Whether you’re a team leader, an entrepreneur, or in some similar position of authority, delegation is going to be a major key to maximizing your productivity and keeping yourself sane during tight deadlines or large workloads.
The delegation has many benefits, both for leaders and employees. It helps leaders manage their workload and maximize productivity while also helping employees build skills. When done effectively, delegation can be used for professional development and as a tool to identify top performers.
Why Is Delegating Tasks Important?
Delegation is one of the most important and effective management skills. Without the ability to delegate effectively, you can’t advance in management to higher positions of responsibility.
As a leader, delegating is important because you can’t—and shouldn’t—do everything yourself. Delegating empowers your team, builds trust, and assists with professional development. And for leaders, it helps you learn how to identify who is best suited to tackle tasks or projects.
Of course, delegating tasks can lighten your workload, but according to Dr. Scott Williams, professor of management at Wright State University, delegating does much more than just get stuff off your plate.
The 6 Steps To Effective Delegation
To achieve everything you are capable of achieving, and to be able to concentrate on those few tasks that can make the greatest contribution to your life and work, you must become excellent at delegation. Whether you are a boss or an employee, it is a universal key to success. You must be continually seeking ways to outsource, delegate, and get other people to do things that pay you a lower hourly rate than you desire to earn.
There are several ways that you can become more effective at delegating and outsourcing or hiring other people to do parts of your work so that you can do the parts of your job that pay the most.
1.Play to Your Employees’ Strengths and Goals
Every employee should have goals they’re working toward, and within those goals are opportunities to delegate. For example, maybe you have a direct report who wants to gain management experience. Is there an intern they could start supervising, or a well-defined project they can own the execution of? The type of work you delegate could factor into their professional development plan.
It’s important to choose the right person for the task. You shouldn’t delegate work to someone just because they can do it. Instead, you need to choose a person whose skill set is right for the task and is capable of doing the work without assistance. It’s important to keep in mind that just because someone has the capability doesn’t mean they have the availability at that particular moment, so it’s important to find a balance between the two.
3.Delegate responsibility and authority
You’ve probably been in a situation where you were tasked with something but didn’t feel fully empowered to make decisions. As a result, the work stalls, you end up having to ask for help, and the task takes more time from both the employee and the manager.
“Managers who fail to delegate responsibility in addition to specific tasks eventually find themselves reporting to their subordinates and doing some of the work, rather than vice versa,” writes Martin Zwilling, founder, and CEO of Startup Professionals.
4.Learn to let go.
The biggest problem most new bosses and leaders face is the inability to let go of their work. Sometimes they feel so dedicated to completing their work that they refuse to let other people help. Other times, they fear that nobody else has the skills or abilities necessary to execute the work effectively.
Whatever the case may be, your priority needs to be to learn to let go. Start small, delegating only the smallest tasks, and gradually work your way up. Get to know your team better and improve the trust among you and your co-workers. Take baby steps and know that eventually, you will have to let go of your work if you want your team to be successful.
5.Trust your team.
Once you’ve assigned a task to someone, grant them the authority to take full ownership. You have to trust that they will complete it correctly and on time. While there’s nothing wrong with the occasional quick ‘how’s it going?’ chat, doing that too often will cause your employee to feel that you don’t trust them. To avoid this, set a schedule of check-ins at the beginning of the project and try to deviate from it only if necessary.
6.Use feedback to improve delegation moving forward
Feedback is the most important part of the delegation process, and it works both ways. If your workers have done well with a task you assigned, let them know by publicly thanking them and offering genuine praise. If they’ve fallen short, don’t be afraid to give them some constructive criticism.
On the other hand, invite your workers to share their thoughts on how you’re delegating–it’s a critical chance for you to determine whether you’re providing enough information, or whether you’re assigning the right tasks to the right people
At first sight, delegation can feel like more hassle than it’s worth, however by delegating effectively, you can