Learning When to Let Go

There is no denying that giving employees more responsibility and allowing them to have more input will generate greater productivity and job satisfaction. Why, then, is it difficult for so many managers to let go? Despite the overwhelming research that suggests the benefits of delegation, many managers continue to resist this practice and continue managing through control. The truth is, delegation is one of the most important skills any manager can possess and when done correctly can produce incredible results.

What Does it Mean to ‘Let Go’?

Many managers have a difficult time delegating tasks and imparting additional responsibility onto their employees because they feel like this means they are giving up control. Letting go, however, doesn’t have to mean you are losing control. It simply means you are empowering your employees and the people around you. When you give your employees more opportunities to step up and provide input, it shows them that you are taking a personal interest in their development. The best managers are the ones who aren’t afraid to empower their employees, even if it means their abilities might surpass their own. This behavior is what turns a manager into a leader.

Why Is Letting Go So Important?

Delegation is critical in order to have a successful business. There is no one manager, no matter how great, that can truly success trying to do everything on their own. Delegation is necessary to increase both efficiency and development.


While it’s true that managers have some tasks that only they can perform, the reality is that most other tasks can be performed by their employees. The primary job of a manager is to make sure that others are doing what they have been assigned to do and stepping in to provide assistance when needed. Unfortunately, many managers busy themselves with a multitude of tasks that take them away from their primary job as manager. It’s easy for the manager to feel overwhelmed with the workload, but they have a difficult time passing along these tasks to their employees. When managers fail to delegate, they end up hurting the entire performance of the team. On the other hand, managers who delegate well, create efficient and successful teams.


Managers who refuse to delegate are essentially telling their employees that they don’t believe in them. This lack of trust can demotivate employees and make them want to leave the job. Employees want to feel trusted and valued and delegation is a great way to show your employees that you trust them to do the job well. Delegation is also a great way to help employees develop their skills. A manager’s job is to pass along important skills and abilities to their employees and the best way to do this is to coach them and give them opportunities to work on these skills. Delegating gives managers the chance to act as a mentor and truly invest the time to develop their employees’ skills.

When to Let Go

Every employee needs to be adequately trained and given time to learn the ropes, but as a certain point, everything that can be delegated to them should be. Managers often struggle with knowing when and how to let go but here are some tips to help managers determine when the time is right to let go.


  • When Tasks are Tedious and Time Consuming


Managers have enough on their plate and their day can’t be consumed with tedious tasks. Rather, these tasks should be passed on to an employee so you can make better use of your time.


  • Teachable Moments


A manager’s job is to shape their employees into a well-rounded and highly skilled professional. There are plenty of opportunities when managers can let go and pass jobs and projects onto their employees in order to teach them and help develop their skills.


  • Delegate When it’s Not Your Strength


Even managers have areas that might not be their strongest and great managers can admit that and are willing to pass along the job to a more well-equipped employee. It would take you far longer to produce less desirable results so this is a perfect opportunity to let go and delegate the project to someone on your time who possesses stronger skills in that area.