The Art of Delegation: How to Delegate Tasks Effectively
Do you often find yourself swamped with workloads? Whether you’re a business executive, manager, supervisor, or team leader, learning how to delegate tasks effectively is vital to regaining your focus on your company’s key initiatives while giving your employees a chance to shine.
How well do you know your priorities? Are the things that keep you busy right now aligned with your current role and goals? Take a moment to review your current engagements to determine if there are any misalignments between your priorities and workload.
As a business leader, your judgment is necessary to guarantee the overall success of your organization or department. To achieve this, you need to develop big-picture thinking — the ability to see your business through a wider lens. From this perspective, you can get a clear view of how your business is doing and where it is heading.
But here’s the catch: you need to let go of tasks that prevent you from leading your business in the right direction. This is where the beautiful art of delegation comes in.
What is task delegation?
Delegation is the practice of entrusting certain tasks to another person.
To make things clear, delegation is not simply passing off work or bossing around someone to get your job done. Instead, it’s an opportunity to prepare them for bigger roles in the future. It’s a good approach to develop their skills, sense of responsibility, and knowledge about the processes in the company.
At an organizational level, delegation boosts engagement, improves productivity, and nurtures a culture of confidence and trust. It’s an indicator that you believe in your employees’ capacity to produce good results.
How to delegate tasks
Proper delegation of tasks is a sign of effective leadership. Below are the steps you can follow to delegate tasks effectively:
Identify the tasks you can delegate
Create a list of your regular tasks. Set aside sensitive and high-level projects. The remaining tasks are the ones that you can distribute or entrust to your team members, which you can group according to the following categories:
- Simple - easy-to-do tasks
- Repetitive - tasks that don’t require much mental energy and expertise
- Time-consuming - tasks that consume a lot of your time
- Weakness - tasks you’re not good at doing
- Transferable - tasks you can easily teach to someone
- Urgency - projects that need to be completed the soonest time possible
Know the right time to delegate
To know if it’s the right time to delegate tasks, consider these questions:
- Can someone in your team do this properly?
- Do you have time to teach and prepare someone to handle this job?
- Will it serve as a learning opportunity for your employee?
- Can it help your employee grow and develop as a professional?
- Do you need more time to focus on your priorities?
If you answer yes to all of these questions, consider it as a sign to delegate.
Find out the right person to do the job
Consider these elements when choosing the person to do the job:
- Workload and availability
- Skills, knowledge, and experience
- Strengths and weaknesses
- Willingness to learn
- Preferred work style
Match the right jobs to the right people to make sure that they can carry out the work well.
Explain the importance of delegation
Set aside time to tell the concerned employees why they fit the job. Let them know the lasting impact it can bring to the organization and how it can help improve their skills.
Provide the necessary resources
Before handing over the task, make sure that you provide the necessary resources and instructions to your employees.
For example, if your employee is willing to the job but lacks the skill for it, invest in training and teaching.
Be clear about the deliverables
Always remember to set clear expectations about the job. If it’s a recurring project, be clear about the quality you need to see. Or if it has a deadline, specify it right away.
Ask for updates or reports if needed, but don’t make it too often. This is to see if the project is heading in the right direction or if it needs your guidance for redirection. You can also use collaboration tools like Trello to monitor the progress of delegated tasks.
Give feedback and show appreciation
Don’t leave your employees in the dark. Provide feedback whenever necessary to let them know if they did well and should continue doing the same thing or if there are areas they need to improve so they could handle the task better moving forward.
More importantly, acknowledge the progress made by your employees with the tasks delegated to them to keep them motivated.
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