Whether you are a team leader, a manager or a CEO, delegating tasks can help you manage your day more effectively and maximise the results within a team. Delegating tasks and responsibilities isn’t as simple as outsourcing tasks to other members of the team and it means so much more than shifting your workload onto another employee. It means matching the skills required to a particular member of the team and gifting your team member with responsibility. Delegating requires trust but when done right, it can empower your fellow team members and help you make the most of the resources you have.
The delegation process comes with a lot of potential downfalls but it can bring a whole host of benefits to your work. Firstly, it allows you to focus on the most important tasks and not get dragged down by things less relevant. Not only does it ensure you are more productive, it allows you to be a better leader and it encourages the development of trust within a team. Lastly, it makes room for progression in a team and gives others the opportunity to learn new skills. That being said, delegating requires a fool-proof system and putting a structure in place.
What to Delegate
The first step in any delegation process is to determine which tasks to delegate. This can be tricky if you are used to having sole responsibility. Ask yourself what weekly tasks you absolutely can’t delegate and eliminate these leaving a list of jobs that can be picked up by other members of your team. From here, choose one task and ask yourself what skills are required to complete it and who already has these skills or who would benefit the most from developing them.
Communication is Key
Delegation without correct communication can cause resentment and conflict within a team. Without presenting delegation in the right context, an employee can only see their workload increasing and it can seem like a show of power over employees with lower authority levels. Begin by explaining the benefits of delegating work to the other members of your team and give specific reasons why you think a team member is suitable for a particular task. Once you have assigned a task, provide a list of clear objectives and discuss expectations for the work provided. If required give training alongside resources they may find helpful. Instructions are vital to success and this can help you to reduce any potential pitfalls before they happen.
Identify your Team’s Strengths
Entrusting a less senior member of the team with a responsibility can be daunting and successful delegation is about more than assigning a task at random. Instead, you should assess each member of the team and pinpoint their strengths to see who is the most suitable candidate. If there is a deadline, choose a member of your team that is known for working well under pressure and allow for training time if this is required. Of course, an employee may not have the full skillset required to complete a task but one of the many benefits of delegation is the opportunity to teach and learn. Delegation will highlight how employees problem solve, how they approach integral decisions and give you an insight into their thought process.
Don’t Forget to Debrief
Reviewing the work completed is an integral part of the delegation process and while it can be tempting to save time by correcting any mistakes yourself and sending it off to a client, use any errors as a teachable moment and take team members on a learning curve. Giving feedback is incredibly useful and can ensure that tasks are returned error free in the future. This is your opportunity to offer praise and encouragement to fellow employees and a thank you for taking on extra work or responsibility is always well received.
Are you drowning under deadlines? How do you use delegation to get more done during your working day? Let us know on Twitter @viking_chat.