Delegation is assigning specific tasks or activities to another person. It is usually from a manager to a subordinate and this skill is one of the core concepts of management leadership. It means that the person who delegated the work will remain accountable for the outcome of the delegated task. Delegation is a major key when it comes to maximizing your productivity and keeping yourself sane, especially when working on tight deadlines and heavy workloads whether you are a manager, team leader, or in some related position of authority.
However, there are many leaders today who do not know how to delegate effectively, while some are not willing to delegate their tasks unless they absolutely need to. Many managers also admit that delegating is one of the most difficult things they have to do as part of their job. If you’re one of them, then you no longer have to worry. It’s because delegating tasks is a skill that can be learned and improved over time. To help you out, we are going to give you effective ways to improve your delegation skills.
1. Learn to Let Go of Your Work
One of the biggest problems of leaders and managers is the inability to let go of their work or tasks. There are people who are very dedicated to completing their own work that they refuse to get help from other people. Sometimes, they also feel that nobody else has the skills needed to execute the work effectively which also scares them. But whatever reason you have, it is important that you learn to let go.
You can do this by delegating small tasks first and then work your way up gradually. It can also help if you get to know your team or people better to be able to improve trust with one another. Take small steps and eventually, you will be able to let go of your work, especially if you really want your team to become successful.
2. Delegate Tasks to Appropriate People
When delegating tasks, it requires your thought and consideration to be able to delegate them to appropriate people. It’s because when you choose the wrong person, you will find yourself spending too much time training and supporting him which is not ideal if you want to get the job done faster.
Therefore, before you delegate tasks, take time to observe your team members first and learn their strengths, weaknesses, values, and their current and potential skills. This will enable you to match the right person to the right job and you will be able to delegate the work to those who can actually deliver.
3. Categorize Your Tasks
To improve your delegation skills, you can divide the tasks into different categories. For example, you can create categories depending on the degree of effort a task requires and as well as the degree of skill. The tasks in the highest-skilled category are the ones that you’ll keep on your own plate while those in the lower-skilled categories are the ones you will delegate to others. Establishing a priority system will help you understand the nature of your tasks and delegate them to your people efficiently.
4. Include Instructions with the Tasks
The process of the tasks you will be delegating is of course, obvious to you. However, when you delegate those tasks, make sure to include instructions, especially when you have specific preferences for how the task will be carried out. For example, if you have a strict deadline for a specific task, you need to inform your people and be clear about them.
When you include instructions in the tasks you will delegate, make sure that they are clear and straightforward to avoid communication gaps. This is a proactive strategy for you and your team members and it is also a great way to improve your delegation skills.
5. Trust Your People but Verify
When you delegate a task, you need to trust your team member to execute it on his own. This will enable that person to do the work the way he feels is best. But you should not be afraid to step in occasionally and verify if the task is going as planned. For example, if the task you’ve delegated a week ago is due the next day, you need to trust that your team member is on top of things but you also need to verify to make sure that he has not hit any snags. By doing this, you will be able to encourage more trust and respect within your team as well.
6. Communicate Openly with Your Employees
Two-way communication is a key component in managerial duties. When you delegate tasks to your employees, you shouldn’t turn your back after doing so. You need to stay in regular communication with them about the status of the task and the timing as well so that there will be no surprises. For example, you can simply ask them from time to time how they are finding the task or if they are encountering any problems. This way, you will be able to help them immediately instead of making them repeat the whole task if you find any problems once it’s done.
7. Use Feedback to Improve Delegation
The most important part of the delegation process is feedback and it can work both ways. When your team members finished the tasks you gave them well, then you should let them know that you appreciated their efforts publicly. You can thank them and offer genuine praise. If ever there are some errors on the task or if they have fallen short, you should not be afraid to give them constructive criticism.
After the tasks you’ve delegated are done, you can invite your team members to share their thoughts about your delegation skills. It is a great way for you to know whether you are giving them enough information or if you are delegating the tasks to the right people.
These are some of the effective ways you can try to improve your delegation skills. Delegating tasks is not an easy thing to do, but when you try to practice these ways, you will be able to develop your skills soon and delegate tasks to your people effectively. If you also want to develop your leadership skills, you can check out our post on the 10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Leadership Skills for more tips.