Delegation can be a great way for you to free up some of your time but also to help develop the skills of your staff.
There's only a limited amount that you can do, however hard you work. You can only work so many hours in a day. There are only so many tasks you can complete in these hours.
It is important that you learn to delegate as staff will then feel they are being worked with to develop their skills and share responsibility.
However if you do it badly and they will feel exploited and resentful.
So how can you make delegation work for you? Below are some things that you should consider before you delegate tasks.
When should you delegate?
Be sure to carefully choose the work you delegate. It might be advisable not to delegate tasks that are considered critical and that could have serious consequences if not properly done.
- Can they do the task instead of you?
- Can they do the task at less of a cost than you?
- Is there an opportunity for growing and adding perspective for your employees.
- Is this a task that will recur, in a similar form, in the future?
- Do you have enough time to delegate the job effectively? Time must be available for adequate training, for questions and answers, for opportunities to check progress, and for rework if that is necessary.
To Whom Should You Delegate?
Once you have selected the task it is equally important to select the right person to do the task.
The experience, knowledge and skills of the individual as they apply to the delegated task.
- What knowledge, skills and attitude does the person already have?
- Do you have time and resources to provide any training needed?
The individual's preferred work style.
- How independent is the person?
- What does he or she want from his or her job?
- What are his or her long-term goals and interest, and how do these align with the work proposed?
The current workload of this person.
- Does the person have time to take on more work?
- Will you delegating this task require reshuffling of other responsibilities and workloads?
Know what you want. If you don't know what you want, you can't expect anyone else to.
- Express what you want clearly. It's important to give people a clear vision of what you want. What are your goals? What do you need done? The most important thing is that you express everything you want very clearly.
- Set expectations. It's not nough that you've told someone what you want. Make sure expectations are made clear. "This will be successful if X, Y and Z happen." And, "I need X, Y and Z finished by Friday."
- Trust. You need to trust those people you delegate to, otherwise you'll worry too much, micro-manage and generally hamper the person you have asked to carry out the task.
- Let them do it their way. Remember that not everyone works in the same way. Ensure you provide enough flexibility that they can add their skills to the task. Let them create. Let them add unique touches to what they're doing.
- Communicate and follow-up. Delegating doesn't mean abandoning someone to do something until it's complete. You want to be communicating throughout the process and following-up with people to make sure everything is going smoothly.
Content has been taken from mindtools.com.
So once you are happy that you can pick the task, person and delegate successfully it is also important to know the impact that delegation will have on your staff.
The main way in which your staff will be affected by your delegation is their increased workload. To relieve any anxiety they may be experiencing about this you can do a number of things.
- Provide any support and resources the staff member requires, such as training or access to information.
- Break down tasks . In order to make 'to-do' lists seem manageable you need to decide what the next action is i.e. 'browse the internet for lesson plan ideas' rather than 'plan lesson'.
- Help them to prioritise their tasks . Is the new work you have given them more important than those already on their to-do list?
- Encourage them to speak up when work expectations and demands are too much. Explain that you need to be aware there is a problem in order to address it.
To ensure the success of your delegation it is important to highlight the advantages to your members of staff. The main aspect of this will be their career development.
To ensure that their expectations are met try to ensure that you do the following:
- Ensure the exercise has delivered the benefits that you discussed at the beginning - to the organisation and to the individual.
- Assess what the staff member has learnt , and any development needs which have been highlighted and should be tackled.
- Ensure that you keep any promises that you made about rewards for completing the job well.
Finally remember to celebrate their success. Make sure that the person knows when you are happy with the job they have done and offer praise where things are going well. At the end of the task review what has been achieved and celebrate any progress - publicly if possible.