Whether you are a prospective entrepreneur or a manager, you have probably encountered the concept of delegation. Mastering the subtle art of delegation requires practice, but once you learn to delegate tasks effectively, your life will never be the same.
The truth is delegation can be an incredible tool in the right hands. It will bring freedom into your life. Not only will you have more time and energy once you learn to delegate, but you will also end up using your company’s limited resources more efficiently. Delegation is often the first step that you need to take to usher growth for your business.
Below we present to you the do’s and don’ts of delegation.
Do’s of Delegation:
- Set aside time to explain the task thoroughly and with perfect clarity:
The performance of a delegated task you give to an employee is contingent on the clarity with which you’ve expressed the delegated task before them. When there is an element of transparency associated with the commissioned work, then your employee/ subordinate will know what exactly is expected of him/her. This will enable them to focus on the task at hand better and perform optimally. Moreover, this will help minimize the extent of supervision needed.
- Participate in constructive discussions with your employees:
Encourage them to ask questions and hear their opinions. Only then can you obtain work of the highest quality.
- Take a note of the conversation you’ve had with your employee:
Jot down the agreed-upon timelines. When you’ve got a written version of the agreement between you and your employee, they are more likely to be serious about it. Thus, you’re more likely to be rewarded with higher quality work.
- Set aside time to check up on how things are going and be sure to enquire if they need any assistance:
From time to time, be sure to check up on your employee. The initial motivation for completing a delegated task might soon fade, or perhaps your subordinate may require assistance. Be there for them in times of need.
- Eliminate the desire to do it yourself because you think this would make the process faster:
You need to understand that through delegating tasks, more of your time will be freed up. You can then use this spare time to come up with new plans to take your organization to the next level.
The Incorrect Approach To Delegation:
- Make your employee feel as if work is being dumped on them:
You must understand the fundamental difference between delegation and just dropping work on your employees. It is essential that before delegating a task, you enquire of your employee- about their current workload and whether they have room for some more. When you go this extra mile, your subordinates will know that you care for them, they will feel heard, and because of that, they will strive harder to do a better job on the delegated task.
- Criticize the delegated work publicly:
A true leader is always on the lookout for all the members of an organization. If the employee’s performance is not up to your expectations, deal with him privately. Try to offer constructive criticism in an empathetic manner. Doing so will help foster stronger bonds between both of you and significantly add to office chemistry between you two.
- Lose faith in the delegatee:
Delegating a task to an employee means you need to have confidence in their ability to pull off the job. Don’t pull your employee off the post and assign someone else to do it. Give your employees the time and space they need to shine.
- Think that you should do the job yourself:
Resist the urge to do the job yourself. Because once you’ve got more time on your hands, you can use it to do more productive things.
- Give up responsibility
Delegation doesn’t translate to abdicating responsibility for your work. You must monitor the progress of the assigned task from time-to-time.
Most importantly, you must hire the right people and ensure that they have the proper training and skills to deliver the result that you seek. Take the time to train them until you are confident in their ability to work solo on delegated tasks.
Communication and feedback are two parts of the same coin. To ensure that your employee will deliver excellent results, you must keep the channels of communication open at all times, and more importantly, you should offer feedback on the task in a kind, punctual and respectful manner.
Having spoken so highly about delegation, you might have a few questions popping up at the back of your mind.
For starters, when do you delegate a task and when is it not alright to delegate work to an employee.
When delegation isn’t an option:
In general, avoid delegating tasks that:
- Contains sensitive and personal information that you’d instead not have disclosed.
- Refrain from delegating tasks that pose a degree of risk to the delegatee.
- Do not delegate tasks that involve decision making when the delegate is not in a position to make critical decisions.
- Don’t delegate tasks that require your expertise.
- Tasks requiring personal leadership shouldn’t be delegated.
- Tasks with legal restrictions shouldn’t be delegated.
You might be wondering what type of tasks are ideal for delegating to your capable employees. Should you be on the lookout for parameters that suggest that these types of functions are suitable for delegation?
The answer is an astounding yes. If the tasks align with the following parameters, then these tasks are ideal for delegation. Below we present to you some of the common cases where a commission is perfect.
Tasks that can be Delegated:
- If the job is characterized by the involvement of making repetitive decisions and actions, then that type of task falls under the bracket of functions that are ideal for passing down to your subordinate.
- When delegating tasks, try to delegate tasks to your employees, which hold the potential to bring career growth for your employees.
- Compelling priorities that you are unable to handle because of your busy schedule, but others can.
- Fine-tuning of detailed works of projects that you’re handling.
To read more on the type of tasks that can be delegated, click here.
The delegated tasks should comply with the following parameters.
At the back of your mind, make sure to keep the responsibilities you delegate comply with the “SMART”— principles.
- S: stands for specific. ( The task delegated should be Specific.)
- M: positions for measurable. The job should be Measurable and must have appropriate metrics.
- A: The task delegated must be Appropriate.
- R: The task has to be reachable. It needs to have a finish line.
- T: The task must be time-bound. It needs to be completed within a given time.
Perks of being a delegator:
- It relieves you of some of your workloads.
- Less constrained by time pressure
- Enjoy lower levels of stress at the workplace.
- Opens up the possibility for you to devote your energy to higher-payoff tasks at hand
- Makes your employees more competent and prepare them to handle tasks in your absence
- When other people do your job, you get an opportunity to move up.
- Allows you to assess a delegatee’s potential
Potential benefits to the delegatees:
- It allows them to hone their skills.
- Add to their abilities and experience.
- Through performing the given task, the delegatee will also end up with new perspectives and possess better judgment
- Delegated tasks will aid in maturing them for positions of greater responsibility and authority
- Improve their chances of promotion
- Raises their involvement and visibility within an organization
- Helps them feel more trusted and significant
- Getting told to handle a project by a higher-up can significantly add to a delegatee’s reserves of motivation for their job.
Benefits to the organization:
- Delegation improves decision making and execution through the broader involvement of the workforce.
- Your organization attains resilience through the development of more fabulous skilled staff members. Doing this can help catalyze the growth of the corporation.
- Develops organizational resilience by developing more skilled staff members
- Assist in creating an atmosphere of trust, empowerment, and contribute to the creation of good office chemistry between workers.
- Delegation demonstrates a belief in the value and importance of people.
- Delegation helps in making the process of promotion and succession planning more accessible.