6 Key Points for Effective Delegation

Delegating tasks can achieve a number of results, namely a decrease in work load for the manager and an increased sense of participation and involvement on behalf of the employee. So why do so many managers complain about being stressed and too busy and yet are reluctant to delegate? There are 2 main reasons; one is that it takes some time and effort up front to organise your work load for delegation, the other is at a more subconscious level which is a fear that somebody else may do something better than you.

When considering delegating work, do you experience any of the following Delegatitis symptoms?
(Note: Delegatitis is the name I have assigned to the condition of having difficulty in delegating; it is not a medical or management term).

– I can do it better and faster myself.
– I can’t trust them to do it.
– I don’t have time to explain what needs to be done.
– They already have enough to do.
– I don’t want to give this up as I enjoy doing it.
– They messed up last time so there’s no point asking to do this.
– I am the only person who knows how to do this.

Your degree of Delegatitis varies from mild with one yes to critical with 5 or more yeses. The good news is, there are a number of “Ates” that are a great antidote to delegatitis.

6 Key Points for Effective Delegation

Consolid Ate – Decide exactly what you want to delegate. Remember that delegating is different to assigning tasks that are already part of a person’s job description. Also, it is not an opportunity to pass on mundane activities you do not want to do. Give employees something different and interesting every so often. When you delegate you are still responsible for the outcome.

Elimin Ate – Get rid of all the tasks that don’t need to be done. If you don’t need to do a task yourself consider if it needs to be done at all. As per Peter Drucker, “Do the first things first and the second not at all”.

Interrog Ate – Ask yourself what you can delegate as not all tasks are suitable. Never delegate sensitive projects. If it is confidential in any way the work should not be outsourced. If you were assigned the task due to your specific expertise, be careful when delegating. Ensure you understand the task as you will not be able to delegate an assignment if you do not know how to accomplish it.

Abdic Ate – Resist the temptation to dictate how the task should be done. You are delegating the objective not your own methodology. Be sure to delegate the autonomy along with the responsibility. Avoid the “Let me show you” syndrome, as you will end up doing the task yourself. Ask for progress report and don’t look over their shoulder every step of the way.

Candid Ate – Once you know what a particular task entails; find the best person for the job. You may find that initially the person takes longer to do it than you do, but that is because you are the expert. Be patient. If you have chosen the top person and clarified the objectives the person will quickly become competent and reliable. Don’t always give tasks to the same people. Share reponsibilities and involvement.

Elucid Ate – Explain clearly what the task involves and make the instructions as clear as possible. Set a time frame for the assignment and schedule update meetings to monitor progress and determine any need for assistance. Ask the person to tell you their understanding of both the task and the goals. If there is a mismatch in their answers and your expectations, review the matter in detail again.

When done properly delegation is a win-win situation as it allows you to make the best use of your time and skills as well as helping grow and develop other team members to reach their full potential. You will be surprised how taking on additional responsibility or new tasks can motivate and stimulate employees.

What do YOU think are the key steps to effective delegation?

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Written by Ana Antunes da Silva.

Image provided by the great photographer Sara Peres.

16 Responses to “6 Key Points for Effective Delegation”

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  2. Ana says:

    Newton,
    Thank you so much for your positive and encouraging comments. My sincere apologies for the late reply, I hope this hasn’t put you off leaving comments in the future! I am really pleased you enjoyed this post. Are there any other topics you would be keen to read about?
    Ana

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      Dewey,
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      Ana

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    Thanks for sharing your comments Jarrod.

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