Delegation is the transfer of responsibility for certain tasks. In management, delegation is critical. But for some, it’s the most difficult.
Delegation happens when a manager assigns specified duties to staff. When they delegate, managers are able to focus on higher-value activities. They give staff more autonomy by outsourcing certain jobs.
A recent survey found that CEOs who do well at delegation produce 33% more revenue.
They know they can’t do it all alone. Therefore, they empower their staff, enhance morale, and increase productivity by delegating duties to their teams. This frees up time for CEOs to focus on activities that build the company.
Here are seven techniques to improve delegation and build high-performing teams.
1. Know the tasks associated with delegation.
Not every job is delegable.
For example, as a manager, you should handle performance reviews and personnel issues. After all, recognizing your team members’ skills and shortcomings helps you allocate tasks and delegate responsibilities more effectively.
Other daily tasks, however, do not necessitate your supervision. Do you often accomplish tasks that your coworker is better qualified to complete? Will giving the project to others help their careers?
Delegate if you think someone else could do it better or if it’s a teachable moment. It shows you value your employees and gives you time to work on more strategic issues.
2. Delegation is about recognizing and rewarding employee strengths.
Every employee should have goals and opportunities to delegate within those goals.
Maybe a direct report wishes to get management experience. Is there an intern they could supervise or a project they could own and execute? The work you delegate may affect their professional progress.
Other duties are likely to be completed by someone on your team with the required skills. Play to your employees’ strengths. People are more motivated and engaged when they know they can flourish. This benefits the entire company.
3. Define the desired result.
Delegating isn’t only passing labor to others.
Your projects should be well-defined and aligned with the organization’s goals. This involves agreement on “what good looks like” and how to measure accomplishment.
A team member should know what they need to do and by when. In addition, they should know the criteria used to assess their job.
4. Assign the proper resources and authority.
It’s your responsibility as a manager to provide particular training, resources, and authority to the individual you are delegating tasks to.
Setting someone up for failure will frustrate both parties. Your colleague won’t succeed, and you’ll need to re-add that duty to your list. Here you must resist the impulse to micromanage. Telling your coworker how to do something and then managing every step won’t help them learn or develop new abilities.
Instead, focus on the end objective, the task’s importance. In addition, focus on any gaps between the outcome and their current skill set.
5. Fix the communication channels for delegation.
Without micromanaging, provide a communication channel.
This is where the person you’re delegating to can ask questions and provide updates. Communicate so the person you delegated to can report back to you.
Regular check-ins and feedback throughout the project help everyone feel more secure.
6. Expect failure.
This stage is crucial for perfectionists. Some people dislike delegating because they believe their way is the only way.
Allow for failure.
It’s true your staff might fail. However, it’s important because it allows for experimentation. In addition, it empowers those you delegate to with the motives to bring fresh ideas to the problems. You’ll be able to delegate more easily if you’re open to new ideas and techniques.
7. Delegation requires patience and praise.
As a manager, you probably have more experience. As a result, a 30-minute task may take an employee an hour the first time.
You may be tempted to avoid delegating certain jobs to save time, but be patient with your staff.
Consider the first time you finished a task in your profession. Surely your time management abilities have improved. When you delegate more and your employees become more familiar with the job, the work gets done faster.
After delegating duties, give credit to those who completed them.
This is just the right thing to do. However, it also makes others around you more engaged. Additionally, it makes you more successful. People are always aware of what they have done. Recognizing their efforts helps them know that you are honest with them as well as with yourself. It may seem counter-intuitive, but not claiming victory leads to additional wins.
Furthermore, the more you appreciate and credit individuals who helped you, the more likely they are to support you on future initiatives.