Principles to Delegating Successfully
Delegation doesn’t come naturally to most of us, and we can often think it’s easier and safer to do everything ourselves. There’s limited amount of task that can be completed, however hard you work. There is a finite number of hours in a day. Successful delegation can overcome this limitation. Delegation is about enabling the most intelligent, capable, committed people to contribute to their organization’s success. Keep these principals in mind for delegating successfully.
Time and Training
How much training or hands-on attention do people need? Delegation doesn’t just mean handing off a task. Managers need to make sure their team members have the resources they need to do the job. Managers must be able to give sufficient instruction and support as necessary. Be clear about how much support will be provided. Let the team member know whether to wait for instructions or make independent recommendations and decisions. Often, the more authority that is given, the better the end result will be, but discretion should be used, depending on the task and the individual.
It’s important to know which task should and should not be delegated. It’s important to know the difference. Managers should delegate lower level work to free up time to do vital work. Delegation is not shifting work to someone else’s plate—it’s getting those tasks you shouldn’t be doing off of yours. To get started, make a list of tasks and activities, and then classify them as tasks that only you can do, and which task can be done by someone else. Appropriate tasks to delegate are ones that management has sufficient time to give instructions and support to allow a team member to complete. Over time, this will help efficiency, as team members will be able to take more and more off of the to-do list.
Choose the Right People
Delegating work takes thought and consideration. Managers should take the time to explain why they were chosen for the job, what’s expected from them during the project, the goals you have for the project, all timelines and deadlines and the resources on which they can draw. Make sure the person is qualified to do the task. It’s important the team member have the necessary skills and expertise to complete the job successfully. Delegate task to the wrong person can result in too much time spent instructing and supporting the work.
How can you ensure a great final product? Agree at the beginning on a schedule for progress updates. Avoid micromanaging throughout the course of the project or task. The more complex the task, the more often you may need to touch base, but once you’ve delegated, and trained the team member, back away from the project. To succeed (and to help the team member to succeed), you must let go. If the right person has been chosen, and they are provided the right tools, he or she will quickly become competent and reliable.
The first time a task is delegated, it is almost certainly going to take longer than doing it yourself. That’s normal. Over time, it will get easier. Delegation allows managers to make the best use of their time and skills, and it helps other people in the team grow and develop to reach their full potential in the organization. Manager can help the team members to see each delegated task as an opportunity to take on more responsibilities or grow new skills. When done correctly, delegating can let team members contribute to their organization’s success.