Delegation goes beyond assigning the work to another person; it is also the transfer of accountability for the completion of that task. For this reason, many managers who fear losing control choose to take on the work themselves. These managers who fail to see the value and benefits of delegation find themselves overworked and overwhelmed.

What supervisors need to realize is that part of their role is to manage people and resources. To produce results means the proper distribution of tasks to the right person. Effective delegation is a skill that successful managers must acquire for the benefit of all. When a manager delegates tasks, not only will they have more time to focus on people management, but their people learn skills, gain confidence, and feel valued as integral, contributing members of the team.

If you are a manager or a leader in your department who needs to learn to confidently delegate, here is the process recommended by leadership coaches:

Identify tasks and projects suited for delegation

Not all tasks are suited for delegation particularly if they require a skill that only the manager has. An example of this would be regular conference calls with high-level clients or anything that involves handling confidential company material.

Regardless of industry and type of business, there will always be tasks that can be delegated. When identifying tasks suited for delegation, ask what skills are required for the job, what equipment is needed, will the task require interpersonal skills.

Take the time to prepare and map out exactly what the job requires and what tools, skills, and equipment are needed. Be clear about the details of the deliverable particularly timing and expectations.

Match the right person to the job

Not all subordinates will be skilled for the task. Consider who on your team has expressed the desire to take on more work for their growth and development. However, while those who show initiative are ideal, think about their existing workload and availability. Also, avoid delegating additional tasks to new employees who haven’t mastered their core job quite yet.

As a manager, you will have kept track of your staff’s skill sets and depending on the project, will know who the right match is for the job. There’s also the option to assign to more than one person if the task requires a collaboration of skills.

Assign the task

An effective delegator should communicate the task with clarity and confidence. Confirm understanding and never assume that the employee will naturally know what needs to be done based on a project brief. Describe the task clearly and define its purpose. Have them relay the assignment in their own words. Encourage open communication and allow them to express any concerns or predicted roadblocks.  

Confirm their commitment by ensuring accountability is acknowledged. Whether verbal or written, be sure they are aware of the expected results and the process required to achieve it.

Monitoring of progress and completion review

Delegation doesn’t mean assigning a task and walking away. Constant communication is essential to secure that deadlines will be met while also allowing openings for coaching and feedback.

Task completion is a great opportunity for an evaluation. Reviewing the process allows both the manager and the subordinate to gain insight on how they feel the project went and if there is room for improvement. Is further training required? Is the employee empowered to accept more tasks in the future?

Conclusively, delegating is a skill that executives and managers should acquire to manage their time effectively. Delegation is beneficial for both parties as it allows the supervisor to focus on more high-impact tasks while the subordinate is empowered by responsibilities that will lead to their personal and professional growth.

If you are a supervisor, manager, or executive who struggles with delegation and find yourself stressed and overwhelmed with your workload, let’s jump on a call to brainstorm some strategic leadership concepts you may be unfamiliar with. I think you might be pleasantly surprised that I can help! Then, without obligation, we can consider if working together would be beneficial.

If that sounds good, you can use this link to schedule a time convenient to you for us to chat: I look forward to furthering our connection and learning more about you and your business.