As a manager, one of the most useful skills you can master is the art of effective delegation. This doesn’t just mean passing all of your work onto others and blaming them when it goes wrong; it is a process that should involve support, trust and strategy.
The advantages of delegation are extensive for both you and your team. It not only provides opportunities for your employees to improve their skills and take on greater responsibilities, but it also frees up your time, allowing you to focus on higher level tasks.
Like anything in the workplace, the ability to delegate effectively is something that you can work on and improve. By implementing these tactics, you can make life easier for everyone on your team.
Be willing to let go
If you are attached to a project, it can be hard to hand over important tasks to others, but you can’t do everything yourself! Playing on the strengths of your team will allow you to meet deadlines, as well as bringing fresh ideas and solutions to the table.
Trust your team
If you have given a member of your team a task to complete, you need to allow them to work independently without feeling the need to micromanage. You should provide instructions and guidance where needed, but ultimately, the whole point of delegation is to improve productivity, so if you’re constantly intervening you may as well have just done the task yourself.
Delegation should not mean a compromise on quality. The key is to never accept work that is not up to the standard that you need, but instead allow time to review and offer feedback. This means that if a similar project comes up in future, your employees will be aware of what is expected and will be able to build on their experience. Don’t forget to say thank you when a task is completed well!
Be clear when setting tasks
Make sure that you fully explain the outcome you are looking for, including why the task is necessary and what success looks like. By taking the time to do this, you will eliminate any confusion and increase the chances of getting the desired result from your employee. Answer any questions they may have, and reassure them that if they run into any difficulties you can offer them advice along the way.
Work out your priorities
When delegating multiple tasks, make sure that the people responsible know which tasks are of higher priority, as this will allow them to manage their time accordingly. Where possible, provide clear deadlines, taking their current workload and commitments into account.
Consider who to delegate to
When deciding who to assign a project to, it may seem obvious to ask the person who has the most experience. While this is a decent way to ensure that the task is done well first time, it can often be a missed opportunity to develop the skills of employees who are less experienced in a certain area. By giving everyone a chance to prove themselves on unfamiliar projects, you will build up their confidence, meaning that in future you will be able to delegate to anyone on the team.