In today’s video we will discuss one of the essential management skills – delegation, and we will learn how to delegate tasks to others effectively.
What are the benefits of delegating work to others?
Trusting tasks to others has benefits both for the manager and for the employee who will start performing the activity.
- Free up time for the manager
When you become a manager, all of a sudden, you have a multitude of new tasks. Some of which you are still learning. So it makes sense to delegate some of your work to others and focus on your new responsibilities.
- Empower, engage and provide opportunity to learn
The new task your team member receives will provide them opportunities for learning and for expanding their responsibilities, which is imperative for employee engagement.
- Enhance communication
The process of work transition itself will boost your communication with your team members. Which is essential for building a good relationship with them
- Improve efficiency
And last but not least, the person you have delegated the task to may actually be better at it than you or show you a new way of doing it, which will increase efficiency.
How to delegate tasks to your team effectively?
Let’s start with what types of tasks you should reassign to your team. These may include recurring activities or clear and straightforward decisions. You can and should include employees to help you with the legwork on projects you are working on and offer them stretch assignments in their field of interest. But some tasks are not suitable for delegating. You cannot delegate strategy. You also should not delegate any sensitive or confidential tasks.
After identifying the activities, you need to proceed with the actual delegation. And how do you do that? Well, you don’t just dump the work on the person. You explain, share any process documentation available and show them how to do it. Depending on the complexity of the task, it may require a period of shadowing until you are confident that the person feels comfortable with the job.
Once you have delegated the task, you need to continue monitoring it. Even after delegating, the accountability for the task remains with you. So you need to check up on the progress and identify and remove any issues and hurdles.
Why do many managers hesitate to delegate work to others?
Well, first of all, the tasks that are suitable for delegating usually are tasks with which you feel comfortable. Unlike all your new management activities that are honestly a bit intimidating. So it is tempting to bury yourself in what you know and use it as a justification to delay the activities that we fear.
And then the other challenge I encounter often is the strive for perfection. The employee to whom you have shifted the activity may prove to be much better at it than you. However, usually, at least initially, they will be slower, or their quality would not be lower than yours. And sometimes it takes all that you’ve got not to jump in and say, “just let me do it myself.” Trust me, I have been there many times. But this would be a big mistake. You will deprive your team member of the opportunity to learn. This will also likely make them feel ashamed and powerless, and would not be very favorable for your relationship.
But if you are mindful of your resistance, you can overcome it and make delegating work a positive experience for everyone. Now, go list those tasks you will start delegating.
For more tips for new managers check out the first two videos:
First Steps In Management: Introductions