How to Delegate Effectively and Empower Your Team

Sometimes, the most valuable thing a manager can do is to delegate tasks. Not only does delegating allow more time for managers to focus on high-priority tasks, but it also empowers team members, builds trust, and prepares them for more responsibilities in the future. Knowing when and how to delegate is one of the most important parts of management. Effective delegation allows team members to build new skills and increases productivity over time. Here are some tips for delegating more effectively in order to empower and cultivate high-performing teams. 

1. Know What to Delegate

Not every task can be delegated. There are some things that must be handled by managers. For example, performance assessments cannot be delegated. However, several other day-to-day activities that don’t require manager oversight can absolutely be delegated. That’s where it is important to consider the strengths and weaknesses of each team member in order to assign appropriate tasks. 

2. Play to Your Employees’ Strengths

You have undoubtedly hired a diverse team of employees with different strengths. Is there someone who is specifically better at a certain skill? Is there someone who would appreciate the opportunity to work on a specific task or project? There are likely team members who have the right skills needed to achieve your desired results, so you should delegate tasks accordingly.

3. Provide Context and Guidance

When you delegate a task, make sure the person you are passing the work to is set up for success. Start by clarifying the assignment and the desired results, providing guidance or support as needed. Make sure they understand the expectations as well as an expected due date. You also need to be sure they have the proper tools required to get the job done. 

4. Establish Clear Communication

While you want to avoid micromanaging, you do want to establish a clear channel of communication so the person you are delegating to feels comfortable asking questions. You want to make sure your team members know that although you trust them to complete the assigned task, you are also available should they run into any problems along the way. Check in with them to see how they are doing and provide progress updates on a regular basis.

5. Allow for Failure

This can be particularly difficult for managers, especially those who think they are the only ones who can do things the right way. You need to allow space for failure, as this will empower employees to take on new responsibilities and step outside of their comfort zone. If you are patient with your team, they are more likely to have a better experience working on their own. 

6. Provide Feedback

In addition to monitoring progress, you want to deliver feedback to your employees after they have completed the delegated tasks. If the task was not completed sufficiently, provide constructive feedback on how they can improve. On the other hand, if they did well, be sure to give them positive feedback and credit those who achieved the desired results.