do this about 18 months ago for over a year of weekly meetings - (there was a project meeting my boss was usually unable to attend and he delegated it to me). I reckon there are at least 15 people at peer level and above that I now have a good working relationship that I would never have met in person otherwise (I work for a large financial organisation, with hundreds of different offices/branches).

Plus all the above happened to me in that meeting - detailed analysis of figures requested, asking for resources from my area etc - in some cases I had no idea that these particular things could be asked. So I had to handle a lot of these off the cuff and I learnt a lot in retrospect but it was a bit stressful at the time!

tberge's picture
Training Badge

I delegated running the meeting to a rotation of my more senior direct reports.  I learned that you need to hold onto the boss update portion, or else it just sets your direct up for making mistakes.  They still facilitate the meeting, start on time, parking lot issues if discussion gets too deep, and ends on time.  You still deliver the boss message stuff.

That's the way it's working for my team, but we've only been doing it for a couple months.  Also, I run every other meeting.