Whether you are a manager, team leader, or in any similar position of authority, it’s important to know how and when to delegate in order to maximize your efficiency. This can be difficult for many people and they avoid delegating unless they actually have to. Many people in leadership positions have a hard time letting go and they hesitate to pass the responsibility on to their employees. Unfortunately, this can negatively impact a manager’s productivity and they end up drowning in too much work. When done effectively, delegation allows leaders to focus on bigger tasks while also helping employees reach better job growth. Managers who are good delegators foster a culture of teamwork and encourage and motivate their employees. Luckily, delegating is a skill and like any skill, it can be improved over time. Here are some tips and tricks to learn how to delegate more effectively.
Learn to Let Go
The biggest challenge most leaders face is their inability to let go and hand responsibility off to their team. Sometimes they feel like the only way to get something done right is to do it themselves, but they must quickly learn that their way isn’t the only way. When a manager refuses to delegate, it sends the message that they don’t trust their own team to execute the work effectively. The first step in becoming an effective delegator is learning to let go. You have hired competent and capable employees and it’s time you trust them to get the job done right.
Prioritize Your Work
The first part of letting go requires you to take a closer look at the tasks you normally handle. There are a few questions to ask yourself: How important is this task for my career? How difficult is this task? Does this task require a specific skill? How time-consuming is the task? Does this task play to my greatest strengths? Prioritize the tasks based on the level of importance and which ones require the highest skill level. Those tasks might be better of completed by you but everything else can be passed along to someone else.
Delegate to the Right Person
Never delegate a task to someone you hope can complete the task but rather give it to someone you know can do it. It’s important to get to your employee’s strengths and weaknesses as well as their range of skills. When you are delegating, look at your team and assign the task to the person who is the strongest in that particular area. Avoid delegating to those who simply have the lightest workload and make sure you choose the right person for the job.
Be Clear About Directions and Deadlines
When you are delegating a task, it’s your job to ensure the person knows exactly what is expected of them. Make sure you give clear directions and let them know about deadlines for the project. If you have specific preferences about how the task is completed, make sure the employee is well aware of your expectations.
Check-In but Don’t Micromanage
It is perfectly acceptable to check in and see how the task is going. You want to make sure the employee has the tools and resources they need and you should make yourself available for questions. However, you don’t want to hover over and micromanage them because your goal should be to empower them and give them space to learn.