How to delegate tasks in the workday
Delegation is a vital aspect of any business, big or small. It allows managers and leaders to assign tasks to their team members, freeing up their time and energy to focus on more important matters. But delegation isn’t as simple as just handing off a task; it’s an art that requires skill and practice. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the best practices for delegating tasks in the workplace, including identifying the right tasks to delegate, communicating effectively with team members, and following up on delegated tasks.
1. Identifying the Right Tasks to Delegate
- Understand your strengths and weaknesses. Before you start delegating, you must understand your strengths and weaknesses. Take stock of the tasks that you excel at and the tasks that drain your energy. The tasks that you’re not so good at are likely the ones you should delegate.
- Look for tasks that are not critical to your job. Not all tasks are created equal. Some tasks are critical to your job and must be done by you, while others are less important and can be delegated to others. Look for tasks that don’t directly contribute to your job responsibilities and consider delegating them.
- Prioritize the tasks. Once you’ve identified the tasks that you can delegate, prioritize them according to their level of importance. Start with the essential tasks and work your way down.
Let’s say you’re a retail store manager and are responsible for scheduling employee shifts. You excel at creating employee schedules but struggle with doing inventory. In this case, you should delegate the task of doing inventory to one of your team members and focus on creating employee schedules.
2. Communicating Effectively with Team Members
- Clearly communicate the task. When delegating a task, it’s essential to clearly communicate what needs to be done. Be specific about the task and the desired outcome. Provide any necessary information or resources that the team member will need to complete the task.
- Set expectations. Set clear expectations for the task, including the deadline, any required deliverables, and how the task will be evaluated. Make sure the team member understands what is expected of them and what the outcome should be.
- Provide support. Provide the team member with the support they need to complete the task. This might include providing access to necessary resources, answering questions, or providing feedback on their progress.
A manager at a software company assigns a new developer to work on a feature for an upcoming product release. The manager clearly communicates the task, including the desired outcome, the deadline, and how it will be evaluated. The manager also provides the developer access to necessary resources and is available to answer any questions.
3. Following Up on Delegated Tasks
- Monitor progress. Regularly check in with the team member to monitor their progress on the task. Provide feedback and support as needed.
- Evaluate the task. Once the task is complete, evaluate the outcome. Did the team member complete the task according to the expectations that were set? Was the result what you had hoped for?
- Recognize and reward good work. If the team member did a great job on the task, be sure to recognize and reward their excellent work. This could be in the form of a bonus, a promotion, or a simple “thank you.”
A project manager at a construction company delegates the task of creating a project budget to a team member. The manager regularly checks in with the team member to monitor progress and evaluates the outcome once the task is complete. The manager recognizes and rewards the team member by giving them a bonus and praising them in front of the rest of the team. The team member did a great job, and the project budget is well-done and accurate.
Delegation is a critical skill for managers and leaders. By identifying the right tasks to delegate, communicating effectively with team members, and following up on delegated tasks, you can empower your team to take on more responsibility and help your business thrive.
Remember to understand your strengths and weaknesses, look for tasks that are not critical to your job, and prioritize tasks according to their level of importance. Communicate clearly, set expectations, provide support, monitor progress, evaluate the task, and recognize and reward good work. With practice and patience, you’ll become a master at delegation in no time.