The oldest trick in the management book is to work with an able team. Ideally, this team works on different tasks, and together, you meet the company goals much faster and more efficiently than you would if you handled it alone.
To form this team, you need to delegate duties – but delegation may not always seem like a good idea, especially if your team is accustomed to you successfully handling tasks your predecessors couldn’t. Inadvertently, you may have gotten used to doing things on your own and even worked up the will to get to the office earlier and leave late at night to accommodate more duties.
However, experts advise against this trend and recommend delegating to help you be more effective and reduce the chances of burnout. So, what does delegating involve?
What is Delegation?
Delegation is an essential management skill that involves the transfer of responsibility for specific tasks from one person to another. It’s most applicable in manager-employee relationships where managers assign particular tasks to their employees. That way, managers free up time to focus on higher-value activities while keeping employees engaged with greater autonomy.
How to Delegate
Delegating follows the idea that it’s better to be essential than more involved. When you hold onto work you can delegate, you’re confusing being involved with being essential – but the two aspects are different, just as being busy does not mean you are productive.
Delegating is good for your bottom line too. A study found that CEOs who succeed in delegating generate 33 percent higher revenue. Here’s how to delegate tasks successfully:
Identify Tasks You Should Delegate
You can’t delegate every task. For example, you’re better off handling personnel issues because it makes you better at identifying employee strengths and weaknesses and appropriately assigning roles.
But there are tasks your coworkers can do better. Ask yourself who in your team can handle a project you’re holding on to much better. You should also delegate work that aligns with employee interests. Perhaps an employee has shown interest in developing in a specific area. Delegating that task creates a learning opportunity for them and builds their job satisfaction. You can also delegate day-to-day tasks to people who can do the routine job well.
Learn to Let Go and Trust Others with Tasks
The best way to start letting go is by having a personal introspection. You may find you don’t want to let go because you don’t believe anyone else can do it as well as you. The truth is no one can do everything. Thus, delegating allows people to bring their collective skills together for everybody and the organization.
Start by delegating small tasks. It will allow you to monitor progress and analyze how employees handle the tasks. Give employees time to develop their skills and be patient in becoming comfortable with someone else doing the job. You may discover skillsets in an employee that qualify them for more tasks or leadership positions.
Create a priority system for everyone to follow, so they know what to work on first. Some work projects are time-sensitive and take priority over other tasks.
The best way to clarify these priorities is to align your work goals to the team and company goals. When everyone is on the same page on what is more important, it’s easier to get more work done and done efficiently.
Ensure you share these priorities with the entire team and put them in a central location for easy accessibility. It makes it easy for team members to see who handles projects A or B and why specific projects are more important than others.
Assess Team Strengths
You should never hand off your biggest project to someone who has never dealt with a big project. Similarly, a task may seem small and easy to everybody but be difficult for others.
For example, receiving visitors may seem easy, but not everyone can handle it with the finesse it requires.
Your job is to dig deeper into where each team member can shine. Ask each of them about their skillsets, and if you can, ask them to provide proof. This method will help you to delegate tasks better. Also, find out which skills they’d like to learn so you can charge them with small jobs in those areas to give them learning opportunities.
Communicate Your Expectations and Goals
What do you want out of the tasks? Define the tasks’ goals and pair them up with a roadmap for where the project is headed.
Start by arranging a meeting to discuss how you’ll measure success and provide clear direction for how to be successful. For example:
- Details about the job
- How to perform a task to completion
- Tools they need for the job
- Objectives for the task
- Updates if they’re working on a lengthy project
Employees work better when they understand what’s expected of them. It also allows them to plan their schedule better.
Make time for training and learning development. There’s a good chance that some people you want to delegate tasks to are afraid of handling them. Offering training reassures them that they’ll get enough guidance to do a good job.
Concurrently, remember that giving them space to solve problems alone without immediate intervention is part of training. When obstacles arise – and they will – prompt them to think of ways to overcome them. You can support their efforts by advising against a specific solution or supporting it.
Give and Invite Feedback
Back and forth open communication between you and the team will make things so much easier. On the one hand, employees know they can reach out with concerns and get help. On the other hand, you’re more assured of good productivity because team members can openly communicate obstacles they have and seek solutions.
Don’t delegate and then micromanage. More reports found that autonomy increases job satisfaction in employees because they feel a greater responsibility for the quality of their work. It also increases motivation and happiness and decreases turnover.
However, it would be best to strike a balance with how much autonomy you give. Don’t give too much independence to a person who doesn’t do well without occasional supervision.
Arrange for Regular Check-ins
You’d do well to set up regular check-ins and one-on-one meetings to fan healthy communication and increase chances of success.
These meetings allow employees to perform their tasks and get relevant feedback confidently, and you can direct the project more efficiently and course-correct when needed. Daily check-ins can give you brief updates on the tasks, while weekly check-ins can give a more in-depth analysis.
Perhaps the most significant advantage of the check-in meeting is that it builds trust and connection between you and your employees – which are critical drivers of employee engagement.
Give Credit Where Credit is Due
If you make a habit of giving deserving team members a pat on the back, it will result in a belief that you’re fair and encourage them to give their utmost.
Go beyond saying thank you and give something tangible like a gift card or bonus when an employee exceeds the targets.
About Platinum Group
Keeping these strategies in mind while working out the kinks will help you empower your teams to do much more and build your capacity to manage much better.
As you build momentum, you’ll slowly create a workplace where delegation is an upskilling tool that develops your workforce while freeing executives to be more productive in management issues. And if you find a human capital management partner to work with, you’ll build a workplace where people thrive.
Platinum Group is a human capital management resource with solutions to help you streamline operations, so you’ll have time to manage your business. For more information about Platinum Group, or to schedule a demo of isolved, please visit our website.