7 Keys to Delegate Effectively

By November 1, 2016 Business, Work Smarter

delegate effectively

If you are a manager, you have to delegate tasks in order to get things done. There aren’t enough hours in the day, or days in the week to do it all yourself. But it isn’t always easy to delegate effectively. If you don’t approach it strategically, you will end up making more work for everyone on your team. Here are some keys to effective delegation.

1. Decide which tasks to delegate

First, don’t let your ego convince you that no one else can do any of your tasks as well as you can. There should be people on your team that are better suited to certain jobs. If not, review your hiring practices. “You should be using your time on the most critical tasks for the business, and the tasks that only you can do. Delegate what you can’t do, and what doesn’t interest you.” (Forbes)

2. Match the right person to the right task

This is a good opportunity to look for the potential in others. “Think creatively about who may be able to handle some of the tasks that keep you from getting other things accomplished. What may be drudgery to you may be a joy to someone else. What you do poorly someone else may be able to do with excellence.” (Tim Challies) “Delegate to the lowest possible organizational level. The people who are closest to the work are best suited for the task, because they have the most intimate knowledge of the detail of everyday work.” (Mind Tools)

3. Use delegation to help others grow

Delegation is a great way to make everyone on your team better. It “…has the aim of not just getting tasks done, but of building others up through the accomplishment of tasks.” (Matt Perman) Be prepared to do some training, as your goal is to teach your people new skills. “Delegating doesn’t mean passing off work you don’t enjoy, but letting your employees stretch their skills and judgment.” (Inc)

4. Be clear about the expected outcome

Make sure your employee knows exactly what you expect them to accomplish, and set a deadline. “Delegate clear outcomes. Make them measurable. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” (Brian Tracy)

5. Provide the required resources

A major part of managing is making sure your people have everything they need to get their work done. Take care of any necessary purchasing, password-protected materials, and so forth the employee will need. You might also need to help arrange meetings with others for them. “Allocate the resources necessary to complete the task. You may have resources available that are necessary to complete the task but the person given the task may not be able to access them.” (wikiHow)

6. Support — don’t micromanage

Nobody wants their boss looking over their shoulder or nitpicking every step of a task. At the same time, make yourself available to offer support, answer questions, and give advice when needed. “In delegating effectively, we have to find the sometimes-difficult balance between giving enough space for people to use their abilities to best effect, while still monitoring and supporting closely enough to ensure that the job is done correctly and effectively.” (Mind Tools)

7. Give credit and thanks

This is the final step of every delegated task. Thank your employee for their work, and make their contribution known to others. A little appreciation goes a long way. “Be sure to recognize and thank anyone who’s helped you out, and make your whole team (not just yourself) look good for doing the job well.” (The Muse)