Why Effective Delegation Makes for Better Leaders

Have trouble delegating? Or maybe people see you as someone who delegates… ”too much”? 

It’s a fine line, and almost all managers struggle with the ins and outs of delegating at some point or another. 

Here are 7 steps to more effective delegation.  

1. Understand the Value of Delegating 

Delegating well benefits every person in the company, not just the manager, because: 

  1. It frees up time for managers to focus on more important tasks 
  2. Allows the team to practice and learn new skills 
  3. Encourages the team to stay engaged  
  4. Allows the team to feel valued and like they are making a contribution
  5. Creates overall efficiency  

Managers often want to “do it all” because they fear that if they let go of control, the work won’t get done right — or at all. 

But if you’re already running around like a chicken with its head cut off, you may not leave yourself the time and space to delegate effectively. 

The people who find themselves most overworked are likely the same ones that need to redefine and improve their delegating!  

If you need help assessing your workload, let us help!  

2. Managers Should Clearly Recognize Their Role  

Your role as a manager is to manage both people and resources in a business. 

This isn’t about giving away tasks haphazardly. To be a great leader, you must pay attention to what you are delegating, who you are delegating it to, and why.  

Managers need to also understand that their role is not to “do it all,” but rather allow others to take on the lower-level tasks so that they can focus on the most important things. 

3. Identify What Tasks Are Best for Delegation

Make a careful assessment of your team members so that you have a clear understanding of what they can do very well, what they need to practice, and what they want to learn more of. 

No matter what industry you are in, I’m going to bet that we can find more tasks for your team —  you may just need help identifying the best ones. 

If you feel you don’t have enough qualified people on your team to take on certain tasks, this might point to a hiring or talent gap, or possibly to a bigger issue within the company that needs addressing. 

4. Get to Know the Team 

Do you really know what your team members are capable of? They might have some hidden talents that you don’t know about. 

This is why you should think of delegation as more of a conversation, rather than a one-way “I’m telling someone what to do” and then walking away. 

Keep asking questions. This will give you an opportunity to learn about your team as well. 

Once you find someone with matching skillset, be sure to clarify the tools and equipment, as well as deliverable expectations. 

5. Match Tasks With People 

Don’t assume that just because someone doesn’t have a certain skill on their resume that they don’t know how to do it! Keep asking questions and you’ll likely find out about some interesting skill set!

It’s a good idea to evaluate workloads to make sure you’re not delegating too much to your star performer. 

Make sure the person is “up for the job,” In all senses  – that they have time, that they have skills, and willingness to do so.  

6. Assign the Task with Clarity and Confidence 

Always confirm that the other party understands what the task is before delegation, rather than just handing over a brief and assuming they’ll be able to learn it on their own.  

In addition, make sure they know the purpose behind the task. 

Have them repeat it back to you, and encourage communication and questions. Finally, confirm their commitment and accountability, whether it’s verbal or written. 

7. Review Progress and Completed Task 

The job isn’t done when it’s done! If you take the time to review the person’s progress and the quality of the completed task, this will give them a clear picture of what to do better next time. 

Consistent communication is key, as your staff needs feedback and coaching. Evaluation of tasks can take place on an ad-hoc basis and as a part of your employee review program

This will also help with matching your employees in the future. 

Get Support  

Great delegation skills allow managers to focus on crucial high-level tasks while training employees to take on increasingly more complex tasks which will also help you identify them for promotions, and train someone in the event of your absence.  

If you want to improve your leadership skills, why not schedule a consultation

I look forward to learning more about you and your business! 

Enjoyed this article? Here are three more to help you:

The Importance of Engaging in Meaningful Conversations in the Workplace

How HR Leaders Can Help Bridge Generational Gaps in the Workplace

HR Leaders Need to Master the Simple Art of Language Packaging

This article was originally published on February 20, 2017, and has since been updated. 

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