Delegating is an overlooked, yet essential skill to master. Its purpose is to enable you to dispose of simpler tasks to free you up to perform tasks that are of greater value to your business. The truth is you probably can do most tasks better and faster than your employees. Delegate it anyway. The better your team does under your leadership, the more successful your business will be.
Understand that there is a difference between assigning a task and delegating one. If there are multiple directives, required check-ins and a significant amount of supervision time, you have merely assigned the task. This method will cause you to become a choke point and slow down the work process. Remember, people rise or fall to the level of expectation. Delegate tasks and hold people accountable.
Use the four-step delegation process outlined below.
THINK IT THROUGH.
Clearly define your goals and objectives, assign the tasks and assess progress to ensure you get the end result you want.
ASSEMBLE THE TEAM
Identify the person(s) who can get the job done. Be sure that they:
- have the ability to perform the task;
- understand the project’s overall objective;
- can complete the task in the allotted timeframe;
- are aware of established performance standards.
COMMUNICATE! COMMUNICATE! COMMUNICATE!
Always operate under the principal that you can never be too clear. It is important to communicate exactly what needs to be done in an unambiguous effective manner. Indicate specifically what you want the staff member to do and be sure to confirm that the person is clear about the assignment.
PROVIDE SPECIFIC DEADLINES.
“ASAP” is meaningless. So is “In a few days.” Try, “I need it in an hour” or “I need it Wednesday afternoon.” Leave no room for ambiguity. Setting specific deadlines and allowing your team to manage their own workload will ameliorate your constant need to hover and inquire “is it done yet?” to the relief of both you and your staff.
Delegating is not just a way to reduce your workload and complete projects. It is a way to develop employees and strengthen your workforce. Once you learn to mobilize forces around you, you will maximize your leverage, free yourself up to perform tasks of greater value to your business and maybe even find a little spare time to enjoy your life.