In order to be fully productive at work and to perform without stress, it is imperative that we delegate tasks. If done correctly, delegation saves us time in the long run and it helps other people in the team grow and develop to reach their full potential.
When delegating, we have to consider three things:
- Which tasks to delegate
- Who to delegate the task to
- How we set up and monitor the delegation process
The first question is which tasks should we delegate?
Basically we should consider delegating any task that can be done by someone else, a task that will recur in the future and/or a task that will allow someone else in the team to be challenged and grow.
When identifying the people to delegate tasks to we need to ask ourselves the following questions:
- Do they have the right knowledge and experience?
- Do they have the right attitude?
- Can they spare the time to be trained?
- What is their preferred work style? – are they capable of working independently?
- Are the person’s professional goals and aspirations likely to align the task?
- Do they have time to take on the extra work?
The final step is to make sure that the process of delegation is set up, communicated and monitored effectively. This can be done by following these guidelines:
- Make sure the desired outcome is clearly defined
- Clarify the lines of accountability and authority – how much decision making power does the delegate have in the process
- Provide adequate support and be available to answer questions
- Focus on results rather than the details of how the task should be approached -allow the delegatee freedom to use his/her creativity
- Build motivation and commitment by letting the person see the bigger picture and how successful completion of the task can impact on the bottom line, future
- Agree on a timetable of check points where you will monitor work done so far
At first, delegating a project can seem a daunting task and something that involves a lot of initial investment in time and training. However, once we are clear about how
to approach the process of delegation, and we begin to observe the permanent
and long-term benefits, we will no longer contemplate any other way of working.