No matter your industry, proper training and delegation can complete the work faster and set everyone up for success. Additionally, it helps build trust, empowers employees, and relieves the delegator’s stress.
Developing a delegation method is multifaceted and may be a bit overwhelming. Relinquishing control and entrusting tasks to others is sometimes difficult. If not executed correctly, delegation can result in costly mistakes and frustration. Fortunately, effective delegation can be achieved by applying these five core principles.
1. Clarify the Task(s) You Want to Delegate
Choosing the right task is the first key to successful delegation. Write a clear concept of the task’s parameters and processes and why it’s being delegated.
Using the SMART principle as a metric can help establish what successful completion of the task looks like:
- What is the Specific task that you want to delegate?
- How will you measure success?
- Who is best equipped to Act on the task? What resources will they need to complete
- How is this task Relevant to the company’s medium-term and long-term goals?
- What is the Timeline for task completion? Should the delegate give you updates throughout the task’s progress? How frequently will progress reports be required?
Once you clarify exactly what the task is and your rationale for delegation, you’re on the right track.
2. Choose the Right Delegate for the Task
Who is the right person for the job?
- Consider the skills the task requires and who on your team already has them.
- Evaluate your team’s individual skill sets. Specifically, look at the quantifiable results of each team member’s work, but pay attention to soft skills (personality, attitude, flexibility, motivation, manners, etc.) in your evaluation.
- Consider your team member’s existing responsibilities. If too much is already on their plate, they may need more time to complete the task.
- Consider the employees’ career goals. An ambitious employee will approach tasks and the opportunity for more responsibility with passion.
3. Communicate, Communicate, and Overcommunicate
Be sure to assign tasks both verbally and in writing and that you have clearly laid out expectations and other relevant information necessary to complete the task. The written document gives the delegate a reference as they carry out the assignment. Remember, it’s equally important to communicate in a setting where the delegate can ask follow-up questions.
4. Make Sure Your Delegate Has Necessary Authority
Delegates need to access the resources required to complete the task. They may need account information, personnel, or specialized machines. Grant the delegate the authority they need to get the job done. This lets you take your mind off the delegated task to focus on other work.
5. Give Praise and Feedback as You Go
Avoid micromanaging. Instead, have periodic check-ins with your delegate. Make sure to offer praise and encouragement regarding the parts of the task that are going well and that feedback is clear, concise, and constructive.
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